Monday, January 5, 2009

Motherless in Seattle

One cold evening in December in 1968, a woman named Sharon gave birth to me. She was young and vibrant and wanted me more than anything in the world.

On November 16th, 2008, at age 65, she let go of this world while I held her hand telling her that we loved her and that she could go home whenever she was ready.

I miss her terribly.

Things weren't always easy between my mother and me. We had our share of arguments (my journal is a testament to the details). But she was my only mother and I was her only daughter. We shared a bond which our petty differences couldn't destroy. And now, without my mother, I feel raw and exposed, confused and floundering. What I wouldn't give for one more chance to forgive and forget with a hug.

Life goes on but memories have their way of flitting into my heart and mind. And every now and then, an unexpected memory or thought will bring me to my knees and fill my whole being with tears of sorrow.

Oh my children, I cry out for your loss. Grammy is no longer alive. She is no longer alive! As my 7-year-old told his younger siblings: "Grammy won't say, 'oh, is that dollar from the tooth fairy' when we loose a tooth." No, Grammy won't ever do that ever again. Never. To my three-year-old: will you even be able to remember your Grammy's warm breath against your golden-red hair?

Being motherless. To be motherless means to be put into a new category. One of daughters without mothers. As if everyone else who has lost a mother can understand you without speaking a word, can read your mind by seeing into your heart. So, this is what it is like to be on the other side. I often wondered what it would feel like to be motherless and now that I am here I find it is just as difficult as before, only different. The subtleties are all slightly warped so that viewing anything is slightly blurred.

Without a mother, it is hard to find purpose in life. What is the point? As I watched my mother's eyes close for the last time and her breathing slowly decline, I asked myself why. Why do we get out of bed each day and struggle to survive?

All I know is that when my time comes, I want a loved one beside me holding my hand telling me that it is ok to go home, that they are going to be ok without me, that my job here is done and that I can let go. I want them to tell me that what I did in my life wasn't a waste and that my love for them meant something, that it changed them for the better. That is all I really want in life. What more could I even hope for?

My dear, dear mother. I miss you, I love you, I will never forget you.


Sarah Mueller said...


I'm so so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. My heart is full of tears for you and your family. May you find peace and feel the love your mother had for you.

christina said...

I'm so sorry to hear this sad news, Corey. My thoughts are with all of you.

kate said...

My deepest sympathies, as well. What a hard, hard thing. I'm wishing you and your family strength in the difficult monets ahead.

Lilian said...

Oh dear, I already knew about it, but I had not read this post. I cannot imagine how this must feel! I'm sorry and I'm thinking about you.

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Selina said...

Hey! I just recognized your blog and I think it’s really interesintg what you write! I hope you don’t mind that I added you to my reading list on my blog. I’m a German exchange student in Memphis and write about the cultural differences between America and Germany. I think the readers of my blog could be also interested in your topic. It’d be cool if you have a chance to link to my blog on your site, too. (
Have a good week and a happy holiday!

marty said...

My sympathies on your loss. This article really touched me. My mom passed away a while ago and sadly I did not get there in time. When I thought about my life with her, it struck me that she was the one person who always wondered and worried about how I was, what I was doing. I could always be certain of her worries for me. With her passing, I realized that I could never be sure again if I was in the thoughts and prayers of anyone! Thank you for sharing your very thoughtful and loving memories.

Susan C. H. Siu said...

I can really relate to your story. I lost my mother--my best friend in the world--in May 2008, less than two weeks before her 60th birthday. I also felt lost without her--as if nothing that I did really mattered to anyone anymore (although I knew, intellectually, that I was important to my father, my sisters, my children, and my husband, too).

Two years later, I miss her as much as ever, but I feel less lost and more confident that, just as she loved me unconditionally and taught me everything that I needed to live a full life on my own, I can love my children and teach them to live happy and fascinating lives in their own way.

Although my children will grow up without knowing their Grandma as a real, live person, they will know her through the many stories that I tell them about her life and also through the effect that she had on me and on my entire attitude toward life.