Sarah had grown up an only child of a
single mother. She had shared birthdays with baby dolls her mother nearly
shoved in her direction with an obligatory “Happy Birthday” that held a lack of
sincerity that even a seven year old could detect. She had wished upon
countless stars that classmates’ mothers were hers or that her mother could
bare even the slightest resemblance to a woman who loved her only daughter, her
only child.

But Sarah’s mother seemed incapable of
exemplifying such semblance. Her mind’s soft whispers comforted her with
affirmations that said she was serving a sufficient parental role. After all,
she provided for Sarah, ensuring she was housed, clothed, fed and afforded
opportunities to spend time with her friends, take piano lessons with the
neighbor next door, and study with an afterschool tutor who made s’mores that
Sarah couldn’t resist.

Sarah was grateful for all of those things,
but her heart remained lonely, sad and unfed. It was hungry for attention from
and connection with the only bloodline she knew. It craved motherly regard,
maternal nurturing and simple affirmation that it’s beat was for a worthy human
being deserving of her mother’s love. But she never knew that love as a child,
and as an adult, she still stood wondering why her mother could not connect
with her sole descendant. So she asked.

It was horribly hurtful and heartbreaking
for Sarah to hear how her mother had never wanted to assume that watchful role
of responsibility. She sobbed when she discovered that her existence was close
to unknown as her mother had wanted to terminate her pregnancy but was instead
guided by the guilt of her gut to carry to term. Sarah wiped away her tears and
stared into the cold, unaffected eyes of the woman she had called “mom” for
three decades as the daggered words of explanation darted through her lips.
When she slid her chair away from the coffee shop’s copper-speckled table, she
held her mother’s gaze for a mere moment longer before leaving the wafting
aroma of brewed beans and painful feelings void of value in the venue of
percolating brew.

Sarah’s soul suddenly became unburdened from
the weight of worthlessness she had harbored for years. As she exited the shop
after the final absorption of the image of the woman on the opposite side of
the coffee shop table, her mother was also relieved…released to the world to be
the woman without children she had always wanted to be. No longer did either
woman’s world hold a place for the other.

Mary Marcia Brown is the author of Women Without Children available on Amazon in paperback and as an Ebook.