My Life Would Be Different If My Mom Would Have Lived

I try really, really hard not to think about the “what ifs” in my life, but here lately I can’t ignore the daunting question of “What would my life be like if my mom had survived her cancer battle?”

That’s a tough one, right? And heavy … that’s some heavy sh*t to live with.

It’s impossible to know what exactly would be different about my life, but I know for a fact it would be different if she were still here.

Honestly, this hasn’t been something I’ve struggled with too much in the past since my mom died in 2009. It’s only been in the last couple of years that I have called attention to the things in my life that would be different. Particularly, the things that I consider milestones — graduating college, moving away from home, jobs, my first apartment, my engagement and marriage to Justin … stuff like that.

My tipping point came a few days ago. It was a Sunday morning and I was sitting in my living room, enjoying the quiet and sipping on my first cup of coffee.

I started thinking about the home that my husband and I are in the process of buying — our first home — and all the things I want to do to it / all the things we need to do before we move in.

Being the planner that I am, I set to work making my to-do list — steam clean the carpets, steam mop the floors, bleach everything, scrub the bathrooms, paint, etc. — and I got really sad that my mom isn’t here to help do all those things.

Before you start scratching your head and wondering why I’m sad my mom isn’t here to help with the CLEANING and PAINTING of my new house, you have to understand that’s the kind of stuff my mom lived for.

She loved a clean home and she thoroughly enjoyed painting and doing projects around the house herself. She was an incredibly capable and intelligent woman when it came to home improvement, and I like to think that I inherited a little bit of her women-can-do-anything-and-do-it-better attitude (almost to a fault, my husband would say).

I know without a doubt that, if she were still here, she would have scrubbed every toilet, mopped every inch of floor (multiple times), and washed every wall and baseboard with straight bleach. And she would have done it without me asking for her help. That’s just the type of mom my mom was.

My Life Would Be Different If My Mom Would Have Lived

There are things that, honestly, only your mom can do for you no matter how old you get.

When my best friend and her husband bought a new home last year, we helped them move in. While lugging boxes through the house, I realized at one point my bestie’s mom was nowhere to be found. So, I went to check on her and found her in the master bedroom, making the bed so Casey and Tyler would have a comfy place to sleep that night as soon as everyone left.

It was such a small thing, but that’s the kind of stuff only a mom thinks about, and I recognize that moments like that are something I will forever be missing out on.

When you’re a motherless daughter, you notice the relationship between your friends and their moms. Not necessarily to make yourself sad — I rarely get sad seeing my friends with their mothers.

However, this time, watching all that Casey’s mom was doing for her, it made my heart ache at the absence of my own mom. I knew Justin and I would be buying a home soon, and what Casey’s mom was doing for her was exactly the kind of stuff my mom would have graciously done for us.

Do I need my mom to do these things for me? No. I am perfectly capable of doing all this myself, and I will do it myself.

It’s just that, it would be different if my mom were here.

This is one of those times where you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. After someone you love leaves this Earth and all you have left are your memories with them, you begin to notice all the things — big and small — you took for granted. And that doesn’t happen all at once. It’s something you learn as the years go by and your time without them grows longer than the time you had with them.

{Photo credit: Alisha Rudd Photography}
You might like: As a Motherless Daughter, How I Honored My Mom on My Wedding Day.

So, why am I telling you all of this? That’s simple. I pour my heart into the “Motherless Daughter” section of this blog because it’s important to me and it’s a huge part of who I am. And today, I needed to dump what was on my heart out into these words.

From the time I began this blog in 2015, it has been an outlet for me to document my struggles as a motherless daughter. Being open and honest about how I feel at various points along this journey — and grief is a journey — I have connected with women across the world who are experiencing or have experienced the same things as me. And through my writing, I have been able to help other women and young girls in the same ways other motherless daughters have helped me. It doesn’t just take a village to raise babies, it also takes a village to raise motherless daughters.

Dammit, Hali

 

SaveSave

Advertisements

40 thoughts on “My Life Would Be Different If My Mom Would Have Lived

    1. Hey Brooke! I am so sorry that you lost your mom, too. I know today has probably been a tough one. I dread the anniversary of my mom’s passing every year, and I get so agitated and angry in the days leading up to it. Hopefully you’ve been able to take some alone time today to reflect and remember your mom … That always helps me on that dreaded day. Thank you so much for reading and sharing a little of your story with me. I’ll definitely check out your blog!

      Like

    2. Hey ladies I’m so sorry about u losing ur moms, I lost mine when I was 5 so I have no memories of her, at times it’s not so bad because sometimes I feel the memories would hurt more it would be something more to miss, then at times I think that it’s unfair that she died when I was so young because sometimes I want to tell my kids a happy memory about her, so I guess my reason for this post is to say that just cherish the memories you do have of ur mom’s keep them close and alive keep her alive in ur heart by sharing those memories of her with everyone write them down when u remember them so u never forget or so they don’t have pieces missing later. It’s never a good time to lose a mom so with or without memories cherish what u do have. I know I chairs the memories my family has shared with me about her, because that’s all I have.
      Thanks for listening
      Another motherless daughter….

      Like

      1. Hi Maria! I am so very sorry to hear that you lost your mom at such a young age. Thank you for what you said about cherishing memories … sometimes we all need that little reminder. ❤ Sending much love and happiness your way!

        Like

  1. I just want to say thank you so much for taking time to pour your heart out about something that most women/girls try to push so deep down in their soul hoping to not feel the pain today or numb yourself enough to not feel what your heart and mind already know. My mom passed away when I was eight of Cancer. I tell people all the time I am not sure what is worse to not know what it is like to grow up having a mother daughter relationship or to have known what it is like and have to lose it later in life and have to continue thew life with such a void. I developed a eating disorder at the age of 18 for close to 12 years and I know part of the issue was control and I wasn’t able to control loosing my mom but I could control the addiction. I am a parent of a little girl who is 7 and she saved my life and help me want to not leave with this to be something she possibly could have control on her later in life. I say all this because we had her first big birthday party kids from school, family and kids she has grow up with came the night before I get so upset and anxious about this big day for her because as I start to think how do I throw this party where do I stand what do I do for other kids and parents only if my mom was here to help are my thoughts. Well I don’t know all the answers because I didn’t have a mother to learn from to experience big life experiences,holiday and every day mother responsibilities because I was never given that chance. I write all this saying I am learning every day on how to be a mother growing up motherless. Any resources you have to help me would be amazing
    Courtney

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Courtney! Thank you so much for reading and for sharing what’s on your heart. I am sorry to hear that you, too, lost your mom at such a young age. It sounds like you are doing an amazing job as a mom to your little girl, and you’re creating memories with her that she will treasure for the rest of her life. One of my biggest fears as my husband and I are trying to get pregnant with our first baby is how I will mother without a mother, so please know that you are not alone. That is one of the biggest lessons I have learned by sharing my journey as a motherless daughter … I am not alone. As far as resources go, writings by Hope Edelman have been a tremendous help to me. She wrote the book “Motherless Daughters” and also has one called “Motherless Mothers” (http://hopeedelman.com/books/). If you haven’t read either of those, you might be interested in them. Also, if you ever just need someone to talk to, vent to, whatever … you are more than welcome to email me and I’ll listen.

      Like

  2. I lost my Mom to ALS when I just turned 12yrs old. My father got a new woman with kids and I was sent to live with relatives within less then a years time. I was labeled difficult, moody/ I didn’t have goals or ambitions. I once wanted to be a mother and that is the only thing that at almost 51 I’m sure will never be. Would that have been different if my Mom would have lived?? No.
    My world was turned upside down and inside out, my entire foundation was pulled from under me just as I was becoming a teenager. My 1st period, 1st date, 1st time I shaved my legs … I had little kindness and next to zero support with the toughest parts of growing up. One of my grandmothers was my rock, we were very close until I was 26 when she died of a brain tumor. She didn’t even know me when she died. Would that have been different if Mom had lived?? Perhaps but would then have missed out on the relationship I had with my grandmother?
    I have a chronic illness, I can’t work anymore and barely have energy to be involved in activities outside of the home and that’s hard but would having her have changed that?? No

    I now live on a small piece of land in a decent home that is comfortable with a good man that only met at age 48, but who I wouldn’t have met if my life hadn’t gone in the direction it did so although it’s been a very rough and lonely road, if my Mom was living would it have been different?? YES but I wouldn’t be where I am today, with all my dogs and the best man I could have asked for in this wonderful place. We pay a price for happiness some of us pay more then others. We can’t go back we just keep moving forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jennifer! Thank you for sharing your story with me. I 100 percent can relate to you when you say you wouldn’t have met your fella if certain things in your earlier years hadn’t happened the way they did … even though they were extremely difficult times. I most likely would not have met my wonderfully sweet husband if my mom hadn’t passed away. After she died, my life was pointed in a different direction than it was going before, and that direction led me to a rekindled friendship with a woman I now call my sister, and it led me to my husband. I’m glad you’ve found a wonderful life that you love … I’m sending much love and happiness your way!

      Like

  3. It’s been 6 years since my mom left..it never gets easier but sure makes me stronger..me and my mom were best friends if we didn’t see each other in days I’d call her or vice versa..there are times I envy having a mother especially to be a grandmother to my 3 sons. She would have loved them so much and now after she’s gone seems to me no one else cares except for my husband and I and it bothers me… Even just the little things she used to do such as cleaning and shopping..seems like sometimes the world is a dark place without my mom ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Paula! It’s true, it never gets easier but it certainly makes us stronger. I swear, motherless daughters are some of the toughest people I have ever met. I hope you’re able to share sweet memories of your mom with your boys so they always know who she was. As my husband and I are trying to start our family, I often think about the ways I will one day talk to my children about the grandma they never got to meet. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment and share what’s on your heart … It truly means so much to me. Sending lots of love and warm thoughts your way!

      Like

  4. Hi! I’m also a motherless daughter, and the description of your mom happens to match up with mine! I’m also in a life transition, I’m about to have my first baby and so wish my mom could be there with me. Writings like this help so many women feel like they’re not just going crazy thinking about this stuff, so thank you! You’re a great writer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for your sweet words, and thank you for reading! That’s amazing that the description I gave of my mom reminds you of your mom. When I was writing this particular post I kept thinking to myself that no one would understand what I was saying about my mom and cleaning and all the little things she would be doing if she were here. But you got it! Congratulations on your first baby … this must be such an exciting time for you ❤ Sending lots of love and happiness your way.

      Like

  5. I lost my mom when I was 16 (I’m 36 now), and was just thinking about how different life would have been if she were still around to see her grandson grow into the cheeky monkey he is, among other things. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment! I hope you’re able to share memories of your mom with your son so that he knows wonderful things about his grandma … I always imagine that’s something I’ll be able to do one day soon as my husband and I start trying for our first baby. Sending much love and happiness your way ❤

      Like

  6. Thank you so much for this article and for the positive things that you have participated in to help so many motherless daughters. I am older now and have lived without, for the past 24 yrs. my mother. I went through a wedding/marriage and divorce along with the birth of my 3 lovely grandchildrens births without her and all I can say at this point is I have no mom or memories of an older mother to learn from and expect as an older woman. In my own words “I have no mom to show me how to grow older” So on a more positive note, I guess I’ll stay younger, my mom was 71 years young when she pasted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi JoAnn! Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment and share some of your story with me. I can only imagine how much you have missed your mom throughout those various transition points in your life, and I know it hasn’t been easy for you to get through those times without her. Thank you for what you said about “I have no mom to show me how to grow older.” That is something I, too, have thought about the older I get. I have very fond memories of my mom when she was in her 30s and early 40s (she passed away in her mid-40s), but as I approach 30, I wish more than anything she could be here to help guide me through this next phase of life. ❤ Sending lots of love and happiness your way.

      Like

  7. I often think of how different my life would be. My mother died when I was 12 so essentially she had missed every milestone of my life except my birth. I am 47 now and I still grieve for my mom. Some days I cry like a child. I know at this point she may have passed already, she was 53 when she died. I just don’t know even after all this time how to fully get over losing her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cathi! Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment. It means so much to me! I am very sorry to hear that you lost your mom at such a young age … I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult that must have been for you as you were just beginning to hit all those milestones in a young girl’s life. As motherless daughters, I don’t think we ever fully get over that loss, and I think we will always grieve for our moms. My mom has been gone for almost 9 years and I still cry for her. Some days are much harder than others. I hope you’re able to find some peace and comfort, and know that you’re not alone in how you feel ❤

      Like

  8. I know how you feel I loss my mom in 2016 and don’t know what to do or how to do it cause we was so close. I’m loss in the world today with out her. I would be a different person if she was here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bernette! I am so sorry to hear that you also lost your mom. I want you to know that you are not alone … there are many other motherless daughters like us out there, and I have found a lot of support among them. If anything, they provide a sense of comfort because they are the only ones who can truly relate to what you’re feeling. I hope you’ll be able to reach out and join the motherless daughters support group on Facebook, if you haven’t already. If you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here for you ❤

      Like

    1. Hi Jody! Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment — it means so much to me. I am sorry to hear that you lost your mom recently. I want you to know that if you ever need someone to talk to about your mom and your loss, I am here for you ❤

      Like

  9. This is a beautiful article. I too am a Motherless Daughter, she passed away when I was 24 she was 42, she never got to see me succeed, have a daughter of my own, or be the grandparent that I am today. I often wonder at how different things would have been had she between able to live. As I get older I wonder, what would she have looked like, would she be active? I miss her every single day, but like you I have landed to live beyond the grief and longing. Mom had been gone for over 30 years… And I still want to talk to her… Congratulations on your new home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pam! Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment and share some of your story with me. I definitely know what you mean, my mom has been gone for almost 9 years and I still want to pick up the phone and call her. I even have her phone number saved in my phone, still. I just can’t bring myself to delete it out. It’s so easy to get stuck in the what ifs and think about how things would be different, but I try so hard not to do that. Like you said, I have learned to live beyond the grief, but I still miss her every day. ❤ Sending much love and happiness your way.

      Like

  10. As always, I read your blog and find myself in your reflections. The details are different, of course, but the sentiment and ache, similar. It’s funny about the cleaning. My mom would freak out before her mom would come to visit because her mom was meticulous in cleaning and organizing the house. My mom, not so much. The house was “lived in clean”, until her mom would come to visit. My favorite memory is of my mom preparing for a visit scrubbing blackened copper bottomed kettles to their original bright color. When I started to sing “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music and got to the part about “bright copper kettles”, my mother shot me a look and told me to scram and go outside. “Do you understand? These will never be bright enough for your grandma! Go” Fast forward to my own cleaning habits and my own kids, especially my daughter, I too freak out and have had the kids tidy up and help get the house cleaned up before whomever visits. And think of her and copper kettles and sing to myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Marianne! Thank you for being a loyal reader and for taking the time to comment — it means so much to me! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about how your mom would go into a cleaning frenzy before her mom would visit. I feel honored that you have been able to find some connection between my reflections and your own story as a motherless daughter. Keep holding onto those special memories of your mom, and keep singing! ❤

      Like

  11. Hello!

    4 weeks ago on March 28th I became a motherless daughter 😢. I ache so much I can hardly stand it. I miss my mom. I cry everyday, different times during the day. I don’t think I will ever smile again 😔.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Carol! I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. I remember the weeks after my mom passed being the most difficult as my was life was turned upside down. But, I promise, it does get better and you will smile again. You just have to learn how to live past the grief, and you will eventually get there in your own time. Don’t rush yourself, though. My mom has been gone for almost nine years and I still sob sometimes — some days are just more difficult than others. If you ever need someone to talk to about your mom and what you’re going through, I’m here for you ❤.

      Like

      1. Thank you. I’m trying to go on everyday but it’s difficult. Being with friends and family helps a bit.

        Like

  12. Thank you for writing this. I often think about how my life would be different if my mom hadn’t lost her battle to cancer last year and I know it would be much better if she were still alive. Prior to my mom dying, I lived a very blessed life that I probably took for granted. My parents paid for me to go to college, I got every job I ever applied for, I never wanted for anything. I still struggle to come to grips that this is the reality of my life now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Shaylyn! Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment. I am so sorry to hear that you also lost your mom and are going through some of the same things I am. It’s really tough and emotional to be a motherless daughter, and not many people fully understand that. If you ever need someone to talk to who understands what you’re going through, I’m here ❤ Wishing you much love and happiness.

      Like

  13. Hi Brooke, this is a beautiful heartfelt and simple reality of what it’s like as a ‘motherless daughter’ I lost my mum when I was 16 and I am now 38 with two young children of my own. I still felt the gaping hole that has been left, and felt this most acutely when i got married, bought a house and had children of my own (which has been the hardest part). I often think of the different twist’s and turns my life had taken and the affect of her loss and how that has changed my life. It’s the little things and just reading your article brought me to tears from nowhere. Thank you for sharing. Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, thank you so much for reading and sharing some of your story, Lisa! I truly appreciate your sweet words. I can definitely relate to what you said about really feeling that gaping hole when you got married, bought a house, and had children. My mom has been gone for almost nine years, but the last couple of years have been some of the most emotional for me as I have planned my wedding, got married, and now (almost) bought a house. I already know that I am going to be an emotional mess when my husband and I start having children … what should be such happy times are often plagued with the unmistakable feeling that something is missing. And that something is mom. Even though it brought you to tears, I hope my article brought you some comfort in knowing you’re not alone as a motherless daughter ❤ Sending much love and happiness your way.

      Like

  14. My mom died when I was five years old (my dad too). I lived with different relatives until I moved away to college. Now I am a grown woman with adult daughters and grandchildren. Trust me; it doesn’t matter how old you are; there are countless times I wonder what it would have been like if I had a mom that I could call with questions, happy news, sad times. But you do learn and you try to become the best mom and grandmother you possibly can.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s