This weekend many people will overwhelm places of worship, restaurants, flower shops and stores in celebration of Mother’s Day. But, there will be a small group isolated to the reality they are motherless/parentless or can never be a mother or parent.

For years, I have helped others celebrate their special day with their Mother/Grandmothers even though I am motherless. It feels like the awkward kid at the school dance. What’s sad is no one seems to notice or care that I might feel uncomfortable.

Mother’s day has been and will remain the achilles heel for me of honored days because I don’t have a living Mother. I know I am not alone in this feeling. I am happy for others, but I have little in common with their celebration. Yes, time is the great bridge to wholeness and my grief is over, but during the journey of grief it felt like it would never end. And no matter what your age, you still miss your “Momma.”

I lost my Mother suddenly in my mid-teens. The loss was significant. It left me buried underneath an avalanche of emotional rocks. My world had collapsed around me! I felt alone with only memory upon memory piled on top of me. How would I survive? Where would I find the strength? Who will love me like Mom? Who will care? Who will encourage me? Where’s home? Is life worth living? These were questions that rattled my head night after night and they remained unanswered with tight packed grief.

I still remember the way my Mom smelled because smell has always been the keenest of my senses. Sadly, her voice becomes less recognizable in my mind because she has been gone longer than she’s been present in my life. I can still taste her cooking because she was the best cook in the south in my eyes. I remember vividly the sound of her walking down the hallway with soup, sprite and popsicles at times when I was sick. I knew if no one else cared, she did.  There are stacks of memories of unconditional love and sacrifice associated with my Mom in my heart and mind. I’ve never experienced anything like her love and probably never will. It’s an irreplaceable love. It’s like a permanent homesickness, but there’s no home to visit.

For those who find this weekend difficult and painful, realize you are not alone. The only comfort we may find is in a memory or a picture.  I encourage you and me to go do something our Mothers would have enjoyed. Celebrate her life by celebrating the life she gave you. Make big plans for you!