Today I'm sharing a letter to my mom.
I want to give this post a trigger warning to anyone who may have lost someone, especially those who have lost their mother.
Yesterday made 12 years of her passing. I was in a very different walk of life back then. I was 15 and in High School with no real care in the world. So much has changed since then, and all these feelings have been swirling in me the last couple years.
I invite you to spend some time with me and to keep your loved ones close. Give them many hugs and kisses and make every day special because you never know when things will change.
I miss you so much. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about that lovely smile or try to remember what your laugh sounds like.
When you left us, my world as I knew it was shattered, but you raised me to be strong. I may never know why God decided to take you that day and even now, 12 years later, I still want to know why and wonder if whatever God planned has come into play or if it is still at work. The day you passed you visited me that night in my dreams and told me that everything would be okay. Even if it didn’t seem like it would ever get better, I knew that it would get better.
Mom…those first years were hard, especially during the holidays…
But as time went forward, I started to feel like myself again. I met a boy who became my best friend and doing life with him made me feel like the hole that had been empty for so long could start to be filled again. He supported me when I was down and best of all, he wouldn’t let me shut down when things got to overwhelming. He made me laugh more than I had in a long time and continues to make me laugh every day. He gave me hope for a future where I could be happy again.
Oh mom, I wish you could’ve met him. He wishes he could’ve met you too. Though we wonder if the two of us would’ve even met if you were still with us. Maybe that was part of the plan? You see, losing you set me on the path to do something really big for myself and for you. I got my education and not just any education but an art degree just like I knew you always wanted to do yourself but never got to. My determination fascinated him and pushed him to do more as well as he followed me to New York City. It was a blast. It also kept my mind busy where you weren’t on my mind as often and honestly it bugged me to feel like I had moved on.
Then on the night where I was so proud to finally reach, the night of my senior show, feelings about you came rushing in. I was so excited to be at my finish line, and I looked at my friends who were surrounded by their friends and family to congratulate them on their accomplishment and I suddenly felt so alone. I felt like I had no one else but him. You know what the crazy thing was? My show was on your birthday. I started wondering what it would be like to have you there. What would you think about the work? Would you have been proud of what I’ve done? Just to hear those words from you. This rattled me. I thought I was finally past the tears, but I stood there in tears again feeling like it was just yesterday that you were gone. Is this what it was going to be like at every big moment of my life? Was every big moment going to feel a mixture of happiness and sadness?
The truth I’ve come to realize is that it is.
Every big moment will be a little sad.
I felt it again when I got married.
And even more so, I felt it when I was pregnant.
When I found out I had that little bean inside of me, I wanted nothing more than to call you on the phone and talk to you. I wanted to tell you how scared I was and hear you tell me it was going to be okay. I guess you heard these prayers cause in a way, you came to me in a dream back then. We were sitting at the dining room table, I told you I was pregnant and you were ecstatic. You told me it was going to be okay again and continued to practically dance for joy. You couldn’t wait to spread the news.
Even then, I wanted to hear your pregnancy advice. I wanted to hear stories of when my siblings and I were babies. I wanted to know things like what my due date was, was I early or late? I wanted to talk about baby names. I wanted to talk about what items I should get and just get motherly help planning for a baby.
But you weren’t there….
When Riley came, I wanted you to come see her at the hospital and hold her for the first time. On nights where I felt like I just couldn’t do it anymore, I wanted to call you. I wanted to call you with those stupid first-time mom questions when you think something is wrong but it’s totally normal and we’d have a laugh. I wanted to tell you all the things she was doing as she was growing. I want to know those little details that only a mom knows about their child to see if any of them were similar to me. I wish I could see Riley call your name and run to you with excitement. I wish I could just hear the words from you that I’m doing a great job. Yes, I have family and friends who tell these words, but it isn’t the same as actually hearing it from you.
It’s not just you mom, Grandma followed you the month I got pregnant with Riley. I still find myself thinking “I’ll go visit grandma today! She’d love to see Riley!” Only to remember she isn’t there. I even named Riley after her, mom. I thought it was a great way to honor her. Sometimes I catch little glimpses where I think I see grandma in her features. I always wonder how she’d react seeing Riley.
It may sound a little crazy, but sometimes I think Riley sees you. I’ve caught her so many times playing peek a boo with a glass door, or waving to the corner of the room. Sure, it could just be a kid thing, but sometimes I find it comforting that maybe it’s at least some way she gets to connect with you.
Being a parent is hard…But being a motherless mom has felt like an extra weight on my shoulders. While I know I’m not alone, I truly do feel alone sometimes trying to figure out this motherhood thing. It hurts when I see people talk about how much they love their moms helping with their kids or how their moms do this or that and it makes me sad knowing I’ll never have that. It was one thing back when I simply would never have a mom/daughter shopping date, but a whole other thing when I think about never being able to explore what it’s like to be a mother myself alongside you. I wonder how I’m supposed to be able to raise her if I can’t talk to you. I fear the day that is coming way too quickly that I will have spent more days without you than with you. I have an overwhelming fear that something may take me just as fast as it took you. It often makes me write letters to Riley so that she can always have an extra piece of me to take with her. In the end, I just wish that Riley could get to know you for you, and not as a name on a gravestone or in a photograph, but as a real live person.
All in all, I know I’ve made you proud. I know you would’ve loved to come to my show, be at my wedding, and see Riley, and all the other things that has happened these last 12 years. I know you would have a plethora of things to talk about with me and I just wish I could hear them. I want to keep your memory alive by telling as many stories about you as I can. One thing’s for sure, with these holidays coming up, I want to share that holiday spirit that you always had.
I love you always mom,
Before I leave, I wanted to add a link to add awareness to DVT which is what my mom passed away from. While it can happen to anyone, it is more common in women. Please take a moment to read through and be aware so the same doesn't happen to you or someone you know.