I found myself an orphan at age 64. Being past the stage of needing an orphanage, if such existed anymore, it was up to me to find my way in a world without my mother’s wisdom.
In the last few years of my mother’s life, her daughters haphazardly converted into caregivers. They mothered their mother by being sure she had food and taking her to the doctors. They dealt with problems and gave her advice.
Being half-way across the country, I missed the day-in-day-out adjustments that might have trained my heart and mind to let go of being mothered. Via phone calls and twice a year visits, I could see things changing. I worried about her welfare, especially after Dad died. She seemed so lost without him by her side.
Time passes and I think I’m adjusting to being motherless. Still I find myself wanting to ask my mother things. I rue the times that I only half-listened to her repeated family stories. I find myself trying to remember one of her folksy sayings.
Perhaps the annual rituals of Mother’s Day makes me feel my orphan status more keenly. I see my sisters struggling, each in their own way trying to adjust. It is like losing an anchor in your life.