Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Since Mother Went Away

Since Mother Went Away

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 15, 2011




— from the Relief Society Magazine,
May 1934


My mother went away on February 15, 2000.

I think that no matter how old we are, no matter how long it has been since we depended on our mothers for support and advice, or how long they have been ill or feeble or old, probably even if yours was a difficult relationship, having our mothers go away changes us. In my case, I wasn’t even aware that I had thought of her as a shield between me and the Void Out There, but once she went away, I felt — still feel — exposed and vulnerable; to what, I don’t know, but she had stood between me and It.

Sympathy to all of you whose mothers have gone away. May we have more of faith and less of fear, and be all that they wished for us.



  1. My sympathy is with you today on the anniversary of the loss of your mother. In talking about relationships with parents, a wise friend once said she never really felt like a “grown up” until she had lost her mother.

    Comment by Sarah in Georgia — February 15, 2011 @ 7:11 am

  2. Yep, the world isn’t the same place when your mother is no longer in it. My heart is with you, and all of us who have lost wonderful mothers.

    Comment by Ellen — February 15, 2011 @ 9:37 am

  3. I understand as well…feel better Ardis, thanks for all you do.

    Comment by Cliff — February 15, 2011 @ 10:12 am

  4. Thanks, friends.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 15, 2011 @ 10:22 am

  5. It took a couple of years for the loss of my mother in 2001 to really settle in. So many times since then and since my Dad died, that I just wish I could sit down and talk to them. I know we all look forward to when we can do that again.

    Comment by kevinf — February 15, 2011 @ 11:33 am

  6. When my mother lost hers, a few years after losing my grandfather, she said “You’re never too old to feel like an orphan.” I’m sorry for your loss, Ardis.

    Comment by Proud Daughter of Eve — February 15, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  7. I wish that I could take you in my arms and hold you for a bit, but as that isn’t possible at the moment, I send my heartfelt love and sorrow. Besides, who ever said that Mothers’ are far from their children? I am sure that your Mom is close to you today, as well ason all other important and difficult days.

    Comment by Andrew's Other Half — February 15, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

  8. I still find myself wanting to talk to my mother and she died in 1990. I’m thinking of you today, Ardis.

    Comment by Maurine Ward — February 15, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

  9. Oh I how I understand your comment, Maurine. My grandmother died in 2007 and I still find myself reaching for the phone to call her nearly every weekend.

    A lovely tribute, Ardis, for you, your mother, and all of us…

    Comment by Mina — February 16, 2011 @ 8:04 am

  10. Beautiful. My heart goes out to all those who have lost their dear mothers. And I thank you also for the powerful reminder to cherish every moment I still have with my mother.

    Comment by Meghan M. — February 16, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

  11. Thanks again, friends.

    Meghan, the last couple of years, I was conscious every time I said goodbye to Mom that it might be the last time, and I made an effort every time as I hugged her goodbye to make a deliberate memory — where she came to on my shoulder, the scent of her body powder and even the scent of her fabric softener, how her cheek felt against mine, how her shoulders felt as I hugged. And I would remember to think about that from time to time to fix the memory as tightly as possible. I’m sure glad I did.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 16, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

  12. I remember your mother, Ardis. And I still have several pots of shamrock flowers that I got from her when we visited your parents at their house. Lovely lady.

    Comment by Carol — February 16, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  13. That’s sweet, Carol, thanks.

    I finally have a pot of those shamrocks myself, dug from my aunt’s garden just before selling her house. They’re a little spindly at the moment from having been transplanted during the winter, but I think they’ll fill in nicely in a few months. Funny to think they have cousins out there with you!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 16, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

  14. That’s neat. One thing about those shamrocks. When you think they’re dead, I mean it’s nothing but bare dirt for weeks in the pot, keep it in the sun and keep watering it a little and they will come back very suddenly. It’s happened over and over, but it surprises me every time. Little shoots will come up and start growing an inch a day.

    Comment by Carol — February 17, 2011 @ 7:08 am

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