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to my mom.

hi mom,

it feels weird to write this, after almost 21 years of not having you here.  i don't know why i've never written.  it probably has to do with children just wanting to shut doors on trauma, and before jim and elly died, i wasn't really in the habit of writing letters to any dead people.  i hope some part of you gets this.

i miss you so much.  i've cried so much for you this weekend.  just thinking about a myriad of things really, who you were as a person, how jealous i am of people that knew you as an adult when we never got that time together, what you would tell me as a single mom, what it would feel like to have you here...  this was the first time in almost seven years that i've cried for you by myself.  it felt lonely, an ache increased by another ache.  i didn't even know that could happen.  i just had to lean against my wall and cry quietly less addy overhear me again.

mommy.  i miss you.  i wish you were here.  i hope you get to hold elly.  she looks so much like you.  there are no words for the absence i feel in the wake of the void.  to lose on both ends of the spectrum, to have half of my immediate family ripped from my grasp, to feel the rope get cut shorter and shorter... it is a cruel world, at times.

i think about the things that you tried to teach me to value.  i was talking to anna the other day about when i was little, and we went to mexico every year for your treatments.  you would have me pack my clothes and shoes that didn't fit me anymore and give them away to children on the streets of tijuana.  do you remember my pink mary jane slides?  i loved those shoes so much and i was so sad they didn't fit anymore.  you told me all about the little kids who would need the shoes more than i did... you said i could pick out a special girl to give them to.  i still remember handing the girl those shoes and her sparkling, brown eyes and pretty, shy smile.

it wasn't until i relayed this story as an adult that i realized how rare it is for someone to care that their child is exposed to poverty, and for someone to make room in their suitcase specifically for things that no longer fit to give away.

i wish you were here to teach me lessons, i wish i could hear your laugh, i wish i could make you laugh.  i have a million wishes to wish on you.
did you meet jim?  will you tell him it's ok?  will you tell him i got this.  that i'm not mad but i'll miss him every day.  since you can't hold me, can you hold them for me?  since you can't kiss me, can you give them the kisses i can't?  since you can't whisper you love me, can you tell them i love them?

mom.  i wish i could hug you, i wish i could whisper thank you in your ear before you slipped away.  i probably never told you thank you, it's not a phrase that just drops from the mouths of children with any frequency.

mommy, i love you.  thank you for being my mom.  please watch over them for me.
i miss you so much.  i hope i get to hug you again some day.


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