Dear fellow motherless daughters: Here’s how I’ve learned to cope on Mother’s Day

The other day, someone who’d just met me asked what I’d be doing with my mother this Sunday. It was such a jolting question to come from someone who didn’t even know my name, but I saw her apology, and her inability to understand that not everyone has a living parent to celebrate with, after she tried to absorb my polite response. She then changed the subject to marriage and I was even more annoyed. 🙄 I honestly thought I’d be asked about my pap smear, next!

Its important to be sensitive to others. I am not the only motherless daughter in the world, but sometimes, it feels like I am. I am grateful to friends who’ve basically adopted me and made sure that I don’t have to break down and be upset. I’m also grateful to those who intentionally harmed me, so I could see them for who they truly are.

A Letter To My Mom

I lost my Mom eight years ago, a week after Mother’s Day. I spent years dealing with people’s attitudes towards the fact that I was there for my Mom through degenerative disc disease and all that came with it health-wise. People thought I should have put myself first, but I know in my heart that by being present for her, I was the daughter she raised me to be. In turn, I can hold my head up high and know that no matter what, I’m a piece of her and she is forever a piece of me.

Happy Mother’s Day to every type of Mom.

Beginnings, Endings, and New Beginnings


It’s utterly surreal how much my life has changed in the last eight years. I set out on a specific course, reached a major fork in the road, chose a direction, a dream, and now I am starting over with a dream I’ve somehow managed to keep hidden in the back of my mind, all the while making movements towards it. “Everything happens for a reason…” Sometimes that sounds like horse-shit and other times, it’s the absolute truth.

In the last eight years I have lost, loved, lost, and continued to love. Every single time I think I am shut off and that my capacity for love is gone, I am proven wrong. On this day last year, I brought an angel home. Today that angel is officially a year old and while there are a great many types of love, this one is pure and special. I feel blessed and honored to be in the presence of this love. This is the kind of love that keeps you alive and gives you purpose. It reminds you to keep fighting and keep living, even when you truly don’t want to. Even when you say “No more!”, that love is present and let’s you know that it’s okay to feel the way you do, and that you’re completely accepted.


Once or twice a year, I do a Celtic Cross Tarot Card reading for myself. I don’t do readings for anyone else because it makes me uncomfortable, but my own readings are so accurate that they bring me to tears. My most recent reading was dead-on accurate and I remember being slightly in denial at the time, but now I realize it was a message, and it was telling me exactly what I’ve been telling myself for the last few years. I liken it to a loved one treating you badly in public and a stranger stopping you to tell you that you deserve better. You KNOW you deserve better in your heart of hearts, but sometimes hearing it from someone else’s mouth is the push you need. Many of my readings are like that. In fact, all of them are. I’m really quite disturbing with the metaphysical.

Today would normally be a celebration of something else, but this year I celebrate love and new beginnings. That is the right direction, that is the answer, and I needn’t attempt to dissuade myself when I know the answers.

My mother wrote a letter to me before I was born. I found it after she died. It said “Sometimes you have put yourself first, but it doesn’t mean you’re being selfish.” She was a supremely unselfish woman and she raised me to be pretty unselfish as well. Of all the people I have lost, it’s my Mom’s voice that I can’t always remember, until I read something she wrote or a memory comes flooding back and I hear her say my name the way only three people in my life ever did. Looking at photos this morning, I realized just how much I miss my family and how I’ve never given myself time to grieve.

Thankfully, I know that there are all a part of who I am and that they’re not truly gone. Bits and pieces of each of them live on inside of me, and so, with every ending comes a new beginning.

This phoenix is ready to spread her wings and fly. She’s already been through the fire.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Mother & Daughter


First friend; best friend.

The reason I am who I am.

The person who encouraged me never to follow, but always to lead.

Guide-post. Lighthouse. Anchor.

Part angel, part saint.

The best listener.

Could always see the best in me, even when I didn’t believe there was any.

Teacher of so much.

Giver of books, music, art, culture, and life.

Laughter ’til we cried.

Taught me, in part, how to be a mother with a very simple gift.

Saw my talents clearer than anyone else.

Hated it when friends disappointed, lied, and hurt me. Enraged when men did the same.

Was always in awe of my strength.

Was not afraid to lean on me and allow me to be strong when she was not.

My first audience.

Lover of sunsets, rainbows, lilacs, and cats.

Honesty, Integrity, Loyalty, Love, Friendship.

You thought I was the blessing, but I know with certainty that I was blessed to have you as my mother.

You worked two jobs, took care of your children, and never once looked back. That is immense heroism.

Small aspects of who you are and what you mean to me.

Words fail…


I learned from my mother, but I also taught her in kind. Our relationship was one of kindred spirits. I’m strong and fierce because she was not able to be that kind of woman, having been raised differently. She encouraged my voice because she often felt she did not have one that others would listen to. She is the reason I am a supremely confident writer.

Days like today are very hard. They are made easier when one can honor their loved one, in their own attempt to heal. Truth be told, I don’t think one can ever repair the hole inside my heart at such a devastating loss, but I’m trying.


“Serenity is yours.
When chaos looms seek the sweet
Surrender of simplicity.
Gaze above at the glassy sky,
Feel each blade of green
Beneath your feet,
Listen to the sound of faith
Like a reed flute playing
Inside your chest.
Stand in witness of
Your true nature.
Remember the compassion
Of the lover’s eyes,
The calm wisdom of
The elder’s voice.
Go within. Be at rest without.
Fall to your knees in gratitude.
You have all you need.
Turn from the riot of distraction.
Let it roll over and beyond you.
Serenity is yours.
It lives always within your reach.”

-Ching Qu Lam

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Happy Mother’s Day


I was incredibly blessed with a mother who was my best friend. I think I required less parenting because I was “born ancient”. Every year without her is incredibly painful to me. No one could ever fill the role she played in my life, fostering my talents with honesty and care. It is because of her that I am a writer. It is also because of her that I can embrace my other creative talents with ease.


This is a full rainbow over a place we spent so many happy times together. I suspect it might be torn down within the next year. 😦


YA lyublyu tebya, mama. YA khochu raz ne byl tak zhestok k nam. YA zametil, chto vse fioletovyye tsvety vy poslali moy put’.

Exhausted To The Bone


I went to bed exhausted, I woke up more exhausted than when I originally went to bed. Lately, there never seems to be enough sleep. I found myself wanting to nod off for four hours yesterday, but when I finally committed myself to “a nap”, I ended up reading for over three hours. I hadn’t planned on reading at all, I simply thought if I started reading something nonsensical, I’d make myself even sleepier. It was counter-intuitive.

I think the stress of the week and of many, many months has finally hit me today. I have absolutely no desire to do anything. I just want to rest. My brain is tired, my body is tired, and you can only ignore your body for so long before exhaustion catches up with you and doesn’t let go. That is definitely chronic fatigue.

My brain is barely working to form complete sentences properly. I have dueling issues. My stomach is telling me that we’re hungry and should try making some soup. My brain is saying that the soup can wait because if we’re not properly rested, we will burn the house down. I got distracted last weekend when I had something in the oven. I set the timer and instead of staying within a 15 foot range of the kitchen, I walked upstairs to check my phone. I went to check e-mail quickly or something, but then I got into texting with someone and the next thing I know, the timer is going off and there’s a slight smoky smell rising. I was also doing laundry, so clearly I was pulling myself pretty thin. Sadly, I didn’t hear the timer, which is quite scary. When I did go downstairs because the smell wasn’t right, I finally heard the timer and felt like a complete and utter moron. On top of being dangerous, I was just plain out of it. Now I stay close by, because the last thing I should be doing is something that could lead to the harm of myself or others. I’m too drained to be able to leave something alone while I’m in the middle of making it, and right now I’m truly too drained to actually make something. I don’t even think I’m capable of walking down the steps.

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, so don’t be alarmed if I make myself extremely scarce. This is an incredibly difficult time of year for me. Each year, I’m reminded that I am a Motherless Daughter. One year I waited until the day settled and went grocery shopping that night, because all I wanted to do was avoid the mother/daughter bonding that this weekend brings forth. If you haven’t experienced this kind of loss, or the kind of bond I shared with my mother, it’s not something one can easily relate to, so I tend to just close up shop for about 10 days and keep my mouth shut, lest I somehow manage to offend someone with my honesty and/or directness. Ultimately, there is always someone who will find me offensive in some way. It’s not my issue, it’s theirs, but I don’t want or need the drama.

So in advance, I wish ALL mothers: Pet mothers, Grandmothers, Godmothers, Aunts, and especially single mothers a very happy day. I’ll be okay, but if you can’t find me I MIGHT be sitting in the dark with chocolate pudding.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.