Wednesday, April 21, 2010

because lately, there's been a lot of letters...what's one more?

I wrote you a letter on your birthday, and so I think it is only fair that I write you a letter on mine, too; after all, it is because of you that I am physically here. You gave me the greatest gift a human can give another: life. Moreover, you promised to love me, no matter what that entailed. Incidentally, that entailed giving birth (sorry about that tail bone...), changing poopy diapers, and a whole lot of laundry. So thanks!

This was my seventh birthday without you, and Mom, it's gotten so much easier. I feel like- wait I know- that you would be so proud of the people I love and who love me back without reserve. They make everything so much easier. But that doesn't mean that I breezed right through. In the morning, I thought about how 19 years ago, you were in labor, maybe rushing to the hospital, or eating ice chips while Dad tried to make jokes. Around lunchtime, I thought how 19 years ago, you were preparing to meet me. And that night, I thought about how you might have been spending this evening 19 years ago gazing at me, wondering who I would become and what I would do, and of course, it made me sad that you aren't here to see the answers to those questions. I'd be a poet, a coffee-drinker, a snuggler. I'd grow into a God-fearing, sensitive, chattering woman. And I don't wonder, but rather I am certain that you would be proud if you could have caught a glimpse of that ebony-haired baby 19 years down the road, because 19 years later, though I didn't have you, I had more than I could ask for. I had a mother who drove here and bought me french fries and yogurt and left me with a plate of brownies (if that's not love, then I don't think love exists.) I had a group of friends who sneaked into my room and filled it with balloons just because. And on my birthday, I had two best friends who couldn't wait until morning; instead, they came in at 2 a.m. with a present that caused joy to run down my face.

Mama, soon it will have been eight years without you. It occurred to me that in three years, I will have lived as long without you as I did with you, and that is startling. I imagine there might be a day when my heart realizes this and lets go, stops shaking at the thought of a birthday or a Christmas or a bad day without you. I'm sure it will happen soon. I am certain that one day I will officially have moved on, and I won't need to write any more blog posts or short stories about losing you. My friends won't have to secretly roll their eyes when I talk about missing you. They won't have to think, "Man, you were eleven. Enough already." I will think of you only with happy thoughts, and I won't find myself choked up when I talk about you. I most definitely won't ache for your touch, your voice, your "Happy Birthday."

Sunday wasn't that day and today isn't, either.

All this isn't to worry you. I carry on quite well; I smile and I laugh and I live life. I giggle incessantly with my friends while I still can and I make bad decisions and I praise the Lord for He has been so good to me! I sing and I dance and I talk too loudly in the library. I bounce around and I ramble and I do all of these things with the joy Christ has given me back.

But this letter is to say that I didn't forget that you were around. I didn't forget that 19 years ago, you gave me life and chestnut curls and an outrageous laugh. I am still very much your child, and I wouldn't give that up for the world. I carry you around, even though that brings the ache sometimes. But, Mom, I don't mind. I am certain a day when you've faded will come, but I don't want it to. I want to remember the woman who bore me, who wrapped me and carried me around, who kissed me on the forehead and declared her love. I hide that love in my soul, and should that day come when I forget, all I have to do is glance into the mirror, and for a moment, I can see you, smiling back at me.

And for that, I thank you.

Love always,

1 comment:

  1. I would just like to piggyback on this letter by saying...
    Even though I never had the opportunity to meet you, you have blessed me beyond measure with your beautiful little girl.
    I am so grateful for the impact you left on her and for making her the amazing woman she is today.

    I love you. You never should get over your mother.
    And no one roles their eyes at you. I know I don't. You have overcome so many amazing things and continue to have such awe inspiring joy. You're mom will always be a part of you for her DNA created the very life that is in you.
    I pray that you never get over her and carry on with all the memories of her, good and bad, because they have made you the fantastic, beautiful, wonderful person you are today. My best friend.

    Infinite x's and o's