[An open letter to my mom who passed away August 15, 2015. In honor of Mother's Day...]
Where do I begin? I remember writing you Mother's day cards every year and I could never quite find the words to tell you how much you mean to me. This is no different from any of those other times. I wish I was preparing a card for you. I wish I was picking something out in a store or hand making it for you. I wish I was rummaging through my stationary looking for stamps to mail that perfect card out to you. Or better yet, flying to California to surprise you and give it to you in person. I wish you were here. I wish I could hug you and hold you and feel you. I wish I could hear your voice say "I love you Melissa." I wonder all the time why you left us behind. To figure out this life without you. Sometimes I'm angry...frustrated with your absence. Sometimes I'm sad...and broken that you aren't around. And sometimes I feel peace. Peace with knowing you're at peace. Knowing you are in a much better place. That you're healthy again. Beaming, glowing, and beautiful. But I still miss you. I miss you more than I could ever even put into words. This letter to you will never be enough, but it's helping hold my heart together today. This particular day, 'Mother's Day', unquestionably and obviously seems like one of the hardest days to get through. Because it's that constant reminder of your absence. All day.
But today, I'm holding my head a little higher, holding my heart together a little stronger. Because I know that's what you would want. And I'm thankful for the life I had when you were so very much physically apart of it. As much as I know we drove each other absolutely and undoubtedly crazy, particularly towards to end of your life, we still had sooo many good memories that I hold so dear to my heart and think about constantly. I hope you think about those memories often and they outweigh the bad ones. We sure did struggle a lot to get on the same page, but only because we cared so much about one another. And I know that.
I found a recent "mother's day card" I wrote for you only a year or two before you passed I believe. I wanted to share it with you again.
'Mom, no matter what I do or where the future takes me, I promise I'll always remember everything you've taught me, appreciate everything you've done for me and wish that I told you more often what I don't say often enough.... I love you, Mom.'
"I love you very much and I know I don't tell you that often enough. Mom, you have made me into the girl I am today and for that I am so grateful. I'm so thankful for everything you have taught me and what you have done and continue to do for me. Thank you for being the mother you are! I'm sorry I couldn't spend today with you but know that I love you very much and I will be better about telling you I do! Have a wonderful day mommy. You deserve nothing but the best and I will see you soon!
Love always, Your sunshine cookie."
Everything still reigns true to the words I wrote however long ago. I'm still sorry I couldn't be with you today. Sometimes it's hard for me to talk to you because I never know if you're ever really there listening. But my biggest hope and prayer is that no matter where you are or what you're doing at the time, that you can always hear me when I say "I love you." because I will continue to say it aloud till we meet again. And I hope that you can somehow feel the love I have for you in some capacity.
Those are the things I hold on to. Those are the things that get me through. I could sit here all the time and tell you how much I wish you hadn't left us so soon. Hadn't left me so young. But just know that I love you. and that I think of you. and that I feel you in the moments I really need you. When my heart feels like a heavy weight and the pit in my stomach surfaces because I ache for you, I feel that you're there.
I'm writing this open letter to you to put out in the universe in hopes you'll see it and read it. I hope you have an amazing Mother's day with your Mom in heaven. I hope you know how loved and missed you are.
I can't wait for the day I get to hug you again and hear your voice call out my name.
I love you so much. and happiest of Mother's day to the woman who made me who I am and who I continue to be. Who taught me compassion and love. Who had the biggest heart. To the women that left this world far, far too soon.
You're baby girl & sunshine cookie,