Motherless Daughters : The Legacy of Loss ~ Hope Edelman

Going through breast cancer with my mother, who is a survivor, thoughts of loss are always very present in my life. Recently through my work and personal life I’ve gotten phone calls from close friends about their mothers passing from Cancer.

In my book “Everything Happens for a Reason” I wrote about a yearly convention that happens in October: Motherless Daughters. It was by “coincidence”  that I happened to be on book tour when the convention was being held. Interestingly enough I was on book tour for my 3rd book, and was finishing up “Everything Happens for a Reason” while being in the hotel during the conference.

In my book I had just written the section on losing a parent, when I came across Hope Edelmans’ article on her book. The passage I remember reading was that there is something about the loss of a mother that affects us on a very deep level. There is a real sense of loss of a part of ourselves. We have lost the primary role model for womanhood.

When a woman loses her mother before she reaches maturity, she’ll always wonder how different her life might have been if her mother had lived. It will effect her thoughts on having children of her own, should she have children and will she herself die young. Whatever her reaction to the loss, you can be sure it will impact her life on so many levels for her entire life.

Excerpt from “Everything Happens for a Reason” Suzane Northrop


I recently received an email from Pam, a friend I have known for many years.   Pam said that she keeps some of the stories I’ve shared with her over the years in a journal.  She talked about when she or someone close to her is going through a personal crisis she’d go through the stories to see if there were some words of love and wisdom to support her in her own situation.

Pam shares in the email how she remembers the story I impart about my friend going through pancreatic cancer. How the town became her family. She remembered this story and was now going through this same experience with a dear friend of hers.

So, I felt I would share a little bit of this very moving and true story:

My friend Betty for all intensive purpose has no family.  She is a only child from the mid-west, has no children and was divorced about ten years ago, It was a very painful divorce for her since, this person was the love of her life or so she thought. Happily, though Betty has many friends, ranging from childhood to adulthood who care deeply for her. Betty is a very dear soul that people naturally gravitate to.

Betty and her Husband had a place in the country and in the city. Betty opted for the country home during the divorce. During this same time her work went down hill and she fell into the credit trap;  incurring huge debt.  She owned her home but with very little money coming in, just paying her every day expenses was overwhelming. She then found out she had pancreatic cancer.  Three months later while driving she went over the cliff on black ice and was pulled out by the jaws of life.

After the car accident, it seems an Angel stepped in, she was able to receive money from the insurance company helping her to pay many of the medical costs. The accident although it delayed the whole cancer process; it let the whole town know of her circumstances. It was the county guy who had just plowed the road that noticed her car over the edge of the road.

The town then stepped in.  The retired Mayor was an accountant who contacted all her debtors, the woman down the road took care of her cat.  The gentleman who found her the day of her accident later gave her a old car and riding mower.  Everyone took turns taking her to the hospital for Chemotherapy and the broken bones from the accident.

It has now been fours years. I continue to say she is a miracle child. Surviving and thriving through pancreatic cancer. Although she has her days she quite a amazing person.

When someone we love dearly is going through an intense illness, we often feel helpless not knowing what to do.  Only Betty could walk her own path, we can’t walk another’s path but we never have to feel helpless because: we can clean the house, walk the dog, make someone a meal, drive them to the doctor, drive the kids to school or just stop by or call with thoughts of love, letting them know you are thinking of them.

I wrote back to Pam and told her, she couldn’t walk the path of her friend who is now dealing with breast cancer but you can bring in the town of Friends to help her with all those things in life that Friends are priceless for.