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A Word to the Mother-Less-Daughters

By:  Donna Martin

I was 33 when I spent my first Mother’s Day as a mother-less daughter.  My younger sister was only 19.  My mother had passed away unexpectedly due to an aneurysm the summer before.  It had been almost a year since her death.  My dad, my sisters and I had made it through the first Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter without Mother.  We had made the best of the holidays trying to carry on the family traditions and cooking the delicious recipes that our mother used to make.  But I never expected the crushing blow that Mother’s Day would deal me.

As that Sunday drew near, I longed to cancel Mother’s Day forever.  It was a tradition in our small town for husbands to give their wives corsages to wear on Mother’s Day.  If your mother was alive your corsage was red, but if your mother was dead your corsage was white.  I told Mike not to get me a corsage that year.  I did not want a white corsage to remind me that I was a mother-less-daughter.  I really did not even want to go to church, but I had to play the organ so I had no choice – no one else in our small congregation could play it.  I felt like I was sitting on display in front of the church for all to see. - the mother-less daughter with no corsage.  Resentment filled my heart.  It was not fair that all of these women were enjoying the Sunday at church with their mothers; and of course the sermon was about mothers, but I had no mother.  To make it even harder was the fact that my mother and I had not been on the best of terms when she died.  I was thankful when the day was over.

Sadly to say, the next few Mother’s Days were not much better.  I dreaded the day each year.  But those feelings of resentment did not only fill my heart on Mother’s Day.  I felt cheated when I saw other young women shopping or having lunch with their mothers.  I felt sad that my daughter would never know my mother.  So many times questions came to my mind that only Mother could answer.

Finally, one year I decided that it was time to stop thinking only of myself.  After all, I was a mother and my children wanted to celebrate with me.  I realized how self-centered I had been.  How could I continue to be sad and to feel sorry for myself when God had blessed me with three precious children who wanted me to be happy and who wanted to show their love for me with their Mother’s Day surprises.

Thankfully as the years have passed so has my grief. Now I look at other women with their elderly mothers and wonder what my mother would be like today if she had lived.  I can find joy in knowing that Mother is in heaven and that there were times when we had been close.  I knew she loved me, but I also knew that if she had of been given the choice to stay on earth or go to heaven during the week that she was in a coma, she would have chosen heaven. 

I was blessed with the kindest, most loving mother-in-law.   I wish now that I had shared more of my feelings with her, that I had let her fill the empty spot that was left in my heart.  I know she would have understood.  I wish that I had been more of a comfort to my grandmother because I am sure that it was just as sad for her to endure Mother’s Day without her daughter, my mother.  I wish that I would have looked outward to see how I could have used my loss to help others instead of looking inward and nursing my resentment and sadness.  I think I would have found peace from my grief sooner had a done so.

If for some reason you are a mother-less daughter on this Mother’s Day, I pray that you will find comfort in knowing that you are not alone.  I also pray that you will find encouragement in knowing that time heals and comfort in the words of Psalm 30:5b  “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”  I also pray that you will look for ways to use the heartaches that you have experienced to help others who have entered the sisterhood of the mother-less daughters.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at


Click on the book below to order your copy of Motherless Daughters


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