Motherless Daughters

It was in the middle of the night. I know this because it was dark outside. I looked for my mommy, but she wasn’t there. I sat up and looked around; my Dad wasn’t there either. I crawled to the edge of the bed and slid off the side. I stopped in my tracks as I walked out of the bedroom and into the hallway. From the edge of the towel closet, I could see my mommy lying on the bathroom floor. I was frozen; I could not move. I couldn’t run to her or even call out to her. It was like my whole body had lost its ability to function.

Later that night, I saw my Dad come up the stairs with some men in green uniforms. I don’t remember seeing the men put my mommy on a stretcher, but I remember her lying on the stretcher. The men in the green suits started carefully, taking my mother down the stairs. My mind is blurry from that point. But my Dad told me when I was older that before the men in green suits took my mom down the stairs, she reached out and grabbed my hand.

I wish I could remember feeling her hand touch mine, but I can’t. My mother passed away when I was three years old. I only have a few memories of her, but the most vivid one was the night she died. I have tried to remember my mother’s voice, touch, and face over the years. As I look at my mommy’s picture, I strain my thoughts to see if there is any memory in my brain of how she looked or sounded. Each time I come up empty.

Because I was so young, I didn’t understand what had happened the night she died. I have older brothers, so they filled in what happened the rest of the night. They told me our Dad came home, gathered everyone in the big bedroom, and told us our mother had passed away. I don’t remember reacting that night. I also did not react while looking down at her in her casket. Some must have told me that mommy was never coming back because I got used to her not being around. When my father told us he was marrying someone else, in my child’s mind, I thought his fiancé would be my new mother. I asked as much. She brushed me off and told me she did not know.

Not having my mother made life more challenging. I miss my mother a lot. I often wonder what kind of person I would be if she had raised me. I have so many questions, like, do I have any of her character traits, or do we do things the same way? Are we the same height? Do we wear the same dress and shoe size?

I hid my thoughts and feelings regarding my mother for years to avoid offending the woman my father married. I did ask her right after she married my Dad if she knew my mother. She sternly told me she didn’t. I got the feeling, even as a six-year-old, not to ask about my mother again. I also did not ask my father about my mother because I overheard a conversation regarding my Dad still grieving my mother. So, in my immature mind, I did not want my Dad to be sad, so I kept my questions to myself.

I am now nearing my 60s and still have questions about my mother. I still long for her presence. I still wonder what her voice sounded like or what it would be like to feel her arms around me in a warm embrace. To hear her sing and play the piano. Would she have taught me how to play piano? I know parts of her story, but I need her to fill in the rest.

There was another woman in my life, a stand-in, and although I thought she could replace my mommy in my six-year-old mind, she never could. She did not carry me in her womb, she did not bond with me in utero, and she did not birth me. It was not her voice that taught me how to talk or her hand that steadied my walk. It was not her prayers that were answered regarding me. I am one of seven and the only girl, her last baby before she took her last breath.

Although we only had three years together, and I don’t remember much, I will always cherish our time together. Mommy, I miss you, and it’s hard not having you here, but I know I will see you again. Until then, I will hold tight to the memories I have of you.

Loving You More Than Words Can Express

Your Darling Daughter

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