My relationship with my mom can be wrapped up into a few phrases of her most famous comments that like to camp out in my head when things aren’t going well. “Well, if you weren’t such a blah, blah blah you might be half ass.” Her last words to me before she died were, “you have been annoying me and disappointing me for the last 27 years.” I shouldn’t be offended because her last words left a painful scar; they were like so many of her other words in my life.

I was 34 when she died and my rebellious mind thought, “Well, math isn’t my strong point and it obviously isn’t yours either.” My other profound thought was, at least we had 7 good years. before you give her the Wicked Witch of the West award I need to clarify – my mom did love all of us but she didn’t know how to show it or express it. For her, motherhood was not her choice but was determined by societal, religious, and family expectations. before I took the MD class, I thought that my loss started when I was 34. While taking the class, I realized I don’t remember when my mom first checked out. I don’t know if she was ever really there emotionally but she was physically present.

Mother loss has impacted and continues to impact every aspect of my life. I later realized that my goal to please my mom was pretty ridiculous because I should never set my sites on half ass. If I had to be an ass, I wanted to be an entire ass. no matter what I did, if I couldn’t be the best, I wasn’t going to do it. There was a lot I didn’t do, a lot more I shouldn’t have done, but even more I should have done. Friendships were only so deep and no deeper. They were only for a season and very few lasted. My second husband is an amazing man and we are learning to work on this thing called relationships. As a mom, I swore I wouldn’t make the same mistakes. Sometimes I accomplished that goal and sometimes I made new and improved mistakes. I realized it is easier to be a mom when you have never been a parent, than when you are parenting. I continually try to make sure my children know I love hem. I want them to strive to be the best they can be for themselves, not what they think I think they should be.

Through all of this God has been my rock even when I didn’t know Him. I grew up Catholic and for me that meant a relationship with rules, regulations, guilt, and sore knees. This would lead me on a search for who God was and it took me through a maze of toxic poison filled with a little of this, a little of that, and a lot of nothing. I finally let God find me as I was going through a divorce. I found my amazing Father who had never lost track of me, but I had been searching for Him my entire life.

When I heard about Motherless Daughters I was in a season of my life with multiple, multiple losses and changes. These were so great, I could hardly bear it because they were overwhelming. at that time I could no longer hear Jesus talk to me, the bible, that was normally 3-D when I read it, was flat and so was Jesus. I was searching for a new church that would meet my spiritual needs. I was sitting in Rivers Crossing Community Church checking out the church as an undercover Christian. I was trying to decide if this could be my church home when they introduced this thing they called the Motherless Daughter Class. I felt the Holy Spirit kick me and tell me I should do this. Because I wasn’t really listening, I thought they were talking about young girls who didn’t have a mom to love them. I decided that would be a good thing to draw me out of my pity party. One of my toughest struggles was when my 18-year old daughter (my youngest) left to join the Navy. I missed her terribly. If I had been listening to the rest of the announcement I would have run the other way and never looked back! The last thing I wanted to do was share my feelings so I could experience more rejection and pain.

I can still feel the fear and panic I felt before going into class the first few times. I forced myself out of the car, through the doors, and into the restroom to splash cold water on my face. I had to give myself strength before I could enter the room. It was in that class that I met women just like me. Women just like me who had lost their moms through death, rejection, or both. Women who were just as afraid as I was. Women who didn’t know they were beautiful. They helped glue me back together and find my laugh again. These women were the same women that I opened up to, trusted, and shared pain. I saw I wasn’t alone.

If you were to ask for Bible verses that encourage me, I would have to say that God speaks to us in different ways. Sometimes it is from experiences, other people, or that small quiet voice. Sometimes a loud “hello are you listening” voice and oftentimes it is through His word in the bible. There is not one part of the Bible that is without meaning or message at some point in my journey. When I read it, it is like I am there. I can see, smell, hear, touch, taste, and feel it. It is real. The Bible shows us the heart of God and that He chooses people who are just like you and me to do extraordinary things. I found women who either knew God or would know God. Women just like me trying to deal with the same things I was and trying to put it all together to make sense. These women encouraged me to share my faith and the bible and later send out a daily devotional called RAPTs. (random and Profound Thoughts, named by a great friend from the class.) I did not make the name up but I assure you they are random thoughts. May your mother loss journey be filled with the love and healing that only Jesus can give.