How My Sister and I Reclaimed Mother’s Day

Nita Sweeney
3 min readMay 10, 2020

I don’t remember which one of us decided to reclaim Mother’s Day, but it began with an impromptu day-long road trip. With little fanfare or notice to anyone except Ed, the #onehundredpercentgoodhusband, my sister Amy and I hopped in her convertible and drove north up Route 23 to Putnam County, the part of Ohio where both of our parents were born and grew up. We visited our grandparents’ houses, the cemeteries where our grandparents and other relatives on both sides of the family were buried, and we stopped at fast-food restaurants to eat.

We bypassed the buffets in restaurants with white linen tablecloths and the brunches in popular breakfast places.

It wasn’t the food.

We were hiding from the mothers and daughters.

I’ve always said my biological clock never went off. My niece, Jamey, was the closest thing to a daughter I ever had. To claim I did anything close to parenting her would be an outright lie. She was simply the first young person in our family with whom I spent more than the occasional holiday. And she was my sister’s daughter, her only child.

And then Jamey died.

And then our mother died.

And then it was Mother’s Day.

No thank you.



Nita Sweeney

Bestselling author of A Daily Dose of NOW, Depression Hates a Moving Target and other books. Runner, mindful reality coach, mental health warrior, dog mom.