Monthly Archives: July 2009

A Letter to My Mom

Dear Mom-

It has been almost four years since you left me and I still find myself picking up the phone to call you.

I want to tell you about the funny things my kids have said or done.

I want to show you the story Noah wrote about you in first grade that still hangs on my refrigerator.

I want to tell you about the beautiful, complicated, incredible woman Kayla is becoming.

I want to talk to you about report cards, field trips, and boyfriends.

I want to brag to you about hockey games and volleyball tournaments.

I want to cry to you during the times that I can no longer bear to be their mother.

I want to tell you that Sara is my best friend.

I want to tell you that we still go to Hinckley every July to celebrate your birthday.

I want you to know that everyone still talks about you.

I want you to understand how much you were loved by your husband, your ex-husband, your children, your grandchildren, your siblings, your nieces & nephews, your friends, your neighbors….

I want you to know that you left a mark on this world.

I want to hold you in my arms one last time and tell you how sorry I am for all I put you through.

I want to know that you forgave me.

I want to tell you how much I learned from you.

I want to sit with you in the livingroom with nothing to say and listen to you breathe, thinking that you will be with me forever.

And  there are the things that I wish I didn’t have to do but would not have given up for the world:

Decorating your bedroom.

Sitting with you on the couch going over the the list of people to call when you died.

Discussing your pallbearers.

Shopping for the outfit you would wear.

Explaining what was happening to you for the hundredth time.

Getting the Mickey Mouse wine glass for your water.

Calling your family when you said it was time.

Reassuring you that we had pickles and turkey for Thanksgiving.

Explaining to you that we were not going anywhere even though you knew that you were going somewhere soon.

Trying my best to comfort you in those final minutes when you were hot, scared, and breathless.

Writing your eulogy.

I think my biggest regret in those final months is that I let someone else read my thoughts on your life at the funeral.  I hate that I allowed  a stranger speak those words because he did not give them the emotion they deserved.  I like to think, however, that you heard it all and knew that it came from my heart.

You were always my true north, even when I didn’t know it.  You were my soft place to land and my hard dose of reality.  You were the one on whom I depended and the one who knew when to allow me to fail.  You were my anchor and my life vest.   You were my everything. 

Mom, you were not perfect but you were still amazing.

I love you and miss you.

-M-

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Growing Up

Kayla,

As you enter your high school years I have such mixed emotions.  I love the woman you are becoming:  compassionate, talented, intelligent, and beautiful.  I love that we are able to laugh, talk, and spend “real” time together.  I love that you still confide in me (as you see fit).  I love our inside jokes, our silly moments, and our unspoken bond.   There are still times, however, that I miss my spunky little girl:

You have had a mind of your own since the day you were born.  I know that there are many parents out there who will say the same thing, but I can tell you with all certainty that no one is quite like you.

I will never forget your first night in this world.  Your blood curdling screams brought the nurses running.  They thought that this first time mother didn’t know how to console a newborn.  They soon discovered, however,  that you were not hot, cold, hungry, tired, wet or needy.  You were just Kayla.  You expected perfection and would settle for nothing less.  I pray that you never let go of that instinct.

As a young mother I made (and continue to make) mistakes.  I expect too much or accept too little.   I demand instead of request.   I talk when I should listen.  I punish when I should protect.  I undermind when I should understand.

All I can tell you is that my journey is parallel to yours.  Everything I do comes from my fierce, unshakable, inexplicable, unconditional love for you. Every decision I make originates from my desire to protect you from all of the heartache I experienced.  Every lecture you hear was written on one of the thousand tears I shed.

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago I was you.  I was young, innocent, unstoppable, and invincible.  The world was my oyster and all I needed to do was pluck the pearl when I was ready.  I know you don’t believe me but I have pictures to prove it.

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I am shocked at what I see.  In my mind I am still the girl  in the photographs.  When did I become the responsible mother of 2 with crow’s feet, laugh lines, and thunder thighs?   When did I become someone who worries about curfews and carpools instead of clothing and cliques?

I think it was a gradual progression.  I think that with every day that you grew I was forced to grow along with you. I think that just as I have shaped who you are, you have shaped who I am.  I think that you have taught me more about myself than I could have ever learned on my own.

Somewhere along the way you changed from a chubby cheeked, curly haired, feisty little girl into a almond eyed, confident, influential young woman.

As hard as I try,  I know that I will never be able to protect you from all of the mistakes I made and all of the pain you will feel.  I need to accept that this is your journey, not mine.  I need to step back and allow you to experience the consequence of your choices…both good and bad.   I need to trust that I instilled in you the ability to distinguish between right and wrong.  But most of all, I need to hope that no matter what happens you know that you can come to me and trust that  I will guide you, understand you, and love you.

If I could tell you only one thing it would be this:

No matter what you think, say, want or do I will always love you.  Nothing could ever erase my love for you.

Love,

Mom

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