A Mother’s Day (to) Lament

by | May 13, 2018 | Art, Faith & Family

Judy Louise (Fiala) Malnick died of primary peritoneal cancer on December 8, 2014.

Judy was a South Dakota farm girl, a blue ribbon pie winner, an inspirational poet, a church choir singer, a piano player, a marching band percussionist, a shorthand notetaker, an elementary school principal’s secretary, a Scrabble specialist, a Rummikub master, a crossword puzzler, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother. My mother.

With a smile that beamed like the sun, my mom could light up a room with her presence. Selfless, optimistic, faithful, and faith-filled, mom’s life was a gift that all who knew her were blessed to receive. However, while memories of her encourage me forward, three and a half years later, the struggle continues. A couple of times a month I still grab my cell phone to call and tell her a funny story or share an experience that I had. And as quickly as I reach for my pocket, I remember…there is nobody to call “Mom.”

Subsequently, I have found true catharsis through expressing my anger at God. The more I have pushed God through angry tears and screams of anguish, the more I have felt God reaching back out to me compassionately, like a loving parent trying to comfort an inconsolable child. And I fear that if my emotions ever gave way to the numbness of apathy, if I ever turned my back to God in disbelief, that healing embrace might never take place.

My mom’s musical genes are arguably the greatest gift she left me. And so, like the Psalmist who at times rails against God and at other times cries out for the Comforter’s embrace, I continued my healing process by writing of my lamentation.

This song is for anyone who is alone on Mother’s Day…and the next day…and the next…

This song is for anyone who has lost someone to cancer.

This song is for anyone who has lost a loved one.

This song is for my mom.


Aaron Malnick, SJ

amalnicksj@thejesuitpost.org   /   All posts by Aaron