Dear Mom, Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

My mother passed away after a seven year battle with breast cancer when I was fourteen. There is literally no way she could have told me all the things I needed to know about pregnancy and parenting but I had this idea to write like I was writing to her a few years ago so I’d thought I give it a try. There are so many times I find my kids sucking on the toilet cleaning brush or wondering what to do about splinters and I ask myself why I didn’t have a notebook in my back pocket observing my mother while I could have. 


Dear Mom,

I love you and I miss you tremendously every day. Seriously. Young moms need their moms to have on the other end of the phone saying things like, you used to suck on the toilet brush too and you still have two eyes, ten fingers, ten toes and a twisted but very funny sense of humor. 

I am now a mom and I get you. I get why you had to talk to yourself while you are driving the minivan or shopping in the grocery store. I used to think you were a little insane. I loved you but the aloud list making was just something I couldn’t understand. But I get it now. If you didn’t say it aloud your thoughts may have been lost in the screaming and the chaos of the unpredictable life of raising multiple kids.

And by the way, why didn’t you tell me it was unpredictable? I really believed my children would come into the world knowing how to listen to mommy’s voice. I have seen all these nice videos now-a-days on the Internet (the Internet has really taken off and is a good but horrible thing all at the same time) when children hear their mother’s voice from their womb and the mother’s voice is a beacon for them, it is comforting to them. Why didn’t you tell me that as babies grow the beacon isn’t as important for them anymore?

None of my children listen to mommy’s voice. There are times when I feel like they have turned my beacon/frequency down all together. If you would have told me this before I feel like I could have been a little more guns blazing about it. The listening patterns of my children are still a mystery to me.

Why didn’t you tell me there will be days when I feel like I am doing everything wrong but at the same time I am doing something right.

As a mom there are so many moments when the data seems to point to the undesirable outcome. There are just too many times when I feel like I am screwing up my kids and I wish you would have told me that it will all be okay.

I wish you would have said that even though you were at every class party, brownie troop meeting, dance competition and planned the most creative birthday parties I have ever seen before pinterest, (pinterest is a website where people can find all of your ideas for birthday parties on that thing I mentioned above called The Internet, it doesn’t even dial up anymore, it’s all about high speed access to your awesome birthday party ideas)

I wish you would have told me that I didn’t always listen and the data pointed to the undesirable for you too.


Why didn’t you tell me it would be so hard and that I would need you so much? Even what feels like so much more now than it felt like I needed you when I needed you when I was little.

When I was little I needed you to help me use a spoon but now I need you to help me feel un-crazy.

These toilet brush sucking moments make me freak out! I can’t even begin to let myself go down the road of germs and other possibilities. I really can’t even go there or I’d call 9-1-1.

Why didn’t you tell me?

Why wasn’t I listening?

Why aren’t you still here?

These are the moments when I miss you. When I want to pick up the phone and call someone who has been gone for seventeen years.

It’s a good thing I’ve totally accepted talking to myself as normal. That basically is what I blog is for me. So I’ll maybe keep bringing the questions to you here.

Maybe someone out there will remind me that toilet brush sucking has happened before and talking to yourself is not insane but it is survival.

Mom, I miss you all the time. The loss of you makes me understand the fact that this life is not the way it is supposed to be and makes my soul long for something better. 

You were a treasure and I wish I would have followed you around with a notebook when I could have.

5 thoughts on “Dear Mom, Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

  1. Kathy says:

    Rachel, My sister is close to death tonight…she has a 14 year old daughter. I have felt so sad for my niece as her mom battled this cancer – found when it was stage four and inoperable. Watching you with your dear children and reading your blog – seeing how God has been faithful to you, gives me hope for my niece…I know that she will need lots of love and support and she will have two aunts who love her very much and will be watching out for her. But what you remind me of is that our God is a faithful God and although she will have many challenges before her, God can bring something beautiful out of all of this pain. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!


    • onewiththepastor says:

      Thank you Josie, here I am almost four moths later sitting down to respond to blog comments. Ha. Thinking of you often with your three little guys. I remember when my third son was born, those were such sweet days, brotherhood is a sweet, sweet thing. Love you sister. Thanks for taking the time to read my silly little blog posts.


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