How The Cancer Stole Mother’s Day

Mother's Day - How The Cancer Stole Mothers Day

As many of my readers know, my partner and I are getting married in June. While reading the various wedding blogs online I’ve come across a few articles about how best to involve your future mother-in-law in your wedding plans; how to make peace with your future mother-in-law before the big day; how to deal with an overbearing future mother-in-law; what to do if your future mother-in-law freaks out … the list is actually quite endless.

And I am left wondering how my own future mother-in-law would react to those things. But I will never know.

I will never know because Ovarian Cancer took my partner’s mother in 2010.

And I can’t even guess because I never even got a chance to meet her.

When my fiancé tells me she would’ve loved me, I say to him ‘Yeah, but we’ll never really know for sure.’

And now Mother’s Day is coming and I’ve been reading all sorts of articles online about how important it is for wives to make sure their husbands don’t forget to include their mothers in Mother’s Day.

Apparently it’s a phenomenon. For Mother’s Day, women are reportedly better at honouring their own mothers while blokes are a bit slack. So the idea is wives need to make sure their mother-in-law feels equally included.

Personally, I think that lets sons off the hook way too much, but kudos to the loving wives who also manage to prioritise the honouring of their mother-in-law on Mother’s Day.

While all these Mother’s Day celebrations are happening, if one’s mother has passed away, the day has a different meaning. It becomes a time to reflect.

On Mother’s Day this year, my partner and I will be visiting the cemetery and paying our respects to his mother. It will be my first time there with him, so it will be a very special, albeit solemn moment.

But I think it will help heal some of wounds I feel due to the weird sense that I’m missing someone I’ve never even met. I’m mourning a mother-in-law I never had the opportunity to get to know and to love.

The thing that’s even more sad is that, when it comes to missing one’s mother or mother-in-law, I know I’m not alone in this. For some, it’s a Not So Happy Mother’s Day.

For context, here are some cancer statistics:

  • 1 in 2 Australian men and 1 in 3 Australian women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85.
  • Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia – more than 43,200 people died from cancer in 2011. Cancer accounted for about 3 in 10 deaths in Australia. (Source: Cancer Council Australia)
  • In 2011, breast cancer was the second leading cause of cancer-related death in Australian women, accounting for 15.6 per cent of all cancer deaths in women. (Source: Australian Government Cancer Australia)
  • Every 10 hours, a woman in Australia dies of ovarian cancer.
  • One in 70 women develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime; 1400 of these women will be Australian. (Source: Women’s Cancer Foundation)
  • In Australia, about 780 women are diagnosed with the disease every year. (Source: Cancer Council Australia)

Mother's Day - Cancer - Pink Ribbon

So this Mother’s Day, if you’ve lost a mother or mother-in-law to cancer – in lieu of a gift – consider donating to your favourite women’s cancer charity. Here at The Canvas Factory, we’re very close to launching a fundraising program that will also help you raise funds.

Welcome Mother’s Day. Bring your cheer,
Cheer to all Mums, far and near.
Mother’s Day is in our grasp
So long as we have hands to grasp.
Mother’s Day will always be
Just as long as we have we.
Welcome Mothers while we stand
Heart to heart and hand in hand.
– Adapted From ‘The Grinch Stole Christmas’ by Dr Seuss.


Eli is Canvas Factory's resident blogger and social media buff. She has a passion for art, craft, design, fashion and photography. She loves to explore the joys and challenges of family life, relationships, motherhood and pet ownership. Eli finds it's more funny to poke fun at herself than others. She's travelled extensively and considers herself a citizen of the world.

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