I Mother No One

I Mother No One

Part V: Yearning To Hold My Mother In My Arms.

Photo by Anna Shvets via Pexels

I mother no one. There’s no one for me to mother. To hold, to kiss, to shelter away from every storm . . . I want the one thing I cannot have and this damn global pandemic is making it worse. I missed the opportunity of spreading love to my own, of carrying on a bloodline that would have my eyes for years after my death. What it felt like to learn, to know, to be told that had I pursued attempting to have children, I would not be successful: I had no words. But my mother — she took a chance on bringing me into this world. No one had a say in if she would or would not do it. She wanted to. I hear my mother’s voice — the phone is an okay replacement, but it doesn’t give me the full view of her.

There’s no surround-sound Angie.

I want to see her in animated form, in her bold and “say what I want to say” presence. My mother doesn’t care about the thoughts of others — how one may view her, viewed her, will view her . . . She has always been matter-of-factly, no-nonsense, and vocal. She is a spark — she’ll light up any room.

Every year, I am given another three hundred sixty-five days to grow with her and learn her too. She is sometimes fearful of what to say around me, though, of how to say what she wants to say. She tells me, “I can’t say things the way you can. It won’t sound the way I want it to sound.” I encourage her to “just say it, Mom.” And she does, no holds barred.

I envy that — the courage to speak without fear. To be brave enough to open my mouth and say what I truly want to say, but most times, I cannot. I have to write it, instead. And the thing I want most is the opposite of what my mom wants. If we traded characteristics and did things differently, we wouldn’t be who we are. I lift her up when she needs it. She makes me laugh when I need it. Have you ever heard anyone cuss better than a sailor? You haven’t heard my mother . . . She can hopscotch with shit, plant marigolds with fuck, and damn anyone from North Carolina to Texas without flinching.


It is not her use of vulgar language that I want to highlight. It is not her boisterous ways or her inability to care about the thoughts of others when pertaining to her, no . . . it is her undeniable source of strength and never-ending love for me. To have a child who ventures out into the world to a job that exposes her to a threatening virus daily and not lose your mind takes resilience. It takes a healthy dose of sanity and resistance to breaking. I will never know the pain she knows. I will never feel the emotions piling up on her wondering, praying, and hoping for her child — for her children.

I am ordered to call or text her when I get home. If I am off, I am asked to let her know this. My whereabouts are simple; work, home, and the occasional errand run if needed. Before this downward spiral of our world, we spoke almost every day — her calling more than I would. Now, I make it a point to pick up the phone to let her know when I have made it home and when I plan on venturing out again (if I need to). I am covered by her love. I am surrounded by her prayers. I can feel her tears. They are all a part of every breath I take when I step outside my door.

I have not seen my mother since mid-March. I have not held her. I have not hugged her. I have not dwelled in the welcoming fragrances of her home in two months and I would be lying if I said it is not affecting me. It is. I have lived farther away from my mom than I do now, but that was by choice. I needed to be away from her. There were circumstances then that had proven best for the both of us for me to be as far away as I was. Now that we have grown and significant changes have taken place on both our parts, I would not want to be that far away again.

The simple act of a hug, an embrace calls to me more than it ever has before. I yearn to hold my mother and I cannot. I yearn to stand near her, to welcome her into my home, and I cannot. The last thing I would want to do is put her in any semblance of danger given my place of work and what I do. If I did not have my wits about me, I would pull my hair out. I never thought I would miss something as small as a hug — the physical act of showing someone you truly care . . .

This Mother’s Day, I cannot do what I want to do most — hold mine in my arms.


*For mothers yearning to hold their mothers. Mothers who have lost their mothers. Mothers who are mothering their own without being able to mother them. For mothers yet still holding on to the power of not letting go. Happy Mother’s Day.


Originally published in P. S. I Love You via Medium.

I Mother No One

For Mothers Lost, Mothers Yet Still Mothering, and Mothers Who Mother Others

The Evil Mothers|Giovanni Segantini — 1894

It is Mother’s Day and I am outside walking the dog, listening to the sounds of the closest highway, hearing them, there is nothing that I can say that I have not already said about this day. But, I will say what I can. Mothers, you have a gift. You were given the knowledge to raise and keep up with little versions of you. How tiresome that must be on a daily basis. How incredible the strength must be to last for days on end. Knowing that you would be someone that someone else would look up to is a pressure and a weight that I cannot even bear.

Mothers, I appreciate you.

As I walk the hills of my apartment complex, I envision the days that my mother and I had our outs. But, we survived and are surviving. I am grateful for the chance to say that we moved through a tumultuous time and we are rising to the top. It is 2019, and I have entered my 39th year, and I still mother no one in the actual defining terms of a mother — one who gives birth to someone. But, I did mother. I do Mother. I am mothering younger versions of me, my cousins, and others and I get to see what this life could have been, but only part-time. And that is best for me. The older I get, the more I know this to be true.

Part-time mothering of others is significantly different from Full-time mothering of your own.

Fake Balloons|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

On this day, I wish you peace, love, light, a home-cooked meal that does not come from your hands and toil in the kitchen, and the overwhelmingly powerful gift of appreciation. You deserve it. If you are mothering the way you should — you deserve it. If your children can say positively that you are their mother and they say it proudly — you deserve it. If you have given your all, including everything left after it — you deserve it. If you messed up, lost track, received help, and are on your way to the betterment of both you and your children — you deserve it.

I wish I could make each and every one of you smile, offer a hug, a kind word on more than just one day of this year, but here are a few…

For those of you yet still mothering, those who mother others, those who are growing from the pain of not being mothered, and all others who fall in the category of mothering and the mothered…

We are sending you a heartfelt Happy Mother’s Day.