Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 19, 2009

Dear Mom,

I’m missing you tonight more than I have in quite a while. I’ve not felt the need to write you a letters but the ache in my heart is starting to swallow me up again so once more it is time to reach out to you in the only way left to me.

I’m at LTUE this weekend and it’s wonderful, as always, but I found myself thinking of you quite often throughout the day. In the past I would call you between classes and tell you what I was learning or who I spoke with or this fantastic new idea for a story, but not today. Today it was just me and your memory. I have friends here, don’t get me wrong, and they are just as fabulous as they always are, but you’re not here. Knowing Gary is home with the kids instead of you leaves me with a completely different feeling than I usually have. I’m kind of scared, to be honest. I’ve not left him alone with the kids for more than a day and it’s stupid to be scared. He’s a great father and would never hurt them, not in a million years, but he’s not had to handle them alone for so long and they can be a handful, especially with the challenges they are going through right now. Birdy is about to send me through the roof, much as I love him. He keeps pushing me every way he can and I don’t understand why and don’t know what to do to get him to stop. It makes me not want to be around him, but I know I need to forgive him and still give him the love he needs, even when he screws up. I only wish I understood him better and knew how to get through to him like you did to me.

Maybe that’s not the best example. I know I was hard to get through to as well. I heard you, I just didn’t feel motivated to do what you wanted me to do. Stubborn, I guess. Maybe I’m pushing him too hard, but darn it, he’s got to pass in school and the way he’s going he just won’t. How do I encourage and emphasize the importance without being pushy? I know you can’t give me the answers, but if I ever wanted an instruction manual for a kid, it would be for him.

Birdy said the funniest thing the other day. He was crawling up the stairs and wouldn’t move so I playfully booted him in the bum and stepped down. Evidently he was lined up just wrong because when I stepped down he groaned and grabbed himself and said “Mom, you smashed my nerds!” I laughed until I cried. He can be such a hoot sometimes for being such a challenging child. I don’t know how you ever did it with six of us and kept your sanity. I’m struggling with two, and grateful as I am and as much as I love them, they frustrate me to tears. I wish I knew how to be a better parent. I wish I understood how to parent with love like you did. I keep trying to imitate you and the kids walk all over me. Evidently I’m doing something wrong.

It is so wonderful being here at LTUE and getting reacquainted with my writing friends again. They always motivate me to write again and build up my confidence in myself and my abilities. Julie is particularly good about that. She makes me actually believe her, that I do have talent, and that the only reason I’m not published is because I’m not submitting. Part of me knows that’s true, but another part of me is constantly doubting my abilities. I have decided to get my synopsis down to 1 page and submittable by the end of the month so I can start looking for an agent. I need to start earnestly trying and treating myself like a real writer. That means writing again too. Making it a priority and not just that thing I do when I can’t stand not writing anymore. It’s a part of me and is something I know I should be doing daily. I’m happier when I do.

I wish I could share my new writing with you. I wish I could run down the stairs and read to you like I always did. I loved hearing you laugh and seeing you cry in all the right parts. I miss my greatest fan, friend, and supporter. I miss you, more than anything. Sometimes I dream of pushing your hair off your forehead or smoothing out your wrinkled hand. Every once in a while I’ll feel your kiss on the top of my head, like you used to do so often, or will almost see you standing at the side of my bed and I reach my hand out for yours—but I can’t feel it. Nothing is there. Nothing I can touch anyway.

How do hearts ever heal from something so agonizing? How can one fill the hole left when Mom leaves? I don’t know how. I don’t even know where to begin so I take one day at a time, place one foot in front of the other, and try to keep smiling though my heart feels as if it’s been pierced with a thousand nails. A living pincushion, beating its pain with every pulse, shrieking for release when there is none to be found. I hope you are happy at least and finally able to reach your family in the ways you couldn’t when you were alive.

I just wish I could have a day with you knowing it would be our last. I’d love a chance to say good-bye in all the ways that meant the most. I’d hold your hand and listen to your stories. I’d rub your feet and bury my head in your shoulder for the greatest of all hugs. I would take the time to thank you for the gift of life and love you’ve given me and beg your forgiveness for the wrongs I’ve caused. I know you forgave me long ago, but I never forgave myself. I’m sorry I hurt you, Mom. I’m sorry I wasn’t a better daughter. I’m sorry I wasn’t good enough you could have stayed. I would have given everything I had for one single day with you. I guess I’ll have to wait for it in the eternities now.

Just know I love you with all my heart. I know you know that already, but I need to say it and I need to know you hear. I wish I could feel your arms around me now. You always had a way of making me feel better—safe in your love. Nobody loved bigger than you and I hope you get to continue sharing that love where you are now.

I can’t think of anything else to say and it’s getting late so I’m going to end. Could you find it in your heart to help Sheila gain some comfort too? She’s really hurting and missing you so much.

Eternally yours,