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A Motherless Daughter

Updated on April 12, 2012

Life without my mom

There was always one day that I felt totally left out. One day where I was reminded of loss, of grief, of what I never could have. One day every year to mourn, to put on a tough exterior and smile through my pain. One day that I wanted to stay home and hide. What day? Mother's Day. Every year another reminder that I am a motherless daughter. My mother died when I was just six years old. She left me suddenly and unexpectedly. For the next 27 years (until I became a mother myself), Mother's day was hard. There have been other hard days. The day I turned 37, the day I got married, the days my babies were born. For my mother was just 37 when she died. She wasn't there to plan my wedding, to celebrate my babies. All I have are faded, foggy memories and pictures. But I have a hope and a promise.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV


My mother, Betty Jean Adams Montgomery

Touching lives of children through teaching

My mother was a coal miner's daughter from the Appalachian Mountains in Western, PA. She grew up in a large family full of love. She went to Eastern Nazarene College in Wollaston, Massachusetts to get her teaching degree. There she met my father, Robert Montgomery and they married. After graduation, they settled in Coatesville, PA. My mother began her teaching career at Terry Elementary School in the Coatesville School District. My mother touched the lives of many children throughout her years teaching. My sister was born in 1961. After a few years, my parents relocated to Lancaster County. I was born in 1963. My mother was instrumental in beginning a daycare at her church, Ephrata Nazarene. She was the director and we grew up in nursery school there. My mother returned to teaching in the Ephrata School District. She taught third grade and was well-loved by her students and fellow teachers alike. I was so excited to go to first grade; my mother would be at the same school! Unfortunately it did not last. Before the year was done, my mother would be gone in an instant. It was April, 1970, near Easter.

This photo is one of the favorites I have of my mother. It's from 1958. My mother, the teacher at Terry Elementary School.

Our Family - 1967


The unthinkable happens

The last time I saw my mother

I can remember the night my mother got sick. I vividly remember that she was lying on our brown couch in the living room. The doctor came to our house. My sister and I were sent upstairs, but we were peeking, hiding on the stairs. My mother was throwing up. I don't remember my mother ever being sick, except for that one instance. We went to bed and off to school the next day. When we got home from school, Mommy was not home. Dad said that the ambulance had come to take her to the hospital. She felt silly, not sick enough to ride in the ambulance. In 1970, children were not allowed to visit hospital patients. We drew her pictures and wrote her notes. She started in the ICU (I think) and then was moved to a regular room. They could not find what was wrong with her. They thought she was getting better. If only they had the technology that they have today! An MRI would have found the problem. But in 1970 there was no such thing as an MRI. I vaguely remember going to the hospital and standing outside looking up at a window and waving to her. I am not positive that really happened, but I think it did. My memory is so fuzzy -- I was only 6 years old and it was a traumatic time. My sister and I went on our daily life for the week Mommy was in the hospital. I am pretty sure that our Grammy came to stay with us. I do remember cards and drawings from her third grade students. One morning I sat upon my Daddy's lap in the rocking chair and told him a story. When I was done, he said he had something to tell me too. "Your mother died this morning." It didn't even mean anything to me at the time. It didn't hit me. It hit me later, years later, over and over.

Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow. Lamentations 3:32-33 NLT

Help and hope for healing for Motherless Daughters


Fuzzy Memories

Why can't I remember?

I know that my mother loved me dearly. She hand made many of my clothes. I have lots of vague impressions of my mother, but I don't have many solid, concrete memories. My sister, who was 3 years older than I at the time our mother died, has lots of memories. She remembers conversations, times spent together, laughing with Mommy. I don't. Occasionally I willl get a strong reminder--a smell of perfume that suddenly brings it all back. My mother kept scrapbooks of my work, she carefully preserved my early writing and artwork. These things are precious to me. I now know how much time it takes to document a childhood. I know that we spent summers in Florida with my grandparents, but somehow those things that I truly long to remember, I can't. I am thankful for the photographs, the scrapbooks and the reminders of my mother. This picture was from a trip to Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA.

Help for children coping with grief...

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Romans 8:28 NIV

Anyone can comment on this lens, whether you are a Squidoo lensmaster or just a visitor. Thanks.

Thanks for reading my story, please let me know you were here. - Leave me a comment.

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    • LornsA178 profile image


      5 years ago

      What a wonderful tribute to your mom. For sure you had a great mother. Thanks for sharing your memories. God bless you and your family.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      6 years ago from USA

      Even though it has been so many years ago, I can still hear the saddness coming through in your writing. I am sorry for your loss and the memories that were never made, but God has given you 7 fold to make new memories with.

    • JodiFromFlorida profile image


      6 years ago

      I know exactly how you feel. My mom died in July of 1968 when I was 5. I don't have any concrete memories, just bits and pieces. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • piarejuden profile image


      6 years ago

      Blessedmombygrace, you are a person to look up to and because you are only human, there may be times when you are overwhelmed by grief or pain or sorrow - I hope you see like I do that the Lord has undoubtedly blessed you with what you couldn't experience much yourself.. You lost your mom so young and now you are a mother to 7! Talk about the circle of life! Your parents did an awesome job - for you are who you are! Loved your lens! God bless!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You are a great moms

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      That is very sad, but you were able to overcome and become the mother you always wanted, so for that I'm sure you feel very proud and accomplished. There are no words for the loss of a parent. Keep going strong.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wonderful lens! Thank you for sharing your mother and childhood with us!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you so much for writing this. What a beautiful story of God's hope and healing in the midst of heart breaking circumstances.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      That is such a sad story. I am glad that you were able to share these feelings here.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks.. very emotional lens for me ... but good of your to share it with us.

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 

      7 years ago from U.S.A.

      How sad that you lost your mother at such a young age. She would be very proud of your beautiful tribute to her. Congratulations on your well-deserved Purple Star award.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      How very touching your story. I lost my mother at age 20, but my siblings were much younger and for them it was so very difficult.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      WOW, Carol. I was in 6th grade at Terry school in 1958. Your Mother's name kind of rings a bell with me. Elaine D'Angelo's Mother was a teacher at Terry for many, many years. I liked your writing.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image


      7 years ago

      I cannot imagine being a motherless daughter. Thankfully, you were strong and are now able to enjoy being a mom yourself!

    • joanv334 profile image


      7 years ago

      Hello, nice to meet you!

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      What a beautifully otld story

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations on being featured by the SquidTeam's Best of Standout RocketMoms Squidhugs, Kathy

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      7 years ago from Vermont

      Your story touched my heart in so many ways. My best adulthood friend had a similar story, and then she, too succumbed to the same disease that took her mother. She, too, left behind a young daughter and son plus many family and friends who loved her deeply, including me. I still mourn Sheila's loss and think of her often. I am happy for you that your children help make Mother's Day a happy time for you ... bless you!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      It's sad you had to lose your mother at such a young age. You told your story in a lovely sweet way. Thank you for sharing.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 

      7 years ago

      Beautifully told, not easy to write about - you did it though and I'm sure in many ways it was healing! My Angel Blessing today is SWAH :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thankful for the hope of an eventual reunion! So glad you have found joy despite your loss in the meantime.

    • norma-holt profile image


      7 years ago

      Its always heartbreaking to lose a parent, probably just as much so as it is to lose a child. My mother's sister died of a blood clot at 37 and today she would have been saved. She was eight months pregnant. This is a great tribute to your mum and I can feel the hurt is still there, God bless

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is very touching. I don't know what to say but with you I believe that God has his plans and it is always for good.

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 

      7 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      I'm speechless, except to say I'm blessing this lens with tears in my eyes.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      7 years ago

      Happy to hear that Jesus healed your heart, and that you've regained happiness through Mother's Love. No wonder you planned so deeply for your children.

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 

      7 years ago

      Very touching. That must've been really hard for you, being so young and the fact that it still is. Thanks for sharing.

    • dwnovacek profile image


      7 years ago

      My mother was in her 40's when she lost her mother to cancer. She was extremely close to my grandmother and has never gotten over that loss. She, too, mourns on Mother's Day. Thank you for your touching story, so well presented. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow, you got me quite lost here as I read your story ~ I'm so sorry that you lost your mom at such a young age and when you so little. Looking beyond the sadness, I'm happy to see that God has blessed you with a wonderful family. Very touching tribute lens you created...stay blessed!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image


      7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Carol ~ Thanks for sharing your whole story. I know it has been difficult for you. I can see her in you and your children. I'm thankful that God has surrounded you with His love and blessings. Romans 8 is so true, even when we do not want it. You are one of the strongest Christian women I know. I love and admire you very much, dear friend!

    • LouisaDembul profile image


      7 years ago

      I am very sorry about you losing your mother. Thanks for sharing, I am happy you are now a mother. Children help a lot, coping with different kinds of grief.

    • LouisaDembul profile image


      7 years ago

      I am very sorry about you losing your mother. Thanks for sharing, I am happy you are now a mother. Children help a lot, coping with different kinds of grief.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      7 years ago from So Cal

      Incredibly well-written and completely touching. I had my mom for 50 years and miss her more than I can say. I can't imagine any time longer than that. The scriptures only add to our understand of God's will. Thanks. Angel blessed.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Very touching story. Sorry that sickness took your mother. Wonderful story.

    • Akitajitsu profile image


      7 years ago from California

      Your story brought tears to my eyes. I'm gad you are now blessed with 7 children to have a Mother's Day with!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A very sad and touching story. I'm happy to hear you enjoy mothers day with your brood of children now :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful story. I can't even imagine your loss.

    • rlivermore profile image


      7 years ago

      What a beautiful and touching lens! I appreciated the Scriptures. Thanks for allowing God to touch me through you.

    • JanieceTobey profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow, another Rocketmom lens has left me speechless..not to mention teary eyed. Blessed.


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