Thursday, July 29, 2010


This is a picture of my mom at some unknown age. It's not the best picture but I like it. We never had animals growing up, and so I had never seen her with a cat until I found this picture.

Today is the twenty-first anniversary of my mom's death. It feels so weird to say that number. I still remember when it had been just a few months and I couldn't talk about it without crying. There was another girl on my soccer team--she told me her mom had died two years before. I still remember her telling me that, as she kicked the ball hard into paint chipped wall at school.

I couldn't imagine being in her place. I couldn't imagine two years from then. Now it has been twenty-one years.

I used to think a lot about forgetting. I used to feel bad that whole weeks would go by without thinking about her. But I don't worry about that anymore. I am just grateful for the nurturing she gave me for eleven years: for the the knowledge I have that I am a child of God; for my domestic kitchen goddess skills, which surely came down through her genes; for her openness to alternative healing; and for all the things I do remember.

I remember once she threw a temper tantrum when all four of us kids were being impossible. I don't remember what we did, but it probably involved sweat, dirt, (maybe blood) an electronic that was once in one piece and some wailing and shouting. We were out in the back yard with the dirt hill rising behind us, and she just started jumping up and down and literally throwing a tantrum. Whatever she was ranting probably had something to do with how we should just behave. We all stopped and stared at her in shock and awe. I am grateful for that memory too.

I used to have a lot of fear about dying young. Now I spend that energy thinking about how to be healthy.

It was becoming a mother that really shifted things for me in terms of accepting and feeling at peace with not having a mother. It's weird, this anniversary is sometimes very sad, but today I just feel so much joy at being a mother.

This morning in the car, my daughter asked me, "You didn't have a lot of traffic?"

I wasn't sure what she was talking about, but since it was 7 a.m. there was no traffic in our neighborhood and I said, "Nope. No traffic."

She said, "Yay! I said a prayer for you in my bed."

And then I remembered that last night I left her with a babysitter so I could go to Speechcraft class. As I ran out the door I said I had to leave early because traffic was going to be horrible. And Phoebe must have heard me and decided to say a prayer that traffic wouldn't be so bad. I remember the traffic seemed normal (which means not good) but we got there quickly, and Patrick, my carpool buddy, even commented that it was the fastest we have ever made it to class.

I don't know why but that kind of thing makes being a mom so amazing. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to make my child's life wonderful, and it was so sweet to see she also wants that same ease and goodness for me. And I realize that my mother is also still involved in this. A few weeks ago, while in hypnosis, I felt her come and gently touch my hair and tell me to use hypnotherapy to help motherless mothers transition to motherhood. So I am figuring out what needs to be done here as I create this specialty.

I know this post is totally all over the place, but I guess what I want to say is that even though my mom died 21 years ago, we still have a relationship. Sometimes I feel lucky to get get actual visits from her, but often it is with and through my daughter that I feel her presence. And I love that.

I would love to hear from women who lost their mothers early (before 30) either to death, mental illness or abandonment. What has been most difficult about transitioning to motherhood? Most wonderful?


  1. My mother abandoned me when I was 13.
    Now, at 28 and a mother of two, I have two thoughts about her. First, how could a mother possibly do that to her children?! Second, I have fears that I am like her in more ways that I realize. And third, I am comforted by her "presence" when I do the things she used to do with me, with my own children. Things like making bread, play dough and dancing in the rain. I guess regardless of how you lose your ma, she really does live on in us. To me that is both scary and comforting. The brilliant thing is that I get to mold the kind of mother I am going to be, and my children will help be the sculptures.

  2. I'm so excited to hear more about your motherless mother hypnotherapy specialty. Beautiful post.

  3. I just found this quote and thought that it went so perfect with what you said. I thought maybe you could put it in the part in the book that is talking about Motherless mothers. I have the book so don't worry I have the title page and stuff.

    “Using her body as the primal home for her unborn child, the woman teaches us the true example of total sacrifice through the cares she takes with herself and the unborn child; her preparation in the home in joyful anticipation of its arrival; her months of discomfort and anxiety; her fulfilling daily responsibilities to her family and to others without complaint; her serenity in waiting; and her glorious expectations. It is from her own mother’s love and example that daughter receives the desire, the hope, the courage to become a mother herself.
    Although it is true that not all women are mothers each of us was born of a mother and is therefore the benefactors of a mother’s love and teaching. And while it may be the lot of some persons to be denied a mother’s love and/ore teachings following birth, all who are born into this life may know that a woman risked her life to bring hem into the is wonderful and necessary sphere called mortality.”
    -Elder Rex. D. Pinegar, “Woman As Teacher” in Woman, Deseret Book Company. Salt Lake City, Utah. 1980, pg 22

  4. Your journey is amazingly well conveyed. I enjoy reading your thoughts... even if they are "all over the place". But I totally followed your spaghetti (I hope you've read Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti!). :)

  5. Felice, Thank you for such a beautiful post. I lost my mother at 13 to Ovarian Cancer, it has now been 10 years since she died and I like you can't believe I am writing that number. Before becoming a mother I often would think about all of the things I have missed out not having a mother physically, But now that I am a mother I am able to see how much she was leaving behind as she left this earth and her children. My love is even greater for her as I now understand the pain she must have gone througb saying goodbye to us in her last days.

    I would say the hardest part about not having her around is that I can't call her about my son's milestones and it will take more effort and persistence to explain her to him. But the most wonderful part is that I know that she already knows him and he knows her and that she has spent many years with him and my future children.
    My husband and I waited over 4 years to have our first child and I would often say to people the reason was my Mom wasn't done with them yet and needed more time. While I did say it partially joking to get people to leave us alone, I do trully believe that she is enjoying everyday with her grandchildren right now.

  6. Thank you for these comments. I had not considered some of these things and I thank you. Meleah I like the thought of my mom hanging out with my future children. Something to definitely include...



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