As much as the talking, the model-providing, the advice, it's that we miss: the blanketing warmth. One of the women Edelman interviewed for her book said, movingly, about being motherless: "You have to learn how to be a mother for yourself. You have to become that person who says, 'Don't worry, you're doing fine. You're doing the best you can.' Sure, you'll call friends who say that to you. … But hearing it from that person who taped up all your scraped knees … that's the one you keep looking for." Meghan O'Rourke
I've had a hole in my heart and a hole in my life since losing my mother - a condition movingly described in a 1994 column by Anna Quindlen entitled "The least explored passage: loss that lasts forever."
Sometimes I imagine in colorful detail what it might have been like if my mother had known and played with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, if she had been with us for the weddings and the birthdays and the family vacations. But mostly I just remember her - that she loved a party. That she loved having a houseful of people and was at ease cooking and entertaining them. That she loved the water and the sand - the lake and the beach. That the conversation around the dinner table was always lively and often thought-provoking. That she encouraged me and occasionally bribed me to try things and overcome my shyness. That everyone loved her. That she loved us.
I try to fill that hole in my heart up with good memories. I am thankful to have been blessed with many.