Cindy said I should remember this day by writing you a letter and explain why the world isn’t a better place since you’ve gone. And I started thinking about this idea today and thought, “Why the hell not?” In addition, why not post the letter here on my blog. You were always my biggest fan, reading everything I wrote and sharing it with your friends.
Sigh… I have no idea where to begin. It’s been a crazy year, Mom. You see, I am very torn between two ideas. One one hand, I wish you were still here. I wish you were still a phone call away. I wish I could come fly out to see you or fly you here to see me. On the other hand, I feel grateful that you aren’t here. So much has happened this past year and none of it very good. This idea that you do not have to learn any of these things nor hear my troubles makes me, in a small way, relieved.
For one thing, your father left us this year and I know that would have broken your heart. I know the two of you had a special bond – his first child, your crazy dad. He called you Letty. I liked that; even after that is exactly what he said when I had to be the one who told him you were gone. I hated that moment. I’m sure you can appreciate how difficult it was for me and how it will be something I never forget. On the other hand, you aren’t here to deal with Grandma’s wacky ideas and nutty experiences, something I know you both laughed about and wished to avoid at the same time. But, I think you would be disappointed in me that I haven’t kept in regular contact with them. And maybe, at the same time, you would understand.
I will tell you this, there isn’t a person I miss talking to more than you… especially this past year. It is so funny. I know you’d tell me you were the last person to be able to give advice on the matters of love, relationships, and marriage. But to me, that wouldn’t matter. You see, Mom, you were always the best listener. I knew that I could call you and spill my aching heart out to you. While you might judge me a bit, you felt for me in a genuine way that was the most endearing. Maybe that’s why your friends were so close to you. Maybe they could bitch about their lives to you and you would listen despite the own turmoil in your own. I feel selfish that way… wanting you here still only for me to have an outlet. But I know you would have felt my anguish and wanted to be here for me in any way you could.
I’d like to think that you would feel like me. You would feel the sadness, anger, hate, confusion, and remorse. I would like to think that you would be on my side and, at the same time, chide me for being so self-critical and angrily responding when I continued to blame myself. Yet, the most important thing is that I know you would understand this duality I face (probably, something you have faced yourself over the years) of missing and longing and loving and hating. You know, I would sometimes feel that I want to spare you the details, hide the pain in my voice, and not let you see the tears, but I know you would know. And I know you would not acknowledge it because you knew my shame – a shame you knew yourself.
Mom, you always were the best listener. You were an amazing friend and you would have been astonished at how your friends responded to your passing. They brainstormed, divided responsibilities, and united in a way I have never witnessed before. I was in awe. And I said as much when I eulogized you. I’d like to think they miss you more than me. There were even a few who post happy birthday messages on your Facebook account after you left. I have always been envious of the friendships you had.
I know you would be sad for me. I know that you would be disappointed, perhaps in me and maybe more so in others. Yet, I believe you would want to find a way to continue on, just as you had done so many times in your life. One thing I miss is how we would get a great laugh at all of this misfortune you and I have experienced. If you can’t cry anymore, all we can do is laugh.
I miss your laugh, Mom. I miss your voice. I miss your hug. I’m sure you would agree you left too early. You did. I wish you were here for me when I need you the most. I wish I was there for you when you needed me the most.
Mom, I want you to remember one thing… I love you with all my heart. While I’m glad you aren’t in pain anymore, but I miss you terribly.