Friday, March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013

Dear Mom,

It's been nearly five years since you moved on from your earthly existence, and I still miss you every single day. The pain isn't quite so acute, but it still lingers. I still ache, still long to visit with you and share my troubles and hurts, my joys and successes. I still want to sit and share my stories and brainstorm ideas. The problem is, you're not here and there's not a darn thing I can do about it.

Things have been hard--really hard--with TinMan the past couple of years. He got himself in some pretty serious trouble this past year and almost ended up in Juvenile Detention. We got him into a Day Treatment program instead. It took several months to get him accepted, but it seems to be making a big difference and I'm beginning to feel a bit of relief. Birdie is failing almost all of his classes and doesn't seem to care except for the consequences. I'm just at a point where I don't know what to do, and talking to you would be such a help and relief. You always know the right thing to say, but again, you're not here.

I realized the other day that you would be Eighty-One now. It seems impossible. You were always so young. It just goes to prove what I've been feeling lately about age. It just keeps marching on whether you want it to or not. The years disappear and there is no retrieving them.

Mom, I can't write. My stories are stuck inside of me and I can't let them out and I don't know why. I want to write. I want it sooo bad. But the words fail me when I try. How do I put simple words on a page when the feelings warring inside of me are beyond expression? I can't talk about it, no matter how hard I try. I just cry and cry and cry and the words won't come, not even with Shari, and I know I can tell her ANYTHING. How do I move beyond this constant ache and live again? Where is the joy that used to come so easily? The peace? I'm doing the things I know I should, trying so hard to keep the spirit with me, but the pain is too much! It's too much! Losing you, struggling with the boys, feeling so alone, hating all my health problems, and not being able to write. Pain, pain, pain! Where can I find freedom and be the real me once again? I'm tired of putting on this mask just to face the world. It is exhausting.

I had thought writing to you would lighten my burden today, but all it has done is bring my emotions to the surface. Yes, I need to release them, but I hate it. I don't want to feel. It hurts too much. Which is probably why I can't write. I can't write if I can't feel. I know that about myself, so why does it take doing this to get me to realize it? Okay, so you helped me after all--but I still miss you and wish I could feel your arms comforting me. Feel your loving kiss on my forehead. I miss talking to you most of all--hearing your stories and having you listen to mine.

And that brings up another thing. Mom, how am I supposed to write your life story? I told you many times that the best person to write it was you because you had lived all the experiences. You were the non-fiction writer, not me. Do you want dragons in your life story? Because I don't know how to write anything but fantasy and I feel so very, very inadequate when it comes to writing about the amazing person you are. How do I tell your stories? I don't know them, not like you. Do I write it as a history? Do I write it as "based on a true story" and write it like fiction? Vignettes? I DON'T KNOW!!! This feels like an impossible task you've given me and I am not worthy to write it. A little inspiration would be great. Actually, tons would be much better, because I'm clueless here.

Dang it, Mom! I miss you!!! Why did you have to go? I need you more than ever.

Forever yours,



  1. Dear Karen,
    Giving birth to words is like giving birth to people. Sometimes they come with only discomfort, sometimes with a struggle that seems to threaten life instead of give it. Since you know dragons, let me remind you how many you are fighting right now. They are savage and relentless. You fight on, bloodied, tired, wounded, feeling the cause is hopeless. It isn't. I wish you could see the faces of the angels fighting with you. Their jaws are clenched, their eyes are burning with determination. They will not leave you. This is their battle, too. Because you only feel the fire burning over your head, you don't realize how brave and strong you have been. You don't have time to look around you and see how many enemies you've slain. And someday when these dragons fall you will sit down and rest. You will have time to look around you. You will remember what you have done and you will smile. Give yourself permission to fight one battle at a time. Give yourself permission to tend to your wounds. Give yourself permission to feel how loved you are. The greatest thing in your children's lives is you. For all the challenges they face, you are the blessing. You are their reward if they win their battles. You will be their mother forever. You- the woman who would do anything for them, suffer anything for them.
    Give yourself permission to fail. And after the first attempt fails, give yourself permission to try again without feeling like a failure. The words will come. Like children, sometimes they arrive late. Sometimes they surprise us. Sometimes they cost a great price. But always, they are miraculous.
    You are loved.
    You are special.

    1. "Tapper,"

      How is it that you always seem to know just the right thing to say? It's taken me two days to respond and at least a dozen readings of your comment to find even a few words that express my gratitude for what you have to say. Every single time I read this, I cry. Every. Single. Time. You, my friend, have such a gift with words. They aren't just pleasing to the ear, they touch my heart and make absolute sense at the same time. The best I can say is a simple "Thank you." You have no idea what a difference your words have made. They are printed, laminated, taped to my wall and writing space, and believe me, they will be read often. I hope someday I can repay this gift you have given me. (((HUGS)))
      You too are special.
      You too are loved.