In celebration of Mother’s Day, I think of all the dedicated, hard-working mothers around the globe who’ve sacrificed their own happiness to make sure their children are fed, clothed, and loved. I get especially emotional when I think of my own mother who passed away two days before, and then was buried on the same day she’d given birth to me twenty-four years earlier.
As you can imagine, my birthdays have been bittersweet occasions ever since. But as time passes, the wonderful memories of my loving mother ease—not replace—the sharp pain of loss. Her memories sometimes bring me tears, sometimes smiles, and sometimes laughter.
Mothers come in all forms—biological, foster, adopted, and step. Some mothers are natural-born while others struggle to get the handle on this most important job in the universe. Some succeed and others fail for one reason or the other.
As a romance author, all of my heroines become mothers at some point in my stories. Most of them give birth, but there are some who take quantum leaps from single-hood to motherhood overnight. I call them Overnight Mothers. Two such characters are Michelle and Kaya, from my Billionaire Brides of Granite Falls series.
Michelle Carter, from The Doctor’s Secret Bride, became an overnight mother when she accepted a nanny position for adorable seven-year-old Precious LaCrosse, who’d lost her mother two years earlier in a tragic accident. It took a little bit of ingenuity on Michelle’s part to squeeze a smile out of an aloof and sad Precious. Michelle, whose own mother died while giving birth to her, understood the little girl’s grief, and by the end of the first day on the job, child and nanny had bonded in a way that neither had bonded with anyone before.
The love between Michelle and Precious’ father—billionaire widower, Dr. Erik LaCrosse—also blossomed. But like all romances, the love between these three characters would stand the test of time, separation, and pain. And like a great romance ending, they eventually made up and lived happily ever after.
Kaya Brehna, from The Mogul’s Reluctant Bride, became an overnight Mommy when her estranged half-sister and brother-in-law died tragically, leaving her guardian of their three young children. Unlike a motherless Michelle, Kaya was raised by her abusive mother since the age of five, when her father walked out on her.
Kaya’s abandonment was the main reason she’d never developed a relationship with her half-sister who’d been raised by their father. However, as soon as she heard the news of her sister’s death, she traveled from Florida to New Hampshire to be with her orphaned nephew and nieces.
It wasn’t easy at first, since Jason, her ten-year-old nephew, became instantly suspicious and wary of an aunt he’d never heard of, or seen before. To make matters worse, Kaya was met with strong opposition from the ruthless business mogul, Bryce Fontaine—the children’s devoted godfather—who was determined to stop her from taking them to Florida with her. But again, this is a romance, and eventually Kaya won Jason’s love and respect.
Neither Michelle nor Kaya shied away from the thought of transitioning from single-hood to overnight motherhood. Instead, they recognized the needs of the children who were placed under their care. They embraced them with open arms, and consequently brought healing, security, trust, and love back into the lives of the children whom they’d grown to love as if they were their own.
As Kaya told Bryce, “Just because a woman gives birth, it doesn’t make her a mother. And vice versa, a woman doesn’t have to give birth to be a mother.”
True love between mother and child never wanes, but grows stronger, no matter how old they get.
Happy Mother’s Day!