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Dear Momma

What other word can generate so many deep feelings?
Eye rolling.
Sighs of frustration.
Misty-eyed reverence.
Unspeakable gratitude.
Deep, boundless overwhelming love.
Expectations fulfilled, and unfulfilled.

Motherhood is the motherlode of emotion. (Click to tweet!)
I am grateful to both have a mother, and to be a mother.
I am deep inside both storylines.
Neither has been easy.
Daughterhood has not come naturally to me, nor has motherhood.
I have flung myself against the container of both, and continue to emerge a better version of myself.
Mother’s Day rolls around and it’s time to check in.

Here is a letter I wrote to my mom this year:

linderpix-7377-verticalDear Momma,
One of the great gifts of my life is you.
You are the longest love affair I have ever had.
And one thing I never ever ever doubt is your love.
I know it, I feel it, I can taste it.
I count on it.
We have run the range of emotions with each other over our lifetime together, from deepest unspeakable darkness to most radiant light.
Being able to share you with the Mastery room is one of the great joys of my life.
I look over at you, and each glance is saturated with all the ways we have loved each other, the ways we have failed each other, and the ways our love and devotion has triumphed over all of that.
I think if there is one characteristic that I most cherish in you, it is your sparkle. You have such a strong life force. This spark is what makes you a brilliant flirt, what makes you eternally beautiful, and what allowed you to triumph over all of the hundreds of widows in your building to capture the love of your magnificent, hot fiancé, Ted. The love that you two share is so lovely and loving that it makes me weep.
I have inherited your spark.
It is what makes me the woman I am.
And you know what? Maggie has it, too. She is able, just like us, to take a situation, no matter how challenging or dark, and shine her light. She knows, deep inside, that light triumphs over darkness and that she can change her destiny with the power of her life force.
She has inherited your sparkle, your magic, no doubt.
What a gift you have given her.
I am grateful I chose you as my mother, and grateful that you chose me.
We make beautiful music together.
With love and looking forward to more more more,

I think that the role of a mother, ultimately, is to force us to grow.
No matter what.
Our growth begins inside her body — and continues over our lifetime, if we choose.
We can decide that our mothers inhibit our growth, or we can decide that they provide the perfect challenges in the ways they love us, or the ways they fail us, to force us to grow into the women we were born to become.
It does not matter if she is a “good mother” or a “bad mother,” a mother who shows up for us, or one who fails us.
She is still the perfect catalyst, the perfect opportunity for our growth.
And actually, we all have been given that “sparkle’” that I described in my letter to my mom — every woman has it. It’s something that is passed mother to daughter. And gratitude polishes it up and makes it even brighter.

In the comments section below, take a moment to write a letter of gratitude for your mom. No matter where you are in your storyline with her right now. Let’s celebrate that we were each given the gift of life, and celebrate the women who made us possible.



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29 Comments / Leave a Comment

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  • Sister Goddess Susan May 11, 2014, 2:55 pm

    Dear Greta,

    You have stepped into a space no one has ever filled and my life is so much richer and more beautiful for it. It is hard to believe that it was only 8 months ago that I first met you on that couch at the Americ Inn, for the bond in me runs as deep as if you had been here all along.
    As a step mom, I feel like these children are my spiritual children. We were meant to come together as much as they were meant to be born from their birth mother. The gift has been full of… well everything! I never in a million years would have imagined that at my age I would be blessed with the gift again, this time in the upward direction.
    I am so grateful for you in my life, for your kindness, your generosity of heart, your commitment and your amazing light.
    I know this is probably a first for you, I hope you enjoy it…Happy Mothers Day to my beautiful soul mom!


  • SG Luscious Robin May 9, 2014, 9:59 am


    Thank you for this post. My mother had that spark too. I loved what you said about Maggie too — my daughter, Zoe, has that ability as well, to shine that light on any situation. She adores you, by the way.
    xox SG Luscious Robin
    ps Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Annette Leach May 8, 2014, 9:59 pm

    Dear Mom,

    This is my third Mother’s Day without you. It’s strange yet comforting, the deep space that surrounds me, the quiet emptiness I still feel when I think of you.

    On the first Mother’s Day after you passed I bought a bouquet of bright yellow tulips, your favorite spring flower. I remember staring at the stillness of the petals, standing so tall and full of grace and beauty that seemed to reach out and embrace me. I looked and in the depth of my being I knew you were there, looking back at me. Today I know that silent space is you. You are here, always. This Mother’s Day and every moment, you are ever beside me, gently radiating your love.

    With love and gratitude,

  • Sandy May 8, 2014, 8:16 pm

    Thank you mother for teaching me what NOT to be. There are times when I interact with my own daughter I think to myself “Whoa! Stop that! You’re being your mother!” So do I think of you? Yes. But not in the way you want or expect. But then ….. you get what you give …. and that’s what you’ve given me my entire life. I hope you have a happy mother’s day with my brother and sister – the children that for some reason you loved over me.

  • SG Tracy May 7, 2014, 8:54 am

    Dear Mom,

    Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for having me and loving me the best that you could. I know our relationship was not what either one of us wanted and I am starting to accept that now.

    Thank you for showing me that the holidays could be special (even the small ones). Thank you for your love of the beach, the wonders of the ocean and cook outs at sun down. Thank you for broiled grapefruits with brown sugar. Thank you for the whaling museum. Thank you for your love of entertaining. Thank you for knowing that I am a great, nurturing mom.

    I know you suffered in this life and I am sorry for your suffering. I love you.


  • Allyson Schmidt May 7, 2014, 8:39 am

    Dear Mom,
    Thank you for the love you gave me, the love you continue to give me and the gifts that you have shared with me. I live in gratitude to you and for you. Thank you for giving me life and thank you for the fierce kindness that you passed onto me, the inner bitch, the sexy, the sensual, the hilarious, the beauty. I honour you by honouring myself. I understand now that when you died it was so I could heal and live.
    I feel you on my path with me. I feel our mothers on our path with us.
    I love you.

  • MassageJen May 7, 2014, 2:59 am

    i just want to say that when it comes to being a parent, I am a mother, but this is for the single parents everywhere, we are all moms/dads when the kids throw up in the night and have bad dreams We are all there grieving for their loss at being best at something. the kids hate us We persevere. We go through their ups and downs. We, as parents, do the best we can and we are by no means or stretch of the imagination perfect, but we persist as our only hope is the success of our children no matter our imperfections. We just have to remember that they too have imperfections Kudoos to all moms and dads who actually participate in their childrens lives

    • mama gena May 7, 2014, 2:01 pm

      as a single mama, myself, i just gotta say: AMEN. AMAMA. GLORY HALLELUJAH. thank you, jen.

  • SG Sizzling Sexy Songstress Heather May 7, 2014, 12:20 am

    Dear Mom,

    I thank you for giving birth to me. That alone deserves my love and respect.

    Honestly, I need to thank you for teaching me what does not work for my life and giving me contrast so that I could make different choices. Thank you for doing the best you could with the knowledge you had.

    Your Daughter,


  • SG Mercedes May 6, 2014, 9:18 pm

    Oh how lovely your letter to your Momma Regena! and thanks for giving us the idea to do the same with ours. My mother was very , very special. She was my 5th and 6th grade teacher in Cuba and in later life she became a spiritual teacher as well. My mom
    Madre Omshakti passed away 15 years ago. I was so blessed to have been born on her 30th birthday, and then to have my first born daughter SG Dania also be born on the same day of my 30th birthday and my mother’s 60th! what a source of confirmation of souls so united in love . I cannot write her a letter in English it has to be in Spanish so here it goes:
    Mi Querida Madre Omshakti,
    Mi corazón esta siempre unido al tuyo. Aunque algunas veces no te podía comprender, siempre eras un orgullo para mi, y estoy feliz y complacida de que fuistes mi mama, y mas que eso fuistes un gran ejemplo en mi vida. Mi maestra, la abuelita querida de mis hijas y un gran guru que me ensenastes a amar y a perdonar. Me encanta como siempre
    velastes por los mas pobres y débiles y fuistes una luchadora por la justicia y la reconciliacion. Gracias mami querida. Cuanto te extrano y cuan quisiera abrazarte en este Dia de las Madres y darte las gracias por haber sido mi mama! Te lo mando ahora de mi corazon a tu gloriosa alma.
    Gracias a Mama Gena por esta oportunidad de expresar mi amor a ti.

  • SG Shauna May 6, 2014, 5:43 pm

    Thank You Mama Gena for choosing to post this today!
    My mother passed away two years ago and today is her Birthday! She would have been 68. I will take some time later today to write her a birthday letter.

    Thanks for the idea!
    SG Shauna

  • Wende Jowsey May 6, 2014, 4:33 pm

    Dear Regina,

    Thank you. When my Mom was alive we shared a kind of unconditional love that creates allows the heart’s doors to open and the soul’s wings to fly.
    I published Mother Grief: A Daughter’s Journey from Sorrow to Selfhood when I lost her, because I could see that for many of us as daughters, embracing the loss of our mother can be both life defining and transforming. If we can open to the grief we cam come to the gift of rebirth- to a rite of passage that is unlike any other.
    I offer this with Love to all my Sisters:

  • Mummie
    You are my rock. Even when you were miles away you were there every minute for me through all the grief of Ahmed dying. You were there to support me – you propped me up when I had no strength to stand on my own two legs – when I was weak you helped me along.

    You showed me over the years and supported me with all you’re love of travel and adventure. To explore God’s world. To live life to the fullest. To see it all.

    To work hard. Respect what you have. Buy smart. Choose wisely. Take care of what you have. Budget for your future.

    Learn from bad choices. Be the better person. Choose your company wisely. Love God.

    Take care of each other. Always take time for family time and family vacations. Love often. Friends are forever. Marriage is forever. A life soul mate is possible. Happily ever after does exsist.

    May God’s Blessings Spill All Over You Abundantly,
    Happy Mothers Day

  • Wildcherry Jeanette May 6, 2014, 2:07 pm

    Beloved Mama Gena,
    When I had lost all hope in who I was, you came along in my life and I’m ever thankful to you for birthing a part of me that was submerged in an ”unfound” hellhole of isolation from sisterhood.
    Thank you for going through all the shit that you’ve gone through, to be open to opening doors, for women to find ourselves, again.
    Thank you for sharing your lifelong love journey with your beloved mother. What a twinkle she flashed my way, during one of the few times I met her…I changed, forever!
    My love for my own mother rebirthed itself during my times beneath your extra-ordinary and ultra loving presence.
    I’m thankful, beautiful Regena, for you.
    Wildcherry Jeanette.

    • mama gena May 7, 2014, 2:02 pm


      • Wildcherry Jeanette May 8, 2014, 12:29 pm


  • SG Ti Sealstress May 6, 2014, 1:51 pm

    Dear Mom,

    Thank you for being uncompromisingly you. I’ve got that, too. Thank you for teaching me about tone of voice and how I want to speak to others. Thank you for the best minestrone in the world. Thank you for not killing me when I was thirteen. Thank you for showing me the downside of refusing to receive support and help. Thank you for taking such good care of Dad. Thank you for instilling in me a deep love of language and books. Thank you for accepting that we’re so different. Thank you for giving me life.

    That took about all the energy I’ve got today!!

  • Wildcherry Jeanette May 6, 2014, 1:50 pm

    Sent in an email to my beloved Mom.

    To my beautiful Mother, Evelyn,
    Thank you is never enough. Yet, I have to use those overused words to let you know, again, that I’m so thankful to you for having me…just that, for choosing to birth me.

    At a time when you had other plans your young woman life, a fabulous color-coded wardrobe (with everything spotlessly in order), plus a career which might have blossomed, I chose to fill your womb. Your wardrobe gave way to baby clothes, nursing bras !!! and umpteen inconveniences which fashion conscious women have to adjust to. I’m sure it was was hell on roller skates having to juggle work, nurse then cater to me, and all of the involvements that my arrival demanded. But you did it all – FOR ME.

    After birthing my seven babies, I never pass through a day without thinking of how much you mentored me, the ways in which you let me ”see” your motherhood struggles, and the unfathomable love which you extended to me – even when I immaturely didn’t return it!

    We’re separated by an ocean – again – and I pine for your arms around me every day. I’m truly proud of myself for getting the ovaries up to travel overseas to see you – after 20 long-assed, inexcusable years. That first hug that we finally shared still chokes me up with overwhelming gratitude for my courage to ”go see my Mom”.

    I’m grateful to you for my life, for my ability to be the mom that I am because you raised me to be a tough-as-I-need-to-be hellcat. Thank you for loving your man (my Dad) with such a ferocious loyalty that I’ve been able to save my marriage, by remembering your powerful love for him, over and over again.

    I am your eternally loving daughter,

  • Josefa May 6, 2014, 1:45 pm

    Celebrating my dear mother, today and always; you, Mama Gena, and your lovely mother; and all the mothers in our class

    With much love,
    S. G. Josefa

  • Diane May 6, 2014, 1:15 pm

    Dear Mom, Thank you for trying your best. I know it wasn’t always easy, and I know there is so much about me that you don’t understand. I honestly don’t know how to forgive you without sacrificing all of me, but I know that freedom for both of us lies in that, so I’m working on it. I hope your life is easy and wonderful right now and that you are surrounded by people you love.

  • Suzi Banks Baum May 6, 2014, 12:37 pm

    Hi MamaGena! So…you got me inspired again…your magic added to the soup of mine and this is what I came up with. #BringBackOurGirls and Rampant Sisterhood- just what you do every single day. You, MG, are bringing back girls to their joy, to the intricate beauty of our aliveness and to possibilities we never dreamt of. Thank you! I live in gratitude for the life change you lit inside of me. Here is what I wrote this morning after reading your post.

    And here is my letter to my Mom.

    Dearest Joanne,

    I see you waving at me from a framed photo right below my computer and I can feel the breathe of your joy on my face. I live because of you and I am forever grateful. I live in courage because of your fear, I use my voice because of your silence, I live in truth because of your secrets and I live in love because you loved me in the very best way you could.

    There is not one set of ten minutes that goes by that I do not refer to you or think of something you said or hear you say my name. There is not one moment when I don’t yearn to pick up the phone and hear your voice, or come in to the kitchen to see you working on a crossword puzzle with my girl or look out in the yard and see you giving my boy an underdog push on the tree swing. You loved us all so good.

    What do I have of yours that makes a difference in my every day?

    Enthusiasm and a hunger for learning. A healthy appetite. That is what you gave me.

    And so I consume knowledge, solitude, pleasure, laundry, tea, love, good shoes, social change, lingering sentences and long walks holding hands because of you. The smell of coffee brings you in, the wave of dandelions signals your presence and the set of bluebirds nesting in our yard tells me every time they swoop in to feed at the kitchen window feeder that you, loopy wonderful you, are here with us, loving us still.

    I am waving at you today Mom, giving you a big thumbs up.
    Thank you for my appetite.
    All my love,


  • mary May 6, 2014, 11:26 am

    Dear Mom

    Thank you for birthing me, feeding me and putting a roof over my head. Thank you for baking for us and knitting me jumpers/cardigans on occasion. Thank you for encouraging us to travel and do well at school and out in the world. You didn’t score very highly on the nourishing, listening, loving and keeping us safe and secure part of parenting but that also taught me loads – mainly of how I don’t want to mother or parent when my time comes. At least now I’m not afraid any more that I will mother in the same way. I learnt loads from you and I am grateful for that. All the good and bad led me here and here is now wonderful. Thank you for helping me grow.


  • SG Alice May 6, 2014, 11:14 am

    Dear Mom,

    I love and miss you more with each passing day. Sometimes my heart is filled with so much pain from missing you that I think it will burst. I regret that I never appreciated who you were when you were here and only started to understand you the day we were in the NICU ward bathing Leilani, all 4 pounds 14 ounces of her tiny body. That was the best time of my life, sharing a new generation. I was so happy to be a mother and make you a

    Thank you for telling me when I was lonely to “learn to be my own best friend.” And when I worried, you told me to “wear my raincoat when it rains”. And when I would start a new adventure you would say, ” go and break some eggs”.

    Because of you, I love the smell of oil paints and turpentine. I look at your art work and I know where I get my love for Art and Color. When I hear opera, I think of you closing your eyes in front of the fireplace and smiling with Bliss. And when I hear Billy Holiday I think of the empathy you felt towards others.

    Thank you for being there for me even when I was too upset to listen. But know that I heard every word. And in the end, there was so much love, I saw it in your eyes just when you took your last breath!

    I honor you mommy with every ounce of my flesh and being. And no matter what, as you would say, ” okay, that’s enough! Now get on with it!”

    Happy Mothers Day Mommy! I love and miss you so much!!!!

  • Sg Rockstar May 6, 2014, 10:35 am

    Dear Mom

    I wish so much you were still here so I could tell you how much I love and respect you. You raised 4 daughters by yourself in a time where divorce was an unspeakable word. You taught us to love each other and to love the world and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for teaching me that oh so important life lesson.

    Against many odds you emerged as a well loved woman and a role model for many and now that I am older I am seeing that so much more clearly. Having moved back to “our” community there are still people who recognize me as “Margaret Irwin’s daughter” and it fills me with pride and love. I wonder if you ever knew what an impact you had on so so many people.

    I love you Mom and thank you for always loving me unconditionally. Even when you were dying and could barely talk you still managed to let me know that you were worried that I would not be ok because I was not married. Almost your final words “will you be ok?” I am more than ok Mom, I am a rockstar and I have you and your love to thank for that.

    You are amazing – I am not a mother but I have become a mother figure to many young people and I model myself after you.

    Always your daughter


    • SG Genna May 6, 2014, 8:46 pm

      Beautiful! You are the most perfect combination of Rockstar and mama I have ever known. I know without a doubt your mama is so proud XO

  • SG "INZY" May 6, 2014, 10:35 am

    Dear Mother “Who ART in Heaven”…unbelievable that my mother has been gone from me since my childhood, and a few days ago, I celebrated…yes celebrated her passing and remembered her beautiful spirit and the wonderful life she gave me

    No, I really don’t believe in heaven…but I believe that my daughter carries her light with her. They are so much alike and my grand daughter Lilly also carries that special sparkle that makes my life so worth living.

    I remember how I cried at the grave site. Tears flowed like a sea within me I never knew could be possible to have. Helpless was my father to console me. No one could give me comfort until the day I met my husband. She was there at my side amidst the tears I felt missing her presence. But the most consoling of all was the day I gave birth to MY daughter.

    So Mom, whether “Thou art in heaven” or not…you are with us always and your soul and spirit will continue to follow me through life…50 years ago or 5 minutes ago, I feel all the same love for you. The love for MY mother is eternal.
    Happy Mothers Day to ALL!

  • SG Joan Champion of Pleasure May 6, 2014, 10:30 am

    To my dearest Mother,
    I miss you on Mother’s Day, and also on many other days, but I can feel your spirit wrapping around me in a warm blanket of love and encouragement. I feel your acceptance of me and your divine help and guidance in my life now. I hear your voice in my ear as I write this, whispering loving words back to me as I proclaim my love for you. We are eternally bound by our love and compassion for each other. I know you are with your mother now, my beloved Nana, and I hear her too– her kind loving words swirl around me as a balm and a comfort. You had to leave me in order to get back to your own mother, but I don’t feel left out. I feel embraced by my entire female lineage– all the grandmothers, great grandmothers, aunts, etc, going back through the generations. I am grateful to all of you for giving birth to the daughters and sons down through the ages who eventually gave birth to me. We are all connected by love, and on Mother’s Day, and every day, I acknowledge this sacred connection and feel all of you shining your bright lights on me and encouraging me to live fully every day of my life. I feel the power of the mothers helping me and I feel my power as a mother, transmitting my own love to my precious son. I know you, mommie and nana, are guiding him and loving him too. I am grateful always for your protection and profound love. I love you, I miss you, I always have you with me.
    Your daughter, granddaughter, Joan
    I also want to write a love letter to my mother-in-law Ruth whose birthday falls on Mother’s Day this year. My dearest Ruth, you would be 97 this year if you had not left us three years ago. I am so grateful to be your daughter-in-law and to have shared so much love and good times with you during the almost thirty years we knew each other. I am grateful you gave birth to Jay so I could marry him. Thank you for loving him so much that he became such a loving husband for me. Thank you for all the fun we had together and the deep connection we shared. Also thanks for the fur coat you left me. You know I feel you wrapping yourself around me when I wear it. I hear your voice in my ear now too, full of love. I will celebrate you on your birthday this Sunday. I will love you forever. I am your daughter, not just an in-law.
    With profound love and gratitude, Joan
    And to you, Regena, even though we are the same age, you are mothering me and I appreciate that so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating the SWA and sharing your gifts with all of us. I also thank you for sharing your mother with us. I am grateful for her presence at Mastery. I am grateful that at the clothes swap recently I got to help her paw through the piles of stuff in search of sweaters. I hope some of the items we found worked out. I am grateful for her company and the lessons she teaches just by her presence. Happy Mother’s Day to you both!
    SG Joan

  • SG Abisola May 6, 2014, 9:39 am

    Dear Mom,
    I am grateful and I thank you for giving birth to me. I thank you for your life while on earth!
    You are alive for me as I can’t help but remember you. Why? You are ever present in my body — I resemble you as I am your daughter for life.
    I thank you for showing me and waking me up to the fact that the choices you make in life do matter and for showing me that you need to think about what you are choosing before you choose!
    I thank you for standing up for what you believed was right no matter what the consequences. It showed me that the only thing that matters is having the courage to face my demons.
    Thank you for all the sacrifices you made so I could be, do and have more choices in life than you had. Thank you showing me what a loving Family Unit can do for the world. Thank you for revealing thru your life story that I could create Unconditional Forgiveness as a tool to release that which I no longer need and release that which no longer serves my higher self.
    Lastly, thank you for your absolute LOVE that forced me to make different choices than you and helps me grow!
    I Love You No Matter Where You Are In the Energetic World, You are always Birthless and Deathless for me!
    Your Daughter Always, Abisola
    Mama Gena, thank you for being you are and writing this awesome Dear Momma motherlode – Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Sister Goddess Deb May 6, 2014, 9:28 am

    I honor my mother everyday. Although she has been gone for three years now, she is with me always. See taught me how to love because she was the most loving person I have ever known. She taught me to be positive because she wasn’t. We were close sometimes and distant others. But I always knew she loved me for who I am. Now I am passing that to my three children. They may not always like me and I may not always like them, but we are connected by love that has no boundaries. My mom gave me that. I love her, miss her, and feel her everywhere