Thinking of Mom on My Birthday

October 6th marked the 33nd anniversary of the day my mom saw the culmination of 9 months of waiting and hoping and sore feet and food cravings.  Funny how I never thought of it like that until just now.

I’ve spent my whole life celebrating my birthday with cake and presents, and hopeful anticipation about which friends will remember, sing to me, or send me a card.  I never thought about what a special day that must have been for mom, a day to celebrate a tangible expression of the love she and my dad shared.  A day to look back on as the day her little family became complete.  Why didn’t I give her a card on that day?  Why didn’t I spend the day marveling at the amazing family she created, and the endless love and patience she continued to provide for each of us?  Why couldn’t I have sensed how much that would have filled her heart with the indescribable emotion that we both experienced when she and I connected in that way that only we did?  And why, again, am I thinking of these things 3 years and 8 months too late to tell her, to thank her, to make that card?

I take a good deal of comfort in knowing that I always had very open communication with mom, and that there was no doubt in her mind how much I loved, respected, adored, and trusted her.  But there are specific words I never said, particular conversations that just didn’t happen.  Because they couldn’t.  Because we weren’t there yet.  Because the funny things and tragic things and interesting things that have happened since she left just hadn’t happened yet.  I miss the experience of sharing these things with her.

I am overwhelmed when I think of all the things I will never get to share with Mom.  Surrounded by everyone I loved, I could still sense the empty space she would have filled on my wedding day.  I desperately want to show her the hundreds of pictures I have taken of our beagle, Belle.   She would have been so proud of the work that I am now doing with Comfort Zone, and would have been so excited to tell families about us.  She would have been thrilled to see how beautifully her irises and tulips burst into bloom at my house the past three springtimes.  There’s just so many things she is missing, and that I am missing her for.

I called my dad yesterday, and we shared some laughter.  My parents, true hippies, had decided I should be born at home.  This was the late seventies, and it was difficult for them to find a midwife.  My dad gladly stepped into the role, which he has always jokingly referred to as “the catcher.”  So I wished my dad a Happy Catcher’s Day, and thanked him for all of the countless times he has been there to catch me since. He welcomed me into the world, and I am beyond grateful to still have him here with me.  Knowing there are things I will never have a chance to say to Mom has somehow made me more aware of all the things I want to say to Dad.  I guess that’s another little gift you get with the experience of grief.

I am so fortunate that I had such a wonderful relationship with my mom.  I am so grateful to have not left things unsaid.  But I am human, and I am selfish, and I continually mourn for all the little things that I really just want to share with Mom.

Photo Credit.


  1. Anonymous said on October 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm ... #

    if daughters were flowers, she’d pick you. happy happy birthday, dear friend.


  2. myk said on October 11, 2010 at 9:49 am ... #

    You make me smile. I love your writing and your sentiments are wonderful. You are able to express so eloquently what so many are feeling. You deserve a hug! I will give you that hug next time I see you! (SOON!!!)

  3. Alicia said on October 28, 2010 at 11:22 am ... #

    ” Knowing there are things I will never have a chance to say to Mom has somehow made me more aware of all the things I want to say to Dad. I guess that’s another little gift you get with the experience of grief.”

    This is something I’ve also experienced. After my brother died, I’ve wanted to tell people in my life why they are important to me. I think that has made some of my friendships more authentic, which has be great for giving me the support I’ve needed.

    Thanks for sharing your story and for providing space for me to reflect.

  4. lisa Halle said on November 5, 2010 at 6:15 am ... #

    You are such an amazing writer Alisha. As I near my own birthday next week, I stumbled across your article. All the days leading up to my own birthday, my husband’s birthday, and that of my children is more difficult without him here. As I read your article, I am so impressed by your revelations. Take solace in knowing that I firmly believe your Mother knows all that you are and how very much you love her. You have turned into a wonderful daughter and person and that is the best you can give to her.

  5. Lola said on December 12, 2010 at 11:17 pm ... #

    Wow! I stumbled across this because it is my birthday and I am so missing my Mom as we lost her in April 2 years ago. Like you, I had a good relationship with my MOm. It is good to know that others are experiencing the same thing.
    Thank you.

  6. Les said on January 19, 2012 at 11:50 pm ... #

    I feel the same. Its my birthday tomorrow. Miss her everyday but birthdays are rough.

  7. Anonymous said on February 10, 2012 at 12:46 am ... #

    Yes, I agree. She’s the person who is the most happy on your birthday because she loved you so much. I miss my mom so much.

  8. sarah sue said on November 2, 2012 at 12:51 am ... #

    My 40th birthday is Monday and she died almost a year ago. I miss her so much it hurts and I left SO much unsaid, even though I knew she was dying. I just have never had a birthday without her. Weep.

  9. Helene Domi said on December 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm ... #

    Wow. I could have written your article up until the part where you mention your dad. My father is gone. I mourn the things that I can not share with my mom (aka, my best friend). I am so lost without her.
    My mom and dad are buried in Arlington National Cemetery. …together again after 30 years apart. Mom said there was NO ONE who could take his place. Only thing…now I am alone. My brother passed away in 2004.
    My sister and I are estranged. This is just the thing I need my mom to fix. I am selfish too. I want her back.

  10. Shana said on December 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm ... #

    Thank you for this. Sometimes feel so alone in how I feel.
    I lost my mom 2 years and 8 months ago. It’s still so raw. Not a day goes by that I don’t shed tears for her. My birthday, my kids’ birthdays and her birthday(coming up Dec. 10) are the worst. So many coulda, woulda, shouldas. I just hope she knew how much she meant to me and that she will always be the best friend I ever had. She’s in my heart forever.

  11. Thomas said on June 5, 2013 at 7:21 am ... #

    What a wonderful piece, and I’m glad I’m not alone. Strange and selfish how we never think of how our own birthday is special for our parents too, and you put it so well.

    It’s my birthday tomorrow; my dad died of cancer two years ago aged 55. This will be my third birthday without him but every year so far I have had this horrible anticipation. Also this is my first birthday in a new job and I know that there will be a small happy birthday presentation in the office, and I don’t know if I can hold myself together for it.

    Selfishly, my own birthday is always the hardest to get through – harder than my dad’s birthday or the anniversary of his death.

    Also I am getting married in less than 2 months’ time and am desperate for it to be a happy occasion and not one of mourning for my dad, though his empty space will be huge.

    Thanks for this article and to all the great comments as well, it’s so reassuring that you’re not alone, even if no-one can bring our loved ones back.

  12. Rebecca said on July 31, 2013 at 9:24 pm ... #

    Your words are so very true I too was so close to my mom I can’t seem to breathe without her I’m coming up on my 40th birthday my first birthday without my dear mom I long to share more moments you can never get enough moments with your mom and once she is gone no other moments in life are quite ever the same

  13. Melissa said on September 10, 2013 at 12:53 am ... #

    I lost my mother this past year,Black Friday,what a black Friday it was!! She was only 58,she was my best friend,today is my birthday,my first birthday without her,my birthday was a big deal to her,she had days counted down,and she was always the first to tell me Happy Birthday and she made me and my day so very special,so today is already an awful day,at midnight my husband told me Happy Birthday and all I have done since yesterday is cry and scream for my Mom,my heart is being ripped open,all I want is my Mom to tell me Happy Birthday!!! glad I found this site to share my feelings!!!

  14. Melissa said on September 10, 2013 at 12:55 am ... #

    Glad to read that I am not the only one to feel this way,and I am not crazy,today I am only 34,I lost my Dad when I was only 19,I feel very empty without my Mom!!

  15. sneha said on June 13, 2014 at 2:06 pm ... #

    tmrw i vl b of 20..n my mamma passd away almost 2 yrs ago..i mis uh so much…….lubew mamma…!!!!!

  16. Karen said on June 28, 2014 at 4:40 am ... #

    I lost my best friend, my mom, 3 weeks ago and tomorrow is my birthday and I’m dreading it. I can’t stop crying at the thought of not getting that phone call first thing in the morning. She always phoned and sang Happy birthday even though she had a terrible voice, it became a standard birthday joke and I won’t get that call tomorrow. Everyone keeps asking me what I want to do and I feel selfish and childish but I just want to hide under my duvet and cry. I know she would have wanted me to celebrate my 44th birthday with joy and happiness but I don’t feel like I can and I don’t know what to do.

  17. Tonya said on September 29, 2014 at 12:07 am ... #

    My birthday is also October 6. This is my first birthday without my mother. It’s coming up, depression is pouring out! It’s almost midnight and I feel like if I could go to the cemetery I might be ok tonight. I feel a huge whole inside. Time will never heal this

  18. Joe said on November 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm ... #

    I feel likewise. It’s now five years since I lost my mom. My Birthday is coming the day after tomorrow. Ever since she passed on I found out things I over looked when she was living. tThings I could have done but took it for granted that she would stay longer, but alas. However, one thing that consoles me is that I believe where she has gone she, she looks at me with her loving eye and rejoice with me. My birthday now is indeed the day I think and miss my mom more than any.

  19. Doreen said on March 27, 2015 at 2:55 pm ... #

    I found this site because today is my birthday just 15 minutes to the time I was born) and my mom passed away 2 months ago. I have been sad all day, yet I know in my heart my mom would not want it that way. Love her so much. She always called me on my birthday to sing happy birthday to me before her Alzheimers. I miss that. I close my eyes and can hear her singing. I can’t believe how life passes away so quickly.

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