A Mother Always Makes Room at the Table


dinner table

I think all of us moms can agree on this…the role a mother plays in the lives of her children is very crucial and far-reaching at any and every age.

But I didn’t realize just how far until recently, even after having raised four kids and now lending a hand in raising two grandchildren. But sometimes a unique and or unexpected situation presents itself, and the mom switch turns on illuminating the darkest of nights.

Aside from the joyful birth of my second grandson, the last few months of 2019 left my family in a somber mood and with heavy hearts.

My future daughter-in-law expectedly lost her mom to a long-fought battle with cancer in October, and my son-in-law lost his dad unexpectedly to complications of pneumonia within a week, only a mere 3 days before Christmas.

And in all aspects, you truly marry into a family, not just your spouse. This rings true in good times and in bad. But, “oh dear,” as my Nanna would say, it’s so much easier to walk in someone else’s shoes in the good times…

But I’ve learned the past few weeks that the children you created, will create the loves of your life; the grandchildren. No matter what, they will still need your guidance, love, and your presence while carrying their heavy loads.

A good mom, as most of us are (despite the constant silent berating of ourselves), can be loving, supportive, and kind listeners to our loved ones when they are hurting, even if we are not biologically connected. Because other great moms and dads were doing that long before they met your children.

This Mom can only just be there. I can’t ever replace the lost loved ones or repair the brokenness completely. I will enjoy being witness to new loves, feeling very privileged to be a “mom” to the in-law that’s hurting. Deep down, that probably means more to them that they can verbalize right now.

I’ll just continue hugging, cooking their fave meals, locking eyes in a knowing glance, revealing how much I love them and let them know that things will get better someday soon.

As for me, I’m also healing by crying my eyes out to Maroon 5’s hit, Memories, so opportunely recorded. At the same time, I’m alone driving, contemplating my own mortality and thinking of these incomprehensible tragedies. But for now, enjoying my role as a mom to all my kids, the grandkids, and the kids who fell in love with my own. It is nothing less than an unbelievable honor!

So, in response to my future daughter-in-law, as the mom in my house, I’ll ALWAYS make room for you and my son-in-law and whoever comes next, at my kitchen table. Not to mention the limitless amount of room I have in my heart for all of you; my children. It’s the greatest blessing of being a mom.

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Fran was born, raised, married, and still lives in Mount Kisco, NY. She has four kids, including a teenage daughter and two precious grandsons, whom she babysits a couple of days a week. She also works part-time as an accounting clerk, helps run her husband’s excavation business, and lastly aspires to finish writing her book one day. Despite her crazy, busy schedule, she cooks almost every night for her big family and tries her best to keep up with the dishes! She truly believes spontaneity is the spice of life, and sometimes the very unexpected happens, but it’s usually all for the best. Enjoy her many tales of raising kids over 20 years; what an amazing journey!


  1. I absolutely love this piece, Frances. Thank you for sharing your experience of this difficult and sad time and the hope that shines through it. So sorry for your losses. What a relief for everyone affected to have you be there for them.

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