“I want my mommy!” There, I said it!
I’m 47 years old, and the ache in my heart for my mom is still so raw, just like it was on the day we said goodbye 13 ½ years ago.
I was pregnant with our first born daughter, Izzy when my mom received the diagnosis of stage four metastatic breast cancer.
For many years after my mom’s death, I would avoid being in public on Mother’s Day. If someone happened to tell me happy Mother’s Day. I would say thank you, but that was NOT what I was thinking in my head. The loss for me was so big, I couldn’t see past my own grief to celebrate being a mom myself.
I would have these conversations with God, asking how He could leave me motherless when I was a young mother myself. I was so caught up in grief I couldn’t see what he had given me in return.
Slowly, over the years I have started to see the blessings he has given me in the women he has placed in my life.
When we moved to Kalamazoo just as my mom was diagnosed with cancer I met this wonderful woman and next door neighbor. Over the last 17 years, that neighbor named Leone became way more than a neighbor. She is one of my most cherished friends. I’m not sure if she would appreciate being called a motherly figure to me because she is only a few years older, but she is the one I call when I have a sick kid, I need extra help with my kids and she even stayed in my home when I had surgery. She is also Godmother to my son Max.
17 years ago we also found an amazing church family and over the years I have developed a very special relationship with Pastor Becky. She now plays the role of my spiritual mentor. She pushes me out of my comfort zone, continually prays over my family, taught me to bake bread and mentored both of my daughters.
I’m not certain where or when our relationship started, but her name is Linda. She has the biggest servant heart of anyone I know. When she called me on the phone last fall and said, “I have these hostas that need splitting, do you want them?” I thought I heard my mom’s voice as she said it. When we spend time together in her garden splitting plants I can easily go back to when my mom and I shared this same activity.
My sister has stepped in with my kiddos. Just like my mom, she has this amazing ability to purchase the perfect gift. My mom would often call me and say, “I bought ya something!” Whatever the gift was it was always perfect. I often tell my daughter Tori, she has inherited this same gift giving ability.
I have this crazy cousin Tina that lives in San Clemente, California. Tina’s dad and my mom were siblings. My mom was the baby of eight kids so I have a bunch of first cousins on my mom’s side of the family. Growing up Tina and I didn’t spend much time together. On a spring break trip to Southern California 7 years ago, Tina and I spent a considerable amount of time together. Our relationship has never been the same (but in a good way). She taught me how to make my Grandma Baugher’s sweet tea and shared family stories that I have never heard. Spending time with her is just comfortable.
It’s been 14 years since I have celebrated an earthly Mother’s Day with my mom. But in the midst of a loss, you can have an unexpected gain. It may have taken 5 women to only slightly fill the void of losing my mother but, the Lord did not leave me, he did not forsake me. If this Mother’s Day finds you with an ache in your heart, lean on your Heavenly Father who wants more for you than you could ever ask or imagine and when the time is right, accept the love, help, and support of a motherly role model.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom!