We got the slightest whisper of some Michonne (Danai Gurira) backstory in The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 2, "Infected," but it spoke volumes. Since she and Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) were among the few to not be exposed to the virus in Cell Block D (and since Michonne was recovering from falling off her horse), the two were charged with watching baby Judith Grimes, a task that Michonne was… less than comfortable with. And it seemed like it was something much bigger than just basic uneasiness with children.
While Judith was enthusiastically playing with some red Solo cups, Beth thought back on everyone who had died. She asked Michonne if she'd ever had kids. In addition to orphans, she reflected, so many have lost children. "Why don't they have a word for that?" she wondered. Michonne stayed silent.
Later, while Beth sang her a lullaby, Judith spit up on her shirt, leading Beth to hastily pass off Judith on Michonne, who at first refused to hold the baby. Finally, Michonne held Judith at an arm's length while Beth ran off to change. As Michonne stared at Judith, she slowly drew the baby closer and, in what seemed like a combination of sadness and joy, started weeping.
This seems like a pretty big hint to Michonne's backstory; there's a very strong implication that her guarded exterior comes, at least partially, from the loss of a beloved child.
That doesn't mean that she herself was a mom, though. It could be she was charged with the care of a child post-Turn, only to have it end in tragedy. It's possible that she lost a younger sister, or possibly a niece or nephew — we don't know what her pre-Turn family was like!
Of course, Michonne could have been a mother, either pre- or post-Turn. Maybe, like Rick at the very beginning, she doesn't know what happened to her family — she just came home and they were gone. Maybe she lost a child and it had nothing to do with Walkers.
What do you think? Was Michonne a mom in her life before the Turn? Tell us your theories in the comments!