Motherless Mothers

by Dave on June 5, 2009

As first appeared in Coastal Sussex Weekly, May 7, 2009:

by Lisa Sumstine

I am a motherless mother.  I know, it’s an odd title, an interesting label to put on myself.  But this part of my life is one that I can’t seem to get away from when parenting my child, especially when it’s Mother’s Day.

My mother passed when I was 14, at that time someone gave me a book called “Motherless Daughters”.  Exactly 20 years later I announced that I was expecting my first child, and that same person gave me a book by the same author called “Motherless Mothers”.  One of the major concepts I got from this book was the great news that we actually get 2 chances in life to be in a mother/daughter relationship.  If things get screwed up for you on your first chance, when you’re the daughter, you get another chance when you’re the mother.  It’s a very cool concept for those of us that really got ripped off the first time around. Most mothers without living mothers that I have talked to agree that we are keenly aware of this blessing and take in every second of our interaction with our children.

For me this phenomenon is never more evident in my life than on Mother’s Day.  After 20 years of acting like the rest of the world was crazy, and Mother’s Day was just a stupid ordinary day, I find myself actually looking forward to that stupid holiday.  My first Mother’s Day was still kind of useless, my daughter was just 2 months old.  As in years past, the perfect day for me that day was to lay in bed and sleep the day away.  This year
is my 5th Mother’s Day and I am actually looking forward to the day.  We have now established our own tradition, rain or shine we go to the boardwalk for pizza and then to Funland.  Among the many unexpected blessing of my child is this healing I have received when it comes to the mother/child relationship.

On this Mother’s Day our family wishes you and yours a day of peace, and love, and especially fun.  My hope is that you can enjoy YOUR day, where ever you are and whomever you are with.

For more information on the “Motherless” series, check out the homepage of Hope Edelman:

Lisa can be found on or email

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