There are millions of motherless daughters across the country. Sadly, they often go invisible. The impact that losing a mother can have on a young girl is powerful and ultimately shapes her into the person she will become.
When I was 3 years old, I lost my mother to AIDS. This was in the 80’s when the drug era was booming. She ultimately contracted the virus through the use of needles and forced me to have to say goodbye long before I was ready. Sadly, this is how her story ended, and how mine began.
As some motherless children will tell you, there is a sense of insecurity that creeps up on you after losing a mother. Feelings of under value and lack of self-worth take hold of you. Am I beautiful? Do I need make up? Who will teach me the basics? How will I learn to take care of myself?
The pain of having such an important role model ripped out of your life never really goes away. Instead it lingers quietly. It followed me around all through childhood. Unlike most of my friends, there were no ribbons in my hair. No cute matching outfits. No pretend jewelry. I didn’t dress up in my mother’s high heels. There were no scrapbooks of my drawings. When I found out I was pregnant with my first child I must admit I was terrified at the thought of being a mother. The one thought I struggled with constantly was “How can I be a mother, if I never had one?”
It was at that point in my life that I allowed this tragedy in my life to turn into a blessing
Because I did not have a mother…I Allowed God to Guide Me
I put my trust in the Lord wholeheartedly. I knew that because there was no one to show me how to be a good mother, I prayed that somehow He would show me. Even in the most basic things, like potty training my daughters I prayed. I asked God for His hands to guide my heart. I asked not to be a perfect mother, because I knew there was no way anyone could be perfect, but rather, I asked to be the kind of mother that honored Him, and brought Him glory.
Because I did not have a mother…I Imitated Godly Women
I had the wonderful opportunity to work for a Christian family when I was in my teens. The mother of this family had 5 children and was in need of a babysitter to help her while she home schooled. I watched her as she spoke to her children. There was a firmness in her voice, but also a sweetness. I watched her as she did activities with them, held family traditions, and family dinners. Because I did not have a mother, there were many different parenting styles I observed, and somehow they had great impressions on my life. Years later, I now find myself imitating a lot of what I saw this godly woman do with her children.
Because I did not have a mother…I Taught Myself to Cook
The basic things girls pick up from their mothers were absent to me. So I made it a point to learn from others. I kept a small notebook (and have it still) of all the recipes I learned from the older women in my church. I practiced these after I got married, and honestly burned a lot of meals. However, I did not allow that to deter me from learning how to cook. I asked my neighbors if they would teach me recipes when something they cooked turned out good. I also searched the internet constantly looking for things to make, and I can’t help but smile when I think of how far I have come.
Because I did not have a mother…I Value Myself
Because I know that pain, I value my own life. I take care of myself and hope every day to be there in the life of my children. Because I never want them to feel what I felt, I make every effort to be there for them. I realize my life is not my own. That I am indeed loved and needed by three little people, and want to be there for them for as long as God will allow it.
Because I did not have a mother…I Love Deeply on My Children
I give hugs throughout the day. I kiss round cheeks several hundred times. I embrace them every chance I get. See, a motherless daughter knows what it’s like to not feel the arms of her mother around her, yet my children will never know that feeling.
To you who are a motherless child, perhaps your mother was not there for all the important moments in your life. Maybe she missed your first steps, your graduation, or your first date. Maybe she didn’t get to see how beautiful you looked walking down the aisle, or hold your hand as you labored with your children. However, do not allow this to hurt you any longer. Instead, allow yourself to rise. Be there for your children. Love on them, encourage them and continue to support them. May they never feel the hurt, but remember always the beauty and grace in which you carried them in the ways of the Lord.
About the Author: Elizabeth Coreas is a 31-year-old writer who lives with her husband in Athens, GA. She enjoys writing about Latino issues and bringing awareness to the many struggles Latinos face. She has a degree in English Literature with a Cognate in Creative writing. To read more of her work, or to hire her for freelance writing projects, visit her blog.