Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Mother’s Day Brings Remembrances Of ‘Momma’

By MISSY FECAS FILLION, Special Contributor | Published May 6, 2004

Mother’s Day always brings with it bittersweet thoughts of and comparisons of myself to my mother who passed away—or told God to move over, she was taking charge, as we like to think of it—five years ago.

When we become parents, the kaleidoscope through which we view our parents’ lives and our own shifts. When we have our own children, we realize that it’s actually hard work to rear children and to do it perfectly is impossible. We all make mistakes, every day. Compassion grows for those people we may have often blamed for ruining our lives, not understanding us or just not being able to give us what we thought we needed at one time.

My understanding of my mother has grown in the years since I became a parent. As I sank into depression during my second pregnancy, I understood her more. I always wished she had cared for herself better. And I know how hard it is to care for yourself, now that I struggle with it. My mother had eight children. That she even made it through with some semblance of sanity amazes me.

“Momma” never saw me pregnant. She wasn’t there for all the questions I had. I wish I had listened more closely to her stories of being pregnant and all those deliveries. I get jealous when friends’ mothers come to visit for weeks to help out with newborns and toddlers. I wish she were here; even though her health was poor, and she’s certainly better off where she is. I selfishly still want her here.

She isn’t here to see my daughter grow. She isn’t here to laugh at the power struggles we get into already, Katie not even 3 yet. It reminds me of my teenage years and all the arguments and emotions. Momma would love it—revel in it, in fact.

In my mind, I have such a “disconnect” when I think of my relationship with Momma and all it meant, and my day-to-day grind of potty-training, lunch-fixing and nap-fighting. The big picture of my relationship with my daughter gets lost in the details. I start to fear that these “slavery” days will last forever. They won’t, of course. Soon she’ll be coming home from college for the weekend asking for her favorite meal to be ready, so the comfort of Momma and home will greet her at the door just as my Momma and her spaghetti greeted me.

I miss Momma. When she first passed away, I couldn’t get over the fact that I would never hear her voice again. People said that the dead are always with us, that the communion of saints surrounds us. That’s a nice thought, but I couldn’t pick up the phone and talk to her for an hour anymore. I couldn’t see her, hear her, touch her, which felt like the loneliest thing. I just wanted to hear her voice again.

God is good to us, and He answers our prayers, sometimes in ways we cannot imagine. One night I had a dream. I was sitting on the edge of my bed holding my infant daughter. Momma was standing by the bed. She looked at us and said, “Oh Missy, she’s beautiful.”

When I awoke, her voice was still in my head. I could hear her as clear as day. Do I believe that was more than a dream? Yes, I do. The communion of saints is with us, and sometimes that veil that separates us is lifted. A connection was made that night and a link forged between generations who supposedly never met or touched.

God is good, and his mercy endures forever, just like a mother’s love.


Missy Fecas Fillion attends Corpus Christi Church in Stone Mountain. Her e-mail address is