LAURINBURG — While some looked forward on Saturday to showering their mothers with gifts for Mother’s Day, others celebrated the bittersweet holiday with smiles and tears as they honored the memories of mothers who are no longer with them.
More than a dozen women who have lost their mothers came together to support one another at the first Motherless Daughters Luncheon, hosted by Hospice of Scotland County at the Dulin Conference Center.
“People need a safe place to grieve,” said Laurinburg resident MaryNeil Thompson. “I lost my mother to cancer when I was in the seventh grade. Mother’s Day was hard for me.”
“Mother’s Day can be a very sad time,” said Tanya Williams, bereavement coordinator at Hospice of Scotland County, who helped organize the event. “But we want this to be a very uplifting experience for all.”
Williams asked the women to check off on a list or wrote their own recollections of their mother’s favorite sayings. “I brought you into this world and I can take you out,” proved to be a popular selection, garnering laughter and nods from those who had often heard the same.
“I think it gives these women an opportunity to know the feelings that brings tears and smiles,” said Robin Mundey. “… They have these things in common and they are not alone. It’s a rich experience. Our mothers are still with us.”
Betty Murphy and her daughter-in-law Brenda Terry foldly remembered Betty’s mother, Louyse G. Murphy, who died in February after suffering a fall. She was 93.
“It’s a memorial to me,” Terry said. “She was such a fun person. She loved to make you laugh, she would say funny things and then she would laugh along with you. I enjoyed her … she was a wonderful person.”
Pauline Gruver, of Laurinburg, lost her mom 27 years ago.
“It’s kind of universal,” she said. “When you lose your mother everyone has that same sense of loss.”
“They are always near and dear in our hearts, but it’s good to be able to be with other people who are in the same situation, celebrating Mother’s Day without their mother.”
“She was wonderful,” said Gruver of her mom, smiling. “She was my best friend. She was very helpful and she was always there when I needed her.”
“I see (the luncheon) as a positive thing,” Thompson said. “It’s good to have a forum to speak freely of our feelings and thoughts — it’s a way to keep our mothers alive in our hearts.”
Rachel McAuley can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 15. Follow her on Twitter @rachelmcauley1.