Sunday, August 23, 2009

August 23, 2009

Dear Mom,

It's been one year and seventeen days since last I saw you tucked in your hospital bed. A year of tremendous change that has filled my heart with joy that takes me to the tops of the mountains, and sorrow so deep it felt I'd fallen to caves far beneath the earth. Some days I've felt you guiding the sunlight my way, and other days I've felt as if the sun had gone entirely missing, blacked out by the pain of your absence. I've had about a month now of really, really hard times, missing you like I did near the beginning when I thought I would melt for the ache of your loss.

Our renter moved out, and now after a full year of having you gone, I am suddenly faced with your absence. He filled your space and made it his own, and now that it's gone all I can see is you're not here. Going down the stairway I see the holes where nails hung your many pictures of family. I know which hung where and whose face shined at you every time you navigated the stairs. I see your empty table and immediately my mind draws up the ghostly images of you sitting there paying bills or eating breakfast or working on your life story you left me to finish. I feel the softness of your touch as you held my hand when we talked. The poke to my backside whenever I bent over to help you with something. The racing heart and laughter when you jumped out at me from the storage room. I see your smiling face, your bitter tears, hear your gentle voice . . . but you're not here.

I don't know how to get over losing you, Mom. Sometimes I feel so alone, so abandoned by you and the rest of my family. I know you've been doing a work with them, a work you couldn't do here and have seen the changes in them for it. I don't resent that for them. I'm THRILLED that they get a piece of you, that they get your attention now. I know you've done what you needed to for me, for the moment anyhow, and I know I have to share--but still I miss you and can't help but be jealous that they get you now and I don't get to feel you near any longer.

I guess I feel like I've been shoved out of the nest when I'm not ready and that ground is coming up hard and fast and I can't figure out how to work my wings. Most days I'm afraid I'm going to splat all over the pavement. You were always there, lifting me back up when things got hard and I don't know that I ever learned how to fly.

I don't know how to express all the feelings that are weighing so heavily on me. Most days it feels like they're going to tear me apart, cripple me so much I'll never feel again. Some days I wish they would. At least then the pain would stop and I could function again. I had thought things would be better once the first year had passed, but I was wrong. It's as bad as ever and I feel more lost than anything. Why did you leave, Mom? Not just leave this earth, why did you leave me spiritually? I used to feel you close so often and now there's just an absence, a void where you once were. I've felt Daddy and Grandma around, but no Mom, and it's as obvious as the sun in the sky. You're not here.

Come back, Mom, even if it's just for a moment. Let me know I'm not abandoned, not forgotten. Help me remember I'm not alone.

Yours for eternity,


Saturday, August 1, 2009

August 1, 2009

Dear Mom,

I've been avoiding writing for ages again. It's so hard to deal with the feelings so I stuff them deep and pretend everything is okay and you're just gone on some extended vacation most days. I still haven't sold your truck. I can't seem to bring myself to let go of anymore of you than I have to.

I fell apart tonight. Bits and pieces of my walls crumbled down and I melted into a big dribbling pool of emotion. I didn't think I was going to survive this one. I couldn't catch my breath for the pain. Thankfully my four dearest friends came to my rescue tonight, sending their love and hugs via text and chat and somehow after exploding they helped to piece me back together again so I can think.

I've not felt you around much lately. I know you have to let go, just as I do. I know that I've never really cut the apron strings. It was just too hard. I liked the apron strings. They didn't sever even after you left and it's only now, when I finally see some success in my life, that you've snipped them and stepped away. For my good, I am sure, but still it hurts. I don't like standing on my own. I liked leaning on you. You were stronger, wiser, so much better than I and I miss being able to lean on you.

You were right, Mom. Right about so many things. You told me there in the hospital that I'd be okay and needed to let go. I didn't understand it, couldn't say it then, but you were right. I'm going to be okay. I feel it now. I still miss you. I ache for you every day, wake with memories of you bubbling through my head, and go to sleep with remembered kisses and bedtime songs. Sometimes I imagine you sitting at the side of my bed, stroking my hair like you so often did, and just being there with me as I drift into sleep. Other times I imagine you sitting next to me in the car and remember all the conversations we had together, whether on long trips or just a jaunt into Salt Lake. Of all my memories, I am most grateful for the time we shared talking and sharing our souls. I miss my friend in you the most.

It's finally happening, Mom. You always believed in me and my writing. You always told me it was going to happen, that it wasn't an "if" but a "when" and I always loved sharing that dream with you, living it for the both of us. My first thought when you took your last breath was a selfish one. She's never going to see me published. I couldn't help myself at the moment, but immediately after the realization came to me that you didn't have to see it. You believed in me so much that you knew it would happen. You knew it like you knew the sun would rise. Well, you were right. It's happening. I wish so much you were here to see my contract, to hear about all the exciting news and plans for my book, to see the cover when it's revealed. I want to sit at your bedside and read my drafts to you and play the "what if" game.

I want you to be proud of me. More than anything, I want that. I want to know that you are happy with what I've done with my life this year, that you are pleased with the changes and growing up I've been doing. I want to see you smile, have you wrap me in your arms, kiss me and say "I'm so proud of you." I know you would if you were here, but I miss seeing it, miss feeling your lips pressed to my forehead.

I miss you!

The boys are growing so much. They still speak of you every day. Teeny prayed the other night that you would be able to come back to earth when Jesus came back down and could come and be with us. Birdy comes and begs to sit on my lap, even at 10, because he aches so much for you. We all miss you, Mom.

I need to tell you something I couldn't tell you then. It's okay. I'm going to be okay. I'm letting you go now, Mom. You've got a work to do on that side and I'm holding you back. I've felt it. It's okay. Go do the work Father has set for you to do. I've found some more amazing friends to add to the gem I have in Shari and they are helping to carry me through. Thanks for bringing them into my life.

Go do your work, Mom. Just, please . . . if you wouldn't mind, check in every once in a while? It's so comforting knowing you're near and helps to remind me that there's more to this world than what I can see with my eyes or hear with my ears. There are some things I can only feel with my soul and you are one of them. Give daddy and everyone a hug for me. I miss you all.

Love for all eternity,