Hers, Mine, Ours

Posted by on May 13, 2006

Another Mother’s Day is upon us and it seems they come faster and faster now that I have kids of my own. People always say things like that and by God, they sound so old when they do. But now I understand why they say it. It’s true. Something about being a parent causes life to move at warp speed. And I don’t like it. I don’t enjoy it whizzing past me like billboards on the interstate. I don’t like important dates sneaking up on me so quickly. And I don’t like getting old faster than I can get used to the idea of each age. I’m sure there’s a way to better handle all of it. Perhaps with Tai Chi or meditation. And I will look into those as soon as I have time, as soon as I’m done taking care of everyone else and everything else.

What I really wanted to write about was my mother, you know, in honor of the BIG day. It’s odd but I never think of Mother’s Day as MY holiday, too. In my mind, it’s still the one where my husband and I get up and make the effort, tired or not, for the other mothers in our life. When he and the kids do something nice for me, it never fails to surprise…because this is my mother’s special day.

I so wanted to write about her. I did. And parts of the story are already written. But I’m not sure this is the time I want to share it. Ideally my Mother’s Day tribute would be uplifting. And inspiring. Or at least happy. But the story of my mother is not. It’s sad and I don’t want to do sad; not this weekend anyway. So to honor my mother, I’ve decided to refer back to something I wrote recently. It made me feel good in a cathartic sort of way, while inspiring me to treasure my own experiences as a mother and I know that’s what Mom would want.

But first…

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. There’s nothing more I can say without sounding completely trite. Just know that you are special and important.

And now, in remembrance of my mother…

Silver Linings

“Mother may I?” is the topic of our blog writing exchange this month.

For me, these are loaded words.

My mother died in a car accident when I was thirteen. I am motherless.

I do have other mother figures in my life. I have a stepmother. I have a biological mother. I have a mother-in-law.

I’m grateful to have these other women in my life but they will never fill that hole. I feel  cheated. Sometimes I am angry. I think about what I don’t have.

People have asked me if I missed my mother more since having children. I have no idea how to answer that. I mean of course I miss having a “mother person” to do what mothers do when their daughters have babies. Help me. Support me. Teach me. Annoy me.

But I never knew my mother as an adult person. As an adolescent, however, our relationship was somewhat complicated and I can’t imagine what our relationship would be like now. I do imagine, of course, what I would want it to be like…but it feels like a dream. A fantasy. A wish unfulfilled.

And I have to accept it.

I will never have what everyone else takes for granted.

Unconditional maternal love.

But I can give it. And I have so much. Enough for a hundred children.

And it’s because of this that I tell my daughter that I love her two dozen times a day.

And remind her that I will always love her no matter what; that there is nothing she could ever do to make me stop; that I will always, always be here for her.

My son isn’t old enough to understand such things but I tell him anyway. I shower him with kisses. I shower him with happy smiles. I carry him around until my arm is about to break off.

My children are all I have in this world and I adore them.

Despite my feeling bitter over not having a mother for nearly my whole life, I am usually one to look for the silver lining; one who believes that everything happens just the way it’s supposed to and that good can come from bad.

But I’ve given up trying to find the silver lining in being motherless. I’m pretty sure there isn’t one for me.

But my children…they have a mother that loves them immeasurably; a mother who, in having lost every living family member before the age of 36, understands the fragility of life, the importance of the little things; a mother who takes nothing for granted.

And I think to myself, that’s OUR silver lining.



  • Marcie says:

    I commented on this when you first posted it and it was hard for me to find the right words, so this time I’m just saying Happy Mothers Day to you Izzy, it’s your day:)

  • Amy says:

    Happy Mother’s Day, Izzy! Oh, and I read over at HBM today that she is extending the deadline. So you can be late, no worries!

  • Mrs. Davis says:

    I completely missed this when you posted it the first time. Big, giant hugs to you, Izzy. I know how hard it is to lose your mom, but I can’t imagine what it must have been like at such a young age. I think it does impact our own mothering in some ways, I’m still figuring out how.

    I hope the huz and kids give you lots of special treatment tomorrow. It’s YOUR day too! Happy Mother’s Day.

  • mama_tulip says:

    This post resonated with me; I think you know why. This really struck me: I will never have what everyone else takes for granted.

    Unconditional maternal love.

    But I can give it. And I have so much. Enough for a hundred children.

    I feel the same way.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you, Izzy.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I remember reading this the first time you posted it and I still think it is an amazingly positive piece of writing. I also find it hard to write about my Mother and our relationship, so I just don’t. Tomorrow, remember that Mother’s Day is all about YOU. Let your kids make you breakfast and give you hand-drawn cards and let your husband make a fuss over you. You deserve it.

  • cameo says:

    happy day to you good mama.

  • Mrs. Chicky says:

    Its hard to not feel bitter about not having a Mom when you become a Mom yourself. I was an adult when I lost mine (a year before my daughter was born) and I often feel cheated, so I can hardly imagine what it feels like to lose your mom at such an early age. But I think losing a mother can often times make us more thankful for the tiny blessings we have… Like being able to tell our children that we love them dozens of times a day. Big hugs to you, Izzy, and a Happy Mother’s Day to one fantastic Mama!

  • Kristina says:

    Thanks for this post Izzy. It touched me for several reasons. I have many of the same feelings about my mother that you have. My biological mom died when I was only two months old so I don’t know her. I, along with my sisters, was adopted by her sister and she and I have/had a very strained relationship. I think this is why I am having such a hard time adjusting to motherhood. I keep screaming to myself that I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of my “mom”. I’t learning not to be so stressed. Really, I am. LOL.

    Thanks for sending the SOS to my site. I really appreciate your insight and the insight of the moms who visited my site from here. I love this massive network of support that seems to only be available via blogsphere.

    Happy Mother’s Day. You are special too!

  • chelle says:

    Wow…I had no idea you had lost your mother…from one momless kid to another…I totally get you feelings and well it sucks. Now that I am a mother I see things so differently.

    Umm yeah and time totally goes faster now!! I feel old :(

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Nancy says:

    Izzy, I love you because you are such a wonderful person. That is all.

  • I am sorry that you lost your mom. (This is my first time reading this post.) I do wish you a very happy mother’s day with your children.

  • Kvetch says:

    Izzy ~ I don’t think I read this when it was originally posted. Unintentionally, perhaps I have glimpsed into how my children might feel on Father’s Day now and in the future. My son was 12, and my daughter 9, when their dad died suddenly. Thank you for the insight, and happy, happy Mother’s Day.

  • Thanks for sharing that post.

    And this day is very much about you Izzy. You are great mom and cool woman and I am wishing you a very happy mother’s day!!!

  • Pattie says:

    I missed this post the first time around. Thanks for sharing it. You make a good point…perhaps you are missing the unconditional love but you are right…you can give it to your children.
    Happy Mother’s Day, Izzy.

  • Suebob says:

    That is well worth posting twice. I am sorry for you but also proud of you. We can look at everything a number of ways. To be able to turn your pain into learning is the hallmark of an elightened being.

  • Happy Mother’s Day Izzy. I’m sorry about your Mom, and I can see how this would be a bittersweet holiday for you. Make it your own and enjoy it. You deserve it for all you do for your sweet children.

  • J. says:

    Happy Mother’s Day Izzy…

  • tracey says:

    I’ve read it before and I can read it again and again. This is one of my favorite posts-it’s such a beautiful sentiment. You are so very sepcial and your mama will always be too.
    Thanks again for sharing it and happy mama’s day to you.

  • Lisa B says:

    This was such a powerful, moving post. I have tears in my eyes.

  • Stefanie says:

    Wow Izzy, I had no idea. You’ve obviously experienced a lot of pain in your life. But just know that I have a mother and it’s still painful and our relationship is full of pining and longing for the mother I thought I should have or someone to give me an example of how to love. But I have to accept that that is something that is innate and I have a lot of love to give my baby despite where I come from. Much love to you.


  • lildb says:

    Izzy, it’s a tribute to your inner mother that you are such a freaking genius. And I’m willing to bet that your kids get it, too. Lucky kids.

    I *so* feel you on the parenthood-at-warp-speed thing. Geez. It’s beginning to feel like time is slapping me in the face as it spins dizzyingly by. You said it much better than I could; I totally resonate with your words.

    Happy Mother’s Day, doll.

  • Chris says:

    Happy Mother’s Day (just a tad late)!

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