Friday, May 1, 2009
A Lost Love Letter
This week (well, Hell actually the past few years) has been really hard. I feel so lost, and when trying to find my way, I think of you. And then I get confused because I can't remember you being my mom the way I want my boys to remember me being a mom. And I don’t know where to go from here, so I keep trying to remember.
I remember that one time I threw up in your car and I got in trouble for eating too much cereal. We had to stop at the mall so you could buy me some new clothes. I remember riding in your car on the way to your work and the brakes not working and you throwing the car in park to stop it. I remember going inside your work once.
When I lay trying to sleep at night and let the dots connect and the neurons obsessively fire off, I remember bits of you crying when you ran over a kitten and me chasing you up the stairs as your body collapsed in grief, you eating brown rice, you knitting me two little stuffed kitties for my birthday (I still have them), but telling me they were socks when I caught you (I believed you). I remember eating at a restaurant, getting a letter from you at Girl Scout camp. I remember sleeping under your bed because I was so frightened by a nightmare I had and I wasn’t supposed to be out of my own bed.
And of course later, I have memories of you being sick, and laying in bed. I have memories of you in the swimming pool, you putting on mascara, and you laying on the couch telling me and my cousin to be quiet while we were playing. I remember visiting you in the hospital, somehow excited by the fact that kids were not supposed to be able to leave the waiting room, but for a reason beyond my understanding, me and Sister got to go in the hospital and into your room.
I remember not grasping the meaning of the visit or the importance of the fact that this was the last time I would see you alive. I remember you laying there, eyes closed. I remember seeing you look similar later at the funeral home, but you somehow looked happier and more alive than that day at the hospital.
But what I don’t remember, no matter how hard I squeeze my eyes closed or try to drift into some childhood coma, is you ever hugging me or physically comforting me, whispering in my ear, telling me you love me. I’m not saying it never happened, I just can’t fucking remember it no matter how hard I try. I see pictures here and there, but I still can't remember.
While there are many who give support, offer advice, pray for me, think about me--there is no one who can give me my mother’s love, my mother’s touch. And I think that’s what I need right now, mom. I need to remember a hug, a touch. Just one time--just one time so I can feel what it was like to have not just a mother, but a mom. Maybe that would help me not feel so lost as I try to be not just a mother, but a mom to my own boys? Maybe?
I am now older than when you were when you died. Your grandchildren are nearly the same age as Sister and me when we lost you. And I think about the depression, the self-reflection, the passion, the anxiety, the whacked-out emotions that I have and how everyone says I am just like you. And I think that maybe you felt this lost, like me, as a mother, and never got to grow past it, to work through it, to embrace it. The thing is you never got the chance to figure yourself out, and more than anything, I think I mourn this for you.
And I think this has been holding me back somehow. Somehow, my map of motherhood ended with your last breaths of life, and I have reached the point where I am on my own, without a guide. It’s time for me to move past this. Not that I am there yet mom, but I think I’m finally not afraid to live past your life. Almost. And maybe someday it won’t hurt so much to live the life you never got the chance to live and to love the way you never got a chance to love. Maybe.
Forever you daughter,