I'll Always Love My Mama
May 12, 2013

Making it through Mother's Day, after your mother has passed on

You would think after almost 31 years, it would get easier. And it is, most days. But sometimes, the absence can weigh heavily on the heart and the brain.

I think motherless children can sniff each other out, because a lot of my friends know what I'm dealing with each year when Mother's Day rolls around. Even more curious is that at least 3 of my sister friends and I all lost our mothers when we were 11 years old. And considering that I do not believe in coincidence, I have to believe that The Creator sent us into each other's life as a source of comfort and understanding. Only someone who's been there can relate to how much you remember the ache of having your first period, your first boyfriend, college, career and (for some) marriage and the birth of a child without a mother there to advise and comfort you. Doesn't matter how long it's been, there are days when all you want is the laughter, a hug or the ability to rest your head on a knowing bosom and just exhale.

But I consider myself lucky that I see my mother's face every day in the mirror looking back at me. I have absolutely no doubt about the tribe to which I belong. The genetic traits in my family are very strong, and my mother marked me with every bit of her that she had when it comes to my physical characteristics. There are some things that I tried to imitate after she first passed away: certain strokes of her handwriting, some of her clothing style, amd her profound love of reading and teaching. But the music, the easy laughter, the fierce defense of children, and intellectual curiosity are all little pieces of Mommy that I never had to work at. They just are. They are the lingering presence of her in me, and I am very glad to recognize them as such.

On this Mother's Day, the traffic on the 23andMe website has been brisk. I have connected with several of my genetic cousins, even if we have yet to find the direct link. But it's a nice way to remember that I come not from just one mother, but generations of mothers whose survival and stories were responsible for bringing me here. And to each of them, I am deeply grateful, today and always.

Here is last week's playlist: