09 May 2012

Mother’s Day for the motherless daughter


My mom used to dance in the mornings.

A happy, shameless jig in her PJs right there out in the driveway as my dad drove us off to school. She’d dance and wave and grin and I could feel the love well up from my toes to my nose. It spilled out of me – this being someone’s daughter. Loved. Cherished. Celebrated.

She’s been dead now 18 years to the day since I turned 18.

Time passes and with it go the birthdays, anniversaries, new babies, first steps, preschool orientations, international moves, new jobs, hair color changes. And each milestone is a mile more in the road that we don’t walk together.

I am the motherless daughter.

If you are too, can I take your hand?

Can I stroke the hair back from your forehead and just be here with you? Can I whisper, “I know” and let you cry if you need to? Can I just sit a while beside you as you shout the hard questions?

I believe God can take it.

I believe He invites it.

…the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Romans 8:26.

Go ahead and groan child. Let the part of you that never got to grow up with a mom weep if she needs to. You are beautiful and loved and not a single tear falls to the ground uncherished by the Father God who holds us both.

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
~Psalm 56:8

You are your mother’s daughter, created in your Father God’s image. And nothing can break that.

So let us celebrate quiet together. Whisper into the comments what you miss, what you loved, what you wish she might have done different, what you wish you’d said, what makes you your mother’s daughter. And today I will stop, remember, and rejoice with you, my beautiful friend!

Happy nearly mother’s day,


{Related Posts}

The Letter No Daughter Wants to Write
Eighteen Years and Half My Life
My Zululand, My Birthday
How to Not Splinter Your Daughter’s Heart- Epilogue


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  1. 1

    My mother died when I was six and the one thing I remember is when my dad would get home from work she would be in the kitchen cooking dinner and he would grab her and they would start dancing around the kitchen, the outside world would cease to exist as they looked into each others eyes…love.
    I missed my mother so much during wedding planning and the birth of my two girls. My girls will never know what it’s like to grow up without a mom. When they are acting nutty I try not to guilt them and say “you don’t know how lucky you are to have a mom, I didn’t have one at your age!”

  2. 2

    My grandmother was a motherless daughter. Her mother died when she was 6 years old. She barely remembered what it was like having a mother. She was raised by her older sisters and her father. She struggled to be a mom, because she didn’t really know what one was. She struggled to be a grandmother, because she also didn’t have that in her mom when her kids were growing up. She really didn’t talk about it much, and never talked about her feelings about it. But the ache was there, present for all of us to feel. The ache was present in my mother for a grandmother she never knew. I was named after her. My Mom calls herself a daughter of a motherless daughter. Interesting. It affects the generations. :(

    • 3

      I am a motherless mother, and I hope that I can do my best to be a good mom and grandmother. It is so incredibly hard, when the one we turn to to show us the way is no longer. My mom died the day after I turned 11. It still hurts. My daughter is 13 months old.

  3. 4

    A beautiful tribute, Lisa-Jo. Thank you for reminding us to remember the motherless this weekend.
    Praying for you and all the daughters missing their mothers this time of year (and all year)!

  4. 7

    It’s something you can’t explain to another person…when your Mother is no longer here..but waiting….in that eternal home. No person can ever take her place…as much as they may try. Good heart friends….can help….and Jesus can help fill the huge void…..loving on my daughter…and my sons…helps….but, OH do I MISS HER!!!!!!! Thank you for this sweet post….I used to think the days would get easier…the Mother’s Days, Birthdays would begin to slide by….but, it seems the pain grows in a different direction. It’s been 4 years…14 shorter than your 18…she met my children..she was at my wedding…and I still pick up the phone and dial the numbers, excited to share…just needing her voice…and the operator reminds me…there’s no phone where she is….but, there is one who answers my prayers at all times of the day. Thank you….

  5. 8
    Melanie says:

    My mother died at 55 after a long gruesome fight with cancer. I wished I’d know then what her being gone would be like. I wish I could have told her then how much I miss her now – how hard it has been to marry, have four kids, lose my brother to suicide and now survive a divorce – without here strength – her smile – her encouragement. I wish she hadn’t been so wonderful and important that God needed her to help the masses of his children – and not just me. I wish I could know that what I am doing is right – I miss her reference and her wisdom about life. I pray daily I am able to be for my children what she was for me – that I am succeeding in teaching them about my mentor and my hero – my mother they’ve never met.

  6. 9

    Love you like crazy Lisa-Jo. I don’t think anyone or anything can take the place of a loved mother. But good friends can do a good job of kicking some of the sorrow out of the back door! Sending Hugs your way.

    And to you sweet women who are now motherless daughters…big hugs to you as well!

  7. 10

    Very beautiful post! My own mother is still living here on Earth but has chosen to not be a part of our(mine and my siblings) lives. I can’t even tell you how many times I think about that especially when Mother’s Day rolls around.

    • 11
      Andria says:

      Thank you Holly for speaking out for those of us who have experienced a different kind of loss with our mothers, a loss that is equally painful and unfortunate, especially on Mother’s Day. My mom hasn’t been in my life for along time, although she lives just three hours north, she has nothing to do with me or my children. It’s agonizing. Not many people understand that kind of grief or loss. I’m comforted knowing that theres others out there like me.

      • 12
        Handsfull says:

        I’m another one – haven’t seen either of my parents in about 4yrs, and it’s been over 14yrs since I saw 3 of my brothers. I left the cult I was brought up in, and my family stayed… so we live this peculiar parallel existence. It’s been a hard month of missing having a family, and realising how much I’ve missed out on by not knowing what it’s like to be part of a family as an adult. And for all those people who say that friends are the family you chose… well, from my experience… friends are great, but NOTHING can replace family.

  8. 13
    Rebecca says:

    I lost my Mother when I was 15. It’s been 23 years since she passed and Mother’s Day, Birthdays, Holidays….it’s all still hard. She didn’t get to see me graduate high school, help plan my wedding or meet any of her grandchildren. I miss the sound of her voice and the touch of hands the most. And her chocolate chip cookies. No one could make them like her. :)

    Thank you for this beautiful post, Lisa-Jo! You are a blessing!

  9. 14

    My mom died about 6 years ago… 2 weeks after my wedding. I’m so thankful she was at my wedding, and that we saw her again before we left for our honeymoon. I cry sometimes thinking about how I want her around, but then I’m thankful because I know she is no longer suffering, but is in heaven. I will ask God to tell her how much I miss her and how much I love her. My Peanut hears about how he has 3 grandmas… one which he will get to meet in heaven, but she is watching and loving him even now (he is only a year old).

    Thanks for the thoughts, Lisa-Jo. Its always good to get to share a bit of my own story and to hear bits of other folk’s stories.

  10. 15

    My mom left when I was 7… I never had her growing up… I almost gasped when you put the verse Romans 8:26 in your post… that’s my “birth scripture” My birthday is 8/26. I keep it near my computer and read it often.
    God has used you to speak to my heart, and my soul this morning. I thank you… I needed this!

  11. 16

    She’s been gone for a year and four months today and I haven’t talked to her in a year four months and two days. I wish I could call her…each and every day I wish it. There is so much of my life sue has missed while she never missed a moment for thirty years before this last year and four months. We have moved…twice. I had a baby…my Titus Keith…after her Daddy. I long for her to meet him and for him to know her. My big boy is so much joy I want to share with her. He barely remembers his sweet grandma. In this short year plus I have become someone new…a pastor’s wife, mommy of two, grown-up baby sister, a grieving person coping with my pain and looking for joy in every moment she is gone. Most days I can deal with meeting her again in eternity and picturing her there, holding my GiLana, worrieless, completely whole and finding an end to her endless search for perfect love…..but today I long for heaven. I am thankful that the passing of some days brings me one day closer. I am thankful that taught me to be a MOMMY and i wish i could share this amazing journey of my mommy-hood with her.

  12. 17

    Thank you for writing about this. Unless you personally have gone through this you will never understand how bittersweet Mother’s Day is to the motherless. Its comforting to know others grieve that special day of the year. This is my first Mothers day holding a little one of my own so Im excited to celebrate it with joy this year…. Still though I wish she was here so she could see my beautiful daughter. I miss seeing her smile, hearing her wisdom, there are so many questions I long to ask but mostly I would love for her to meet the man of my dreams; my husband. The godly man she prayed for all those years. I would love for her to meet my beautiful daughter, to cuddle her close and to see her rejoice in the loving and godly legacy she began. I love you Mom!

  13. 18

    My mother died 2 1/2 years ago. She passed 3 days following my oldest daughter’s 3rd birthday and my 2nd child was 6 months old! I wish I could call her everyday like I use to. I miss asking her parenting advice and laughing about the silly things my daughters did. I went through my 3rd pregnancy without her….having her 1st grandson. He looks just the way her and I use to imagine he would. I’ve been told it gets easier with time…I don’t think it’s easier but life just moves on and you have to continue on too. I wish she was here, pain free, enjoying life they way I always thought it would be.

  14. 19

    My heart goes out to Holly and Angel especially. My mother is living, too – and she never physically left – but something got twisted in her heart a long time ago that resulted in her becoming a toxic person who cannot be trusted. Our relationship is so very painful, as I’ve wanted a mother I can run to, but she has violated that trust again and again, not only towards me but many others as well. Her manipulations are such that it’s like she injects those around her with poison, and then caresses them and tries to convince them of her love. Once I finished college, I had to move halfway across the country and start with a completely new community in order to feel safe.

    I will still send her a small gift for Mother’s Day. She did raise me, and in many ways she did a great job. But I have an aching void for the mother I’ve needed, and I dread every phone call we have, hoping that this time, my heart won’t get stomped on and kicked back at me.

    • 20
      Andria says:

      THANK YOU! This is my story exactly! Thank you for sharing because it offers me so much comfort knowing that other daughters out there have had to make the most amazingly difficult choice of walking away from a mother who was toxic and in many ways emotionally dangerous to anyone and everyone that she has contact with. I know how you feel about wanting a mother to run to, someone to ask “what should I do with my kids? what worked for you? how long with this last?” Someone to cry on when those days are long and hard, someone to pat my shoulder and say “you’re doing a great job, sweetie,” or “it gets easier, hang in there.” As badly as she has hurt me, and so many others, she’s still my mom, the only one I have, and though she’s three hours north, she’s been dead to me for almost four years, and without any contact or communication at all. My six year old asks about her, and my two year old has never even met her. But life continues. Life goes on. And I desire for my kids that which I never had: a home filled with faith, love, trust and hope. I pray that for all of us mommies without mothers.

  15. 21

    This left me in tears this morning. Some days I can’t figure out what’s wrong until I realize that what I’m missing is her. My mom died after a quick 4 month bout with cancer, when I was 22. I truly believed God would heal her, but He did not. The last 5 years have been a journey of grieving the loss of my best friend, and re-learning who my God is. I miss her, so much. She was the very best mom, and it breaks my heart that she isn’t here to help me raise my firstborn, my daughter. I am so grateful for the time I had with her, so grateful that her example was the best kind of mommy-training there ever was. I just wish she was here to see me raise my little girl the way she raised me.

    And now you’ve got me crying again. But she was worth tears.

    • 22

      Kayse – One thing we have to keep in mind, is that God DID heal her mother – He gave her eternal healing and perfection. It doesn’t make it any easier, believe me I understand, but sometimes He answers our prayers in unexpected ways.

  16. 23

    Dear Lisa- Jo, Your post touched my heart and brought tears to my eye. I have been a motherless daughter for almost six years now and I still miss my mom as if it was just yesterday that she died. I miss hearing her pray, I miss her kisses, I miss her hugs, I miss the way her eyes lit up whenever she saw me, I miss having her to share those things I hold closest to my heart with… the list can go on but I’ll stop here. Thank you for sharing from your heart and I’ll keep you in my prayers this Mother’s Day also.

  17. 24

    This will be my first Mother’s Day without my mom who died of brain cancer on the first Sunday in Advent. She was a practical jokester and the fastest typist in the world. I’m sure of it. I miss the silly email cards she used to send to me, and I wish I’d spent more time with her as an adult. I treasure the five weeks I lived with her in the hospice house.

    I linked this post to Ann Voskamp’s The One Thousand Moms Project.


    On Mother’s Day, my heart also aches for those with empty arms–those who’ve lost children and those unable to conceive. I’ve been there, too.

    And Lisa-Jo, can I just say how beautiful and precious you are?

  18. 25

    Thanks Lisa-Jo for reminding me of all of those women around me that don’t have a Mom. My Mom had a heart attack last week and it was the first time in my life that I faced the fact that my Mom will not always be here with me. She survived, but it reminded me of the fragile life that we have here on earth. Thank God for eternal life in heaven.

    I am praying for all of those motherless women this weekend…

  19. 26

    This is so heartbreakingly sweet, Lisa-Jo…Today I’m praying for all of you who are missing your moms. ((Hugs!!))

  20. 27

    My mom died in 1997, very quickly and suddenly from an allergic reaction. I am grateful that the last thing I told her was “I love you” but I wish I had said is more often. I miss her advice, her singing and just having her around. While she did get to meet my son, he was the only grandchild she did see. She died before any of her children got married and we miss her so much. I was 26 when she died, but missed so many times of learning from her before that just because I as stubborn and “knew it all”. If I only knew then how much I still needed to learn from her. Miss you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

  21. 28

    You have made beauty from ashes….and that’s the best kind of beauty.

  22. 29

    Lisa-Jo, What strange connections we make. You are a motherless daughter and I am a daughterless mother. The absolute worst Mother’s Day of my life was the first after my daughter and her unborn child were killed. I’m guessing the empty feeling is near the same. A huge void that can never be filled – at least not in this lifetime. I’ve often wondered if the person who took her life realized how much wreckage he left in the lives of others. Two more motherless children were created in that same moment – her young son and her daughter. There are those who say that time heals. For me, it simply softens at the edges. I don’t really like Mother’s Day anymore. I turn my head at those Hallmark commercials. I’d rather pretend the day doesn’t exist. Yet, I have these two young souls who barely remember their mama to tend to – and that means sharing their pain … and my own. Thanks for being so open this. It touched me and painted a clearer picture of all they are going through with their own loss. It is so much like my own.

    • 30
      Handsfull says:

      Oh deni… I’m so very, very sorry for yours and your grandchildren’s loss. I won’t say that I understand your pain, but I hope that my tears on reading your story are a few that you won’ t have to cry. I’ll be thinking of you and yours as you make your way through the minefield that Mother’s Day can be!

  23. 31

    I plan to share this post with my sister in law who lost her mom only a few months ago… I know this Mother’s Day will be so tough. Thank you for your encouraging words and for your prayers too.

  24. 32

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post. My mom died from breast cancer 11 years ago when I was 22. She loved children (I am the oldest of 7) but she never lived to meet any of her grand children. I am expecting my 4th child and this past week two of my younger sisters graduated from college, my youngest sibling (who was 3 when she died) graduates from 8th grade in a couple weeks. All milestones we are walking without her. I am thankful for the many ways she poured her life into me and in many ways made me the mother I am today. I see my mother’s influence on my life on an almost daily basis.

  25. 33

    Thank you for such a beautiful post! My mom died my senior year in high school, 20 years ago. The hardest thing for me has been all the celebrations she’s missed. She missed seeing me graduate, get married, have my children, etc. Those are the times I feel a little melancholy. Also, when I hear my friends grumble about their mom, I gently remind them to be grateful and cherish the time they have. :). I pray that my children will not have to deal with losing me prematurely. I want to be around to see great grandchildren!!! To God be the glory!

    • 34

      I just graduated from College. My mom has been gone for 21 years. On the Anniversary this year I was given news I could graduate. I knew she was looking down on me but this celebration was the hardest because this was huge and I did share it with her but not phsically so I understand the missing the celebrations.

  26. 35

    Praying for you and all the others who no longer have their mums in their lives.

  27. 36
    Rachelle says:

    I lost my mom when she was 44 after a 5 year battle with breast cancer. She died when I was 21, but at 16, because she was ill, I became the ‘mom’ in many ways.
    I miss that she will not be here when my son graduates high school next week. I miss that she doesn’t know my precious daughters and younger son. I miss silly dancing with her in the kitchen, her homemade rolls and the prayers she so faithfully prayed over my life.
    I wish she knew that my faith is strong because of her example and that I am a good mama with children in whom I am abundantly blessed because I had a mother who was love. I wish she knew that my dad is happy now and has a sweet wife that could be her best friend.
    I don’t wish for anything different, I see the sovereignty. Even after 16 years my heart breaks at the missing. Oh Heaven, how I long for you.

  28. 37

    Praying the gap for you this morning, beautiful daughter of the King and of a mother who loved you dearly. Thankful for YOU in this world, for the ways you mother and teach and learn. Praying for the motherless daughters who’ve commented and those who’ve not…for pain and healing and tears in-between.

  29. 38

    My mother passed away 6 years this Oct. I miss her terribly as I am sure you miss your mom. It is hard to celebrate a day that reminds you of the hurts…however, I get to be celebrated by hubby and children. So it is bittersweet. I wrote a semi-tribute to my mom that I linked up to Mama Kat’s weekly Thurs. writing prompts if you care to read it: http://dkarambling.blogspot.com/2012/05/mothers-day-dream.html

    The pain is less intense, but it will always be hard. Thank you for your transparency and truth…the world needs to hear it.

  30. 39
    Patricia says:

    What a beautiful post ~ MOTHERS, they really are everything. I lost my mom coming up to 10yrs this July…My life changed in that moment…I was blessed to have my mom around growing up, was present at my wedding, and each of her other 4 children’s weddings. Witnessed the birth of each and everyone of her grandchildren.including the birth of my 3. She loved us all sooo much and showed us each and every time she was with us….I could go on and on. I only hope I can create a similar legacy with my children and grandchildren (no grandchildren yet)….

    Thank you Lisa-Jo for reminding how important the love of a mother is….

  31. 40

    Thank you Lisa-Jo

    My Mom died 21 years ago, I was 27. She never knew my husband or my two beautiful children. My memories of my mom are so precious to me. I have told my children all about her & my 11 year old daughter feels like she truly knew her. Today I am home sick with a sinus infection & a sprained knee & all I want is my mommy. Thank you for writing this & for the cathartic cry I’m now having.


  32. 41

    Beautiful tribute! My mom also died when I was 18. She’s been gone almost 21 years now. I have so many amazing memories of her. I was extremely shy growing up and she was my best friend. We did everything together. And, we were both Scrabble addicts! One thing I miss is her laugh. It was beautiful. Happy Mother’s Day to you, Lisa-Jo!

  33. 42
    Snackmeister says:

    My mother died six years ago, when I was 39, too soon after a painful and heartbreaking illness. She had emotional problems and I learned early on not to trust or rely on her at all, but I did always know that I was loved. She told me so all of the time. I do miss her and I wish I had (then and now) someone to care for me as a mother does.

  34. 43

    Crying over these comments; praying for each of you today. And wrapping that Zoe Grace girl of mine so tight tight. Zoe {life} and Grace are what Christ pours back into us when we think we’re all run dry. He loves us, oh how He loves us and mothers us.

    So much love to you all

  35. 44
    Deborah says:

    So nice to know that I’m not alone. My mom died 21 years ago, when I was 16. I miss her giggle and her hugs. She always said that the more hugs you receive, the better your day goes. So true. I’m going to go hug my kids now!

  36. 45

    Lisa-Jo, thank you for reminding us that we are not alone, my mom went home to be with Jesus two years ago…I miss her so, my daughter just gave birth to our first grandchild, it would have been her first great-grandchild…just wish she was here to hold him and kiss him…I wrote a blog post about my mom here…

  37. 46

    First let me say my heart goes out to all of you who have lost your mother. I’m hoping you might be able to help me. A dear friend of mine passed away this past August after a well fought battle against cancer. She has two beautiful daughters who will be celebrating their first mothers day without their mom. Elementary school age. Any suggestions on how I could mark the occasion for them, something thoughtful to do?

    • 47
      Amanda says:

      This will be my 3rd Motherless Mother’s day. I am 32 and, so far, have always felt the need to do something on or around Mother’s day that makes me feel close to her. I make a meal that she loved, talk about her with family and friends, plant flowers that I know she would have loved. I think anything you can do to remind the girls that their mother loved them and that she will always be part of them is important. Good luck!

  38. 48

    I lost my mom three years ago this month. I was 38 when she died but just starting my family. I remember sitting by her bedside mute with terror at the thought of losing her. She just kept looking at me and smiling, and I think now she was thinking of all the things I’d later wish I had said. She lost her own mother at the exact same stage in life as I was, though she was 15 years younger. She kept saying to me, “there are worse things than death,” but I couldn’t believe her. I’m beginning to understand that she was trying to tell me that it would crush my heart, but life would go on and joys would come. And they have. Another baby, dear friendships, new depths of dependence on my Heavenly Father that I wouldn’t have reached without losing my earthly rock. More often now I smile rather than cry when I think of her, though at times it’s still inconceivable to me that she’s gone. But as I read some of your stories, I remember how deeply blessed I am to have had someone who mothered my heart so safely and tenderly for 38 years, and I’m grateful. I pray for you that the unimaginable grief from your different, more painful kind of death experience would fall to the ground like seeds and bring life to those around you. From death comes life.

  39. 49
    Heather says:

    Oh, there are so many of us! Thank you Sweet Jesus for holding our hands and our hearts as we’ve grieved…. as the “special” days come… in those moments that it we miss them so much that it physically takes our breaths away! Thank you for giving us Hope and a knowledge that you hold our mom’s in the palm of your hands as they rejoice with you in their Eternal home! I wept tonight as I read each and every post…. this Mother’s Day I will share with each of you… I will pray and Celebrate Life… and I will look forward to the day that Jesus calls us home and we’ll once again be reunited with our beloved moms. I pray that God will give me the Grace to be the kind of mom that my own was… that one day my daughter will call me her Hero as I’ve always seen my mom as mine! I will thank God for each day he gives me breath so that I can have another day as a Mother! The Greatest job in the world!
    May God Bless and keep each of you in His hands and give you His Peace, Comfort, Strength and Joy this weekend and always!
    Thanks Lisa-Jo for such a wonderful post! You encourage my heart!

  40. 50

    I needed this. My mom died a year ago. Right after I got married, and right before I got pregnant. I wish she could be here to meet this amazing, beautiful gift God gave me, who looks just like her. So here I am, my first mothers day with my beautiful daughter, and my first mothers day without my beautiful mother. It makes my heart ache that I cannot go to her for all of my questions and delights. I know she is with my heavenly father, but I miss my earthly mother.

  41. 51

    It is also hard being a mother to an angel, and being able to celebrate mothers day with a child who has gone. This year being very hard as yet another missed mothers day for me with my angel, and missing out on it by a few days for a child not born yet.

  42. 52

    Thank You so much for this Lisa-Jo. My heart has found more healing today. More peace. More love. All in Christ.

  43. 53

    This is such a beautiful reminder of our hope in Christ and seeing our beloved moms again in heaven. My mom passed away 9 years ago at 50 years old and I was 26 after a very short battle with cancer. She was admitted on Christmas Eve and died on Jan 15. Three weeks was not enough time for me to process all that happened but I never once doubted He would heal her. I struggled tremendously with why God took her away from us and took her so quickly. For years I battled with frustration at God and his reasoning, leaving my family in what felt like shambles, but 9 years later, I just started grief counseling and coming to accept God’s sovereignty over all things and trusting that His ways are higher than mine. I will never know why He took her but I know one thing, her final words she mumbled were “eternal life” and I know where she is resting this Mother’s Day, in the arms of her Father. I just wish I could rest in hers.

    I cry some days for what seems like no reason and the smallest thing can set me into a spin. I miss her so much. I miss her smile, her tender voice, her selflessness and our daily phone calls. I am sad she didn’t get to see me marry or have my firstborn son, and I wish nothing more than to call her for that motherly advice that only she can give me. I love you mama…Happy Mother’s Day.

    May God’s arms wrap around each of us tightly this Mother’s Day. xx

  44. 54

    I’m going to hug my mother tight this weekend, and add you all to my prayer list.
    Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful moms. Your babies are blessed. Rosanne

  45. 55

    These posts have touched my heart. My mom passed away when I was 14. That will be 50 years ago this summer. Her memory and the influence she had in my life for such a short time have blessed me and carried me through some rough places through the years. I have a small framed picture of her with the verses from 2 Tim. 1:3-5, reminding me of her sincere faith and her brave fight with cancer, the tears she shed when she could not be the wife and Mom she wanted to be due to her illness. The Lord often encourages me with the hope of our heavenly reunion. Thank you Lisa-Jo for this tender hearted tribute to the Mothers we so miss and love. I just wanted to encourage the many women who have experienced the loss of their Mothers, that God can minister hope and healing, strength and comfort to our hearts when all on this earth seems a bit too hard….Psalm 84:5 ” Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.”
    As a side note, my Mom was born in Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) Her sister still lives there and we have been so blessed to be able to visit with her several times over these years..she has shared that it has been a blessing for her as well. God weaves the beautiful, colorful threads of His grace, mercy and joy, with the darker threads of the sorrow He carries us through.

  46. 56

    My mom died in 2001 at the age of 62 from pancreatic cancer (let me just say here that cancer is one of the things I hate the most). My boys were 14 and 11 – at least they remember her. My sister’s kids were 7, 4, 3 and not yet born. When I see my youngest niece, I am sometimes overwhelmed by how much my mom would have loved her.

    This weekend, my youngest gradutates from college. My mom got to see one grandchild graduate from 8th grade. She didn’t see any of them learn to drive, go to prom, graduate from high school, graduate from college, get a job, have a boyfriend or girlfriend, get married, have a baby. It stinks, and I hate it.

    All this being said, I know she is in heaven. I know her pain is now not even a memory. I know she is gloriously and blissfully happy, and I know that one day all of us will see her again. But until then? It’s sad, and I miss her. Thanks for allowing all of us to do some grieving her on your blog.

    To all those who commented before me, and will comment after me – I ‘ll be saying a prayer for all of us on Mothers Day that we remember the beautiful things about our mothers, and a prayer of thanks for our moms that we had them the time that we did.

  47. 57

    Here I am, 64 years old, and I’m missing my Mom more than ever! She died when I was 8, and over the years, I’ve missed her being there, what she would have said, advice she would have given, her approvals, her cheering me on. At first, I was not able to identify that empty place in my heart, as I had gotten “used to” her not being there. But as I got older, I felt that lump in my throat rise as I saw others hug their Moms, etc. I’m so glad I stopped by here today and read the 52 responses above mine. It lets me know that my feelings are “normal” — if that can be. I have learned that the Lord can fill those places in our lives, those empty arms, as we reach out to those who need us so badly. There is a whole world of gals who need mentoring, spiritual moms who can put an arm around them and walk them through this rough world. Thank you so much for sharing your heart here. It was a blessing to read!

  48. 58

    I mentor a motherless young woman and I tremble at the responsibility. That empty space is a huge hole. I try not to fill the hole but at least ease the ache. I’m never sure how to handle mother’s day with her. I know she’s missing her mom and I don’t want to insinuate myself but I hate for her to be lonely. Thank you for the reminder that the ache never goes away and should be honored.

  49. 59

    ok. not cleaning my room. crying. i put off reading this yesterday, knowing it would be emotional for me. i’ve cried all week. it’s a normal pre-mother’s day ritual, and will last till july (after her summer solstice birthday).
    my mom died a week before i turned 13. she had surgery for lung cancer in the spring, came home to continue smoking all that summer – and we fought- hard – arguments between the ill mom who knew she was dying and the pre-teen daughter that didn’t get it, and the self-absorbed dad that wouldn’t open up enough to be honest with either of us. with any one.
    i came home from school one october day to find my house full of strangers and old friends and neighbors offering condolences. my dad didn’t even have a thought to pick my sister and i up from school. to tell us in private. to let us grieve.
    i was so angry for so long at everyone that it didn’t matter. and it wasn’t until i was in a dressing room trying on a wedding gown that i wished my mom was there. then i noticed that “Honey” was playing on the intercom. that bobby goldsboro song of his sweet girl who died too young. and i bawled. it was one of the few songs that moved me to tears over my mom not being there.
    i missed her the whole season of my wedding, each time i had a baby, then when my girls married and had their own babies.
    i hate that my kids don’t know her. that i didn’t get to have an example of what a grandma was supposed to be like. that she didn’t assure me that i was a good mom.
    but i trust God that His timing was perfect. that she couldn’t be there so HE COULD be there, because it was THAT loneliness that drew me to Him. To His Love.
    and He’s been there with me those days….even (like now) when the tears spill…

  50. 60

    blogged on this b/c it got too long…

  51. 61

    I miss the keeper of my history. I miss the soft shoulder to cry on. I miss the person who will teach my kids not to swear…. unless it’s the only word that works.

    I miss her advice, her consolation, and all the ways she used to help me make sense of the world. It’s been almost 7 years for me. And there are parts of me that are still unmoored and adrift. I know that God fills in the gap and draws near to me in those places, and I am so grateful to Him in that.

    But sometimes I still just miss her.

    Thank you for this, Lisa-Jo. Thank you for getting it and for speaking it out loud. Thank you for giving me the space to feel it and recognize it.

  52. 62

    Lisa-Jo, I don’t think I realized that your mother passed away on your birthday, too. I had mine 20 years longer than you did. She was here for the births of all but my last child. It’s been 8 years now, but it’s still hard. I’ve bought gifts for my mother-in-law, grandmother-in-law (all of mine are gone, too), and step-mom, but nothing replaces a mother. Love you, friend.

  53. 63

    I had started a thank you project for my Mom. It was to be a joint project with my sisters. For Mothers day, or her birthday in Feb. She was killed in January and I never got to share with her those revelations of my gratitude. There was so much there that I was afraid I had never said thank you for. But God is good. Going through some of her things time after time I would come across a letter from me to her, letters I do not remember writing, that said thanks for one of the most important things on my thanks list. And then it happened over and over. Notes from me tucked in her bible, in her journal, in the notebook in her car – these things she treasured. And by treasuring me which came naturally for her – God communicated his love for me, comforted me in my sorrow and showed me that he would always be going before me. I miss her but am so grateful for the knowledge that she loved me that helps to carry me through.

  54. 64

    lisa-jo…someone gave me a book years ago called Motherless Daughters. it was the first time i heard the term and reading it made me realize that i wasn’t alone and that it was ok, even years after my mom died, to still miss her and to still wish she was a part of my life. when i saw the title of your post, i KNEW i would love it. somehow, those of us who have lived through the death of our moms have an immediate bond and a kinship that cannot be explained. it’s just that we know-without saying a word-that our hearts have that same piece missing from it. my mom died when i was 6, and though a lifetime has passed since that time, not a day goes by that i don’t think about her loss and influence in my life. i wrote a blog post last year about it: http://www.thegiftofmondays.com/2011/05/my-mom-died-today.html and i read it every now and then to remind me of the way God used even one of the most painful parts of my life and turned it into a blessing. happy mother’s day girl, from one motherless daughter to another.

  55. 65

    Forty-one years now…41 years of living without my mama….my Mum, as I called her back then. Your piece touched my heart…brought tears and that ache that NOTHING can stop when it happens. And nothing should try to stop it. This I have learned. So thank you, once again, for putting your hands onto the keyboard and reaching through the ethernet to touch that soft-spot in my heart…all these years later…What I know NOW is that we will never “heal” from the loss of our mothers. We simply continue to live and we learn to live with the loss….which is enough.

  56. 66
    Renatta says:

    I don’t know how I came across this blog today, but thank you! Thank you for your words that speak truth to a heart that has only now begun to heal. My momma passed away three days before my 18th birthday in 1999. This year I turned 31 and she’s been gone for 13 years. For a long time I didn’t ever think of my birthday as such, but only as how long she’s been gone. Your words speak such a deep truth that only some can understand. This mother’s day was especially hard because it was the first one in which I actually allowed myself to acknowledge that I did have a momma. And that she made my world brighter and now God is certainly filling this void. Thank you to all who’ve commented and to you, Lisa-Jo, for your words.

  57. 67

    Thank you Lisa-Jo,
    My mother passed away 22 years ago this Easter; I was 19. This Easter I spent at the funeral for a very dear friend’s mother; she is 35. Paula, her mother, I met only a handful of times but she saw my heart and my sadness. Paula’s passing was particularly hard, hard to loose a woman who called me her adopted daughter and had to know that my friend would have to live without her mommy. She called her mommy at times, even in her 30s. This mother day, the sermon at church included the sadness that is felt with the loss of a mother, especially the loss of a praying mother. It hit me so hard, I wanted to call my friend with my sorrow but hesitated because her sorrow is so raw. I called her, she was glad. We cried together… her mother gone a month, mine gone decades.

    Thank you Lisa-Jo for reaching out with your sorrow.

  58. 68

    I finally read your email today. May 1st was my father’s birthday, the first he is not here for, he passed at Christmas. My mother was gone 23 years on the 4th – I was almost 14 when she passed. My birthday is tomorrow so along with Mother’s Day, May, especially this one, has turned out to be sad no matter how much I try to look at the positive and be grateful that I am sure in many ways I had more than other people… but your post was lovely, brought tears to my eyes… how blessed we are to know we are not ever alone and have so many that walk this path of life with us. Thank you for your lovely words. Hugs to you and all, Liz

  59. 69

    I came across this post today…. I lost my mother 10 years ago, suddenly, from coronary heart disease when I was just shy of my 28th birthday. Ironically, I found out on Mother’s Day this year that I am pregnant with my first child. A gift, I believe, from heaven, to learn on Mother’s Day. ;-) As I struggle with so many emotions over wanting to share this experience with her (especially since she lost her own mother when she was 4), I read you r post and all the messages with tears I have held back. Thank you for sharing this, and for remembering those of us who know only too well the void that is left when we lose our Mothers. I needed to read this today.

  60. 70

    Thank you for this post. My mom passed away when I was 13. I do not know what it would be like to have her here. My singleness until 33… my husband and wedding, my 3 beautiful kids… My children only know one grandmother… special but not my mom. Lots of missed things. God has filled the void in ways over time with other people’s mothers… but not my mom. Thank you.

  61. 71

    I lost my mom three years ago on May 3rd. I had 34 years of life with her. Like your mom, she made me feel loved, special, cherished, valued. Ultimately, my Heavenly Father defines my self-worth and the inmost part of who I am, but my mother was His hand here on earth. Grief has been a long, winding road filled with many ups and downs. Somedays I watch my children (her beloved grandchildren) and laugh at something they do or say knowing my mom would have laughed too. Other days, my heart nearly splits in two and the tears flow freely because I see this full and wonderful life of mine and know that she is missing it. Mother’s Day is hard, but I try to be the mother to my children that she was to me, and in that I find comfort. Thanks for this post. My friend shared it on Facebook, and I’m so glad I found it. :)

  62. 72

    I lost my mom two days after i found out i was pregnant with my daughter. She was in a coma before i could tell her. The things i miss most is cooking with her and being able to pick up the phone and just talk to her. Every day i think about how she never got to meet my daughter and how much my daughter looks like her. It is tough being a mom without having someone to just pick up the phone and call to ask questions.


  1. […] those who are missing their moms so much, please visit The Gypsy Mama for words that will touch you right where you […]

  2. […] Changed the Way I MotherA beautiful post for those of you who might struggle with Mother’s Day::: Mother’s Day For The Motherless DaughterAs someone who is only about 4 months away from having a nine year old this one stopped my heart a […]

  3. […] am a motherless daughter of some 15 years.  The gypsy mama had a great post about it and was very encouraging.  Sometimes we need to take each others hand and hold each […]

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