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A story honouring my mum Maria - the wind beneath my wings

Losing my mother to breast cancer when she was only 47 years old was devastating and distressing to me
as I, myself was just 24 years old at that time. It left my family confused, lost and heartbroken.

Standing at the Prince of Wales Sydney Hospital, suddenly the heart machine stopped, the chemotherapy
ceased and the endless medical appointments and cancer treatment was just a faint distant memory now.
I realised I was a motherless daughter.

Operating without my Mother has been a painful journey because everyday you are reminded
that her presence is simply missing as it permeates like a soft mist in every area of your life. Just like that,
you feel terribly ALONE as you learn to be by yourself at a cafe watching other mothers conversing with
their daughters joyously, playing with their babies in the pram, chasing their toddlers at a playground centre,
browsing clothes together and window shopping. But, NO sadly not the case for me because you see, I am
a motherless daughter. I remind myself again to look away because I have learnt to live without my best friend, my mentor, my confidant, my wind beneath my wings.

The one who says, “take that dress off, it’s terrible on you honey” in an earnest way. The one that hugs you
tight while your tears are rolling down your cheeks as you recount a horrible event in your work day. The one who will give you that secret forgotten ingredient in that family favourite winter’s casserole recipe. The one that is simply your everything! But, again I remind myself that I am a motherless daughter now.


Remembering the past with a nod to the future and honouring a beautiful woman, a devoted wife and tireless loving mum to me and my brother, is something that I am passionate about.


Motherless daughters need to be united and stand firm against the patronising and indifferent comments. We need to teach the public that there is a real hurt, a real need for comfort and support and that it is a grief that has no end to its breadth or width. A bottomless pit, an ache that endures for ever and ever until we meet again in another dimension and in a heavenly realm. 

We as motherless daughters, love one another, salute one another and remember our beautiful mothers.

- Vivian Spanos