If my mother was alive today, she would be celebrating her 95th birthday.
But she isn't celebrating. She never made it to age 50. She never made it past 1965, for that matter.
My mother was born in the wrong era. She had a major health problem, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which had no treatment back then. On top of that, she was a heavy smoker. That helped kill her, I am convinced.
When Mom died (suddenly), weeks short of my 13th birthday, I was adrift. It was like a bomb went off in my life. And there was little support for me.
Like so many others of that era, I "sucked it up" and went on with my life.
Years later, I read an amazing book called Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman, recommended by a wise woman who worked in the same building that I did. I could swear she was in my life, this Hope Edelman, taking notes. It seems that motherless daughters have a lot in common. For the first time, I understood why I seemed to be almost obsessive about certain things. I also learned why I felt I didn't have a complete template for mothering within me.
It took me a long time to realize that a part of me was stuck at age 12. I thought I had grown up but, when I became a Mom, I discovered part of me was still stuck at age 12. I'd like to think that has changed, but it was a sometimes painful process. But now, possibly thanks in part to that same Hope Edelman, teen girls today do not have to suffer the way I did. There are support groups for girls and women like me.
So, what is the truth about motherless daughters? The truth is, all my female readers will be motherless daughters one day. Perhaps you already are. Perhaps your Mom was there when you grew up, but not really there. Each of us has had her own experience.
What else is true about motherless daughters? Well, we rock. We're strong. And we make pretty good (I hope) bloggers.
Happy 95th birthday in Heaven, Mom. If your Mom has been there for you, be there for her today if she is still on this Earth. Contact her today and tell her that you love her.