Posted by: Brenda Kula | May 9, 2009

Mother Isn’t Coming

Note to my blog readers and friends: I never know if it is really okay to let our real feelings out. To spread them across the screen for all to see. I don’t wish to make anyone uncomfortable, certainly. But you are my friends. And tomorrow is Mother’s Day. It is a hard day for me, as it is for all who have either lost or never had their mothers. So I’m sharing it with you on this, the day before, in hopes that you will understand why. I hope no one minds that it isn’t all about gardening.


I waited for her for what seemed like hours. My mother. I had convinced myself one day in grade school that she was coming. I have no idea why. She’d come to see me once, when I was about three years old. She did not say she’d come back. She came through the door, and I was invisible to her. I could tell. And then she was gone, taking my brother and sister with her.

I tried not to look at her, although I couldn’t help sneaking an occasional peak and trying to find myself in her face. In the shape of her eyes or the color of her hair. I couldn’t find a grain of me there. She was just a stranger to me.

I don’t know why I told the principal she was coming that long ago day. I would not go to my class as was customary. And I was never a stubborn child. Children who are abandoned early can’t afford to be difficult.


I can still remember thinking, if I wish hard enough, she will come get me. She will take me away from life with my great-grandmother, who will die on my watch. And did. She will swoop in like a fairy and whisk me away to a land where children always have parents. Where innocence is still intact by adolescence. Where they don’t go to sleep wondering why they weren’t good enough to keep.

The principal and teacher just looked at me. They didn’t know what to say. Everyone knew my mother had abandoned me at birth. Sold me to strangers. She and my father. Oddly enough, I didn’t think about him. I needed the person who sheltered me in her womb and was there when first I blinked my infant eyes into the bright lights. By some miracle I was reunited with my maternal great-grandmother as a toddler. And there I stayed.

I knew my great-grandmother wouldn’t live to see me grow up. She kept telling me over and over. And she didn’t. I was barely thirteen. You grow up fast. But your dreams remain child-like.


I am now 52. She isn’t coming. I know that now. I’ve given up waiting for her. I think maybe she is dead. The part of me that wanted her is. I think.

Yet there still is a yearning to know who I am, why I was set adrift in life like a leaf in the wind. Rolling through the years like a message in a bottle, bobbing toward adulthood. Magically surviving.

To the place I now am.

I have a garden outside. It is all mine. I dig my fingers in the dirt and leave my questions there. I put a plant or herb on top and tell myself that life is good enough without her. That I no longer want her to find me.


I lift my face toward the sun. It is enough. It feeds my soul.



  1. Brenda, while I know it must be very difficult to be a child who is abandoned by her parents and esp. a mother, you have turned out to be a strong, beautiful woman. It is your mother’s loss that she never got to know you.

    Always Growing

  2. Brenda, I’m sending hugs your way. I can’t imagine that Mother’s Day is easy for the child inside of you no matter how many years pass.


  3. Brenda, Jan is right, the loss was hers. Still, that story made me cry. I know my mother won’t be coming tomorrow, either, but at least I have the memories of Mother’s Day’s past to console me.
    You can find happiness in the fact that YOU are a good mother (despite your childhood) and you have 2 big reasons and 2 small reasons to celebrate Mother’s Day.
    On second thought, make that 6 small reasons; along with Riley and Marley Ross, I’m adding Bonnie, Clyde, Abi, and Charlie Ross!

  4. I agree with Jan…how sad for your mother that she didn’t know you. It was her loss.
    You are blessed to have such a beautiful is evident that it brings you so much pleasure and provides therapy too!


  5. Oh, but this IS about gardening! Your beautiful garden is the place where you feed your soul.
    Thank you for sharing your story and for being so candid about your feelings. I wish you a blessed Mother’s Day Brenda. May the sun shine and the flowers smile just for you. . .

  6. Thank you for sharing that. I hope your day is wonderful and filled with love.

  7. Oh Brenda, I sit here with tears and just wish I could reach across the screen and give you a big hug. Jan is right though, your Mother lost so much and at some level in her soul she must know that she will be judged for her actions.

    I wish you a bright sunny day tomorrow filled with beauty, peace, and love in the amazing home and garden you have created.

  8. Your mother has missed out on the tenderest of souls, Brenda. I’ve always sensed a need … your beautiful garden and home calls visitors to your side … and now I know why. Many arms surround you, enjoying your many talented gifts. Please know you are a rare and beautiful flower on this earth. Happy Mother’s Day, dear soul sister.

  9. Brenda,
    I am so sorry you had to grow up without your mother. I had a hard time losing my mother when I was an adult of 32 years.

  10. We had a similar childhood growing up. I was passed back & forth between my parents who divorced when I was a baby still. My paternal grandmother raised me & my brother Brenda. She got custody of me when I was five years old and I didn’t see my mother again for 35 years. I just recently found her and we are trying to get to know each other. For years this day was hard for me even though I had a good life with my grandparents. It was never the same as having a mom. Nowadays you see more & more children being raised by other family members. It wasn’t as common when I was young. I’m glad you were able to share something so personal that you carry with you daily. You are a remarkable person and I feel blessed to have gotten to know you through blogging. Take care.

  11. Thank you for sharing your story though I know it was a difficult. I met a woman today she is 80 years old and I told her as I had all day to clients to “have a great Mothers Day tomorrow” she said thank you but that she wasn’t a mother to anyone any more since 1980. That broke my heart as your story also touched my heart. I told her that she has the spirit and personality to mother many. She smiled and said that is what she does. I hope that your Mothers Day is the best ever.

  12. Brenda, I have come back three times trying to come up with an appropriate comment. I have no wise words, but you are a lovely talented woman and I am proud to have you as a friend. You did a wonderful job raising yourself. Hugs and sniffles. Deb.

  13. Dear Brenda, You are so brave telling your story. it is a difficult one for you and for all of us reading it. You are such a nice person and I would guess she had to have had huge problems herself to do that.

    Forgiveness works wonders and then you can get on with your life without feeling quite so badly. My thoughts are with you.
    I’m so glad I know you.

  14. Happy Mother’s Day Brenda!!!

  15. I love how you let your light shine.


  16. Family and holidays…they are without a doubt different for everyone. Since I have been reading your blog since the beginning, I knew a little of your story already. My heart breaks for your childhood, but I would like to believe that there is a reason for everything (not that I can come up with any for this), and maybe it is why you are the excellent nurturer and honest woman who you are today. Your creativity, sensitivity, and artistic nature shines through in all of your blog posts (both blogs). You are a friend extraordinaire and a bright spot in my day. If I were ever to visit Texas, I would look for you…and I would hope that you will do the same if ever in my neck of the woods.
    ♥, Susan

  17. Oh Brenda, you know its OK to blog about what you feel…after all it is your blog.
    I cannot imagine the hurt you must have felt as a child. (and adult) I am so glad you have your family now.
    You sure remind me of how blessed I have been in my life and I thank you for that.
    You have a talent of putting things into words. Have you ever thought about writing professionally? You never know it might be good therapy. (extra money for flowers too) what a bonus! 🙂
    I hope you have a WONDERFUL Mother’s Day!
    With Love, Tracy

  18. Brenda,

    As you know, I blog about my feelings, and I am always moved by those who do. This was a very touching post. Perhaps women who leave their children need to stumble upon your humble garden, and listen to your heart, where you have allowed flowers to take root and bloom even in times of darkness.

    The biggest reward in my lifr has been to know my mother did not hold so much power after al. My life has the final say about me…

    Big HUGs to you, my friend!

  19. Hi Brenda,
    I was so busy yesterday I didn’t get a chance to get on here and check the blogs. I am sorry you are having a hard day. Unlike you I know my mother. I wish at times she left me on someones door step. Its hard but I am a survior and I just have to keep telling myself that(-:
    Since you knew your great grandmother did she tell you your mothers name? The 1940 Census is coming out in September and could it be possible to find her that way? Don’t give up finding her. or at least find out what happened to her all those years ago.
    There was a story in our local paper today about a lady who found her mother after 25 years. It was a very happy ending. I will send it to you(-:

  20. I can’t imagine your hurt and pain and confusion.No words can help you get over your childhood.
    Nothing can erase all that.
    You have a lot in your life now, your own family and grandchildren,your pets, and your home.
    You have bloomed like one of your flowers into a wonderful woman and your able to forgive your mother for her mistakes.
    Your a remarkable person Brenda,what ever you may feel, you are special to many.
    Happy Mother’s Day my friend !!

  21. Brenda,

    Although my mother has been gone 20 years I wish I could have shared her with you and had you for my sister.

    I guess at this point in my life I just try to live the best life I can. It’s hard to ever get rid of the hurts you have but remember you will always have me.


  22. It was all her and none of you but your words express just how abandoned you felt. Fortunately you have had the chance at a mother/daughter relationship with the two daughters you have and I am sure you have done an admirable job. I do hope your Mother’s Day was shared with them. I am amazed at how many miss out on the love of a Mom but go on to be a great Mom.

  23. Brenda, this is a beautiful, touching post. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been growing up without your mother.

    I grew up without my father, but my stepfather was there for me for as long as I can remember. Still, I felt the loss of my father and wondered as a child why he never came to see my brother and me. My brother who was older remembers him. He has struggled more than I have with our father’s absence.

    I agree, the loss of a father affects us differently. My stepdaugthers grew up without their mother, after her death when they were only 2 months and 2 years old. Knowing them and their dad has given me an intimate view of the impact of the loss of a mother.

    I’m glad you chose to write about this so candidly. Your story is an inspiration, a testament to the strength of your spirit, the power of forgiveness, and the healing and solace we can find in our gardens.

  24. Ah, Brenda, I just saw this. Just know I am holding you in my heart, and you are one of the nicest people I have the grace to know.~~Dee

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