I have empathy for the quiet and awkward woman who carried and birthed me. It wasn’t always that way, but I understand more now. Forty weeks wasn’t enough, but it was all that we had. In losing her I learned to grieve in guilty silence the loss of something I never had. I’m an expert now.

Twenty-five years wasn’t enough either. Losing my second mom helped me find courage, the kind that comes when it’s the only thing that remains. The trajectory of my life changed when I stood in her dining room, with my swollen eyes on her empty green jacket slung over the back of a chair, and began the process of dismantling lifetimes. I still ache with missing her.

I was a daughter for such a short tIme and this day has always been one of melancholy. It’s all of those other things too—gratitude, hope, lilacs, looking ahead, and phone calls. But permit me a moment, maybe more, to honour my mothers. Long gone, always missed.

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In honour of Mother’s Day the Kindle version of my memoir, Two Hearts, is on sale for 99¢ this weekend.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. Linda. I am sorry for your losses. I had my mom 65 years. Sometimes those years were hard. We had a lot to heal. But at least I had the opportunity. I don’t take a minute of it for granted.

    On the other hand I lost my father when I was 14 months old, to be replaced by a predator three months later. I’ve grieved for my father my whole life, so I think I can understand a little of the feeling you describe. Grief seems to settle in for the long haul.

    1. Martha, I agree: grief does settle in for the long haul. That said, it’s a grace that we don’t live there. As Max Ehrmann said in Desiderata, “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”

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