You can't miss something that you don't remember having. I still refer to my phantom mother as mommy. That's what we called her when she was alive and how we remembered her long after she died. I was 4 years old. They told me God needed angels.
Mothers are our storytellers. They're the keepers of the secrets and the memories. Mothers are the ones who remember how cute we were and the funny things we did. They reinforce our lives with their memories of us. Their memories become our memories. Even if some truths are stretched, tweaked, or embellished, they become real over time.
That's what I miss. Have missed. Will continue miss. My story. Even all of my surrogate mothers and replacement mommies throughout the years have taken their memories with them.