Monday, November 12, 2012

Motherless Mothering

I wrote this awhile back, but never posted it. For some reason, it seems appropriate and feels right to post it today.

In 2006, I became a motherless mother.  After eleven months of trying and five months after my mom’s death, I became pregnant for the first time. Thoughts of “She won’t get to meet him” or “I know what she would say,” “My baby is having a baby” became my soundtrack for those 9 months.
That same year I lost 3 other family members to cancer (one being my maternal grandmother). Crushing sorrow, disbelief and a firm, “why?” consumed my mind and heart. Then, the Lord gently guided me to Lamentations 3:19-26 (not my first choice in bible reading), “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail…” I’ll admit that a part of me wanted to be angry and not accept the truth in these verses, but those words lavished mercy and comfort to my soul. God was reaching down to my sorrow. I knew at that moment that I was not alone in my pain. The Lord was carrying me and He had plans to use this time of bereavement for His purposes.   
I know now that God’s will for me was to be pregnant after 2006.  He knew the devastation that I would feel after those losses and I believe He was protecting my son and me. I don’t think carrying a child at the time would have been wise.  He knew when He would give me a child (a son). It was a lesson in faith, trust and belief.  Believing that He was with me in my grief, holding onto faith even if I never bore a child, and trusting that He would guide me in my motherless mothering.  
I often crave the opportunity to see my mother’s reactions to my parenting and to my children’s antics.  I have inherited her humor and compassion so I daily act on those qualities. The choice to do this has not only benefited my family, but has created a path to my healing; a means of celebrating my mother. 
My utmost struggle has been and probably always will be not having her presence in the moments I want it most: seeing her joy during the births of my sons, asking her advice on parenting, watching my children graduate high school and or college and get married.
5 years and a second son later, my mother’s death still brings sadness to my heart, but the Lord has been healing me as I move forward in my grief. My children are not meant to replace my mother, yet their lives honor her. Reminding me of how much of a blessing it is to be a mom. I am a motherless mother, but I got to have my mom in my life for 32 years and that is something to be thankful for.


  1. This brought sweet tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing a piece of your broken, yet beautiful, heart. I love the idea of your boys honoring our parents just by being the wonderful little people they are. Hugs to you!

  2. What a hard thing to go through. Your mom would be so proud of how you have learned from her loss and honor her in your parenting. Do your boys have any "borrowed grandparents?" We are "borrowed grandparents" to two charming kids.


  3. Oh, Dionne,
    The loss of your mother is so big...beautiful piece. You can feel your longing.

  4. Ohhh, my dear friend. It's very sweet to see your mother's legacy live on as you celebrate her humor and compassion. In a way, it's as if she is parenting over your shoulder...
    You express your trust in God's wisdom so eloquently. Thank you for sharing these lovely thoughts.


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