The loss of a parent or the task of raising a child alone has long been fodder for Hollywood scriptwriters. The formula must work. Think of all the Disney movies that you've watched where the main character either loses a parent during the course of the action or the parental figure is not there at all.

One of the most successful single parent shows in the history of television has got to be the Andy Griffth Show. In that show, single parent Sheriff Andy Taylor attempts to raise his son Opie with the help of his Aunt Bee.

While the show is filled with great lessons about family, life, and love the issue of Opie's missing Mom, also Andy's wife, is seldom addressed. Many of us who are fans of the show have often wondered what happened to her?

Well here are the only clues we have about the existence of Opie's Mom. We know she gave birth to Opie. However, she must have left the family shortly after that happened. That's because in an episode of The Danny Thomas Show where Opie loses his pet turtle because it was stepped on Andy reveals that he lost Opie's mom when he was "the least little speck of a baby".

Opie's Mom was also mentioned in a later episode of the Andy Griffith Show entitled Wedding Bells for Aunt Bee. In that episode, Andy is explaining to Opie about love and he tells the boy that he and his mother had a special kind of love.

So, about all we can do in the case of Opie's Mom is make assumptions.

We have to assume she died because what woman would leave a man as good as Sheriff Taylor? We might assume she died at childbirth because Opie seems to have no memory of his mother.

The scriptwriters never revealed her name either nor did we ever visit a grave, which would actually play into the small town Mayberry plot but alas we are still left with more questions than answers.

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