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I Am a Motherless Daughter

I am a Motherless Daughter. It’s not a title I chose, it’s not one that I desired or imagined I would face for a long time. This is a title that I share with many in my circle of sister friends. We came into this position when our mothers’ life ended sooner than expected. Some mothers were ill with cancer or some other health issue, some mother’s bodies were just plain tired and they passed away in their sleep, some mothers were victims of an accident.

Like me, some mother’s passed so quickly that it seems unreal, like a re-occurring nightmare. My mother’s last day with me, we went to church, came home for lunch and were preparing to return to church when her job called and asked her to come in to cover for a few hours due to being short staffed (she was a very dedicated nurse). I never imagined when I dropped her off at her job on my way to the store before heading back to church that that would be my last moment with her.

I am happy that we laughed and joked about how I was not going to pick her up after work since she was going to work and not church (of course I had planned to pick her up), and how I wasn’t going to pick up her favorites at the grocery store (they sat in the cupboard for months) and how tomorrow she was going to cook all the Christmas Dinner (it was Christmas Eve). We laughed and joked all the way to her job, I am happy for those final moments of laughter I had with her.

A few hours later I returned home to find she had come home already, gone to her room to get undress. I went to her room to check on her and realized she was not okay, not sleeping as it may have appeared to someone who did not know her as I did. I vividly recall yelling to my husband to call 911 and then asking for the phone as we moved her to the floor. I began chest compressions, but in my heart and mind I knew it was too late. Too late for more jokes, more laughter and that I would be preparing all of the Christmas dinners from now on (we ended up at friend’s home for Christmas dinner that year).

My mother, my friend, my joy, my inspiration for all that I am passed away on December 24, 2006 at 7:45pm from a massive heart attack. For those who knew her it left a hole that has slowly filled with the many memories and examples she gave of showing love. For me, a motherless daughter, it left me with a void that often is very empty but with faith and the assurance that God is with me through it all (Psalm 121) I have become a wife, a mother to three amazing children and friend to many from the values instilled in me by my mother.

I often pray that I can be a loving, kind and caring mother to my own children so on that day when I am called home and they become a motherless daughter and motherless sons they can know that they were cherished and loved. That their hearts will be filled with the joy of having a mother who loves them just as my mother loved me. While some may see this as a morbid thought, the reality is that we will all pass someday and we do not know the hour or the day so we must live life with joy and enthusiasm with the ones we love now by creating memories and moments that will fill you up now to fill up some of the emptiness you may feel later.


Elizabeth is a mother to Rajah (23), Ramesh (20) and Roshani (18). She and her husband have been married for almost 28 years and live in the Boston area. They have worked together for the past 20 years operating a janitorial business. They worship at the Church of Christ in Roxbury. Being a mother is one of the best jobs I have ever applied for.


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