I Don’t Have a Mom

But I wish I did

Colleen Sheehy Orme


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

When I was first married I went to the grocery store. I was in the infancy of being a newlywed. I know that sounds redundant. But it reiterates I was a babe in the woods, a deer in the headlights. I couldn’t wait to do seriously married things, like make a delicious dinner.

I stood in the grocery store baffled by the meat choices before me.

An older woman who seemed to be a gift from God suddenly appeared. She was perusing the items like a veteran. I’ve never been accused of being shy, I sought her advice.

“Do you know what kind of steak I should buy to make dinner?” I ask.

She senses my absolute confusion is more than the average girl.

“Honey,” she says. “Where is your mother?”

“In heaven,” I say.

Once those words came out of my mouth, you have never seen an old woman move so fast. She rifled through that beef like a wrangler. And then she looked at me with unforgettable compassion.

“Here you go,” she said. “This will be perfect.”

Even today, tears crowd my face at the memory. Far more than they did that day. Because I was so young I didn’t understand the depth of my reality or the sadness on her face.

Technically, I had been married for three years but I considered myself a newlywed. My husband and I were the quintessential partygoers. The overly social beings who were out and about. We spent little time in the kitchen.

But we were finally maturing.

I felt like an adult and I was ready to cook

Though looking back, I realize I was just a baby.

My mom got sick when I was twenty-four and she was lost when I was twenty-eight. I married at twenty-five.

I had a hard time selecting a picture for this piece. Some pictures were too young and some were too old. But the picture of a young girl at graduation reduced me to tears. Because that was our last genuine time together.

My mom and I, me and her.

It was us together before she got sick.

Now those young years between college graduation and marriage seem reckless.



Colleen Sheehy Orme

National Relationship Columnist, Journalist & Former Business Columnist. I cover love, life, & relationships— #WomanResurrected colleen.sheehy.orme@gmail.com