During a session last fall, my therapist suggested I write a letter to my mom since I never had the chance to eulogize or truly mourn her death. A one-page document that finally brought closure after 15 years. I never expected to make this letter public, but I kept these feelings buried down deep for far too long. In honor of Mother's Day, I would love to take this opportunity to celebrate my mom and the relationship we shared.
This is our time. Just the way it used to be after Dad passed-- me and you, the odd couple. After your death, the chaos of trying to survive prevented me from the opportunity to pay respect to the woman who helped make me the man I am today. I wish you could meet Matt and he wishes he could meet you. I share stories of your McDonald’s obsession, your love for the little things in life, and that one time you had to pull the car over on the side of I-90 on our way to the Dells.
As I get older, I have more perspective and appreciation for the warrior that you were. From a teenage mom in the late 60s to being a mom to a teenager in your early 60s, you were always able to adapt and be the cool fun mom that everyone wanted to call their own. You just had that way about yourself, you truly loved people and were always there to help them grow or just give them a little laugh.
I’ve heard the stories of how you would go hungry at night to ensure Helene and Bill were fed. You found the strength to walk away from two bad marriages. You raised a son in your golden years while mourning the death of your soulmate. You beat cancer twice before it was time to let go. And you did all of this with a smile, with a glow, with an energy that just made those around you feel safe and loved.
You instilled in me a deep love for the little things in life. And wow, that love for the holidays that you had, well it is alive and well at our new home. We even mound the presents up as you did for Christmas, giggle with Charlie Brown and Snoopy at Halloween, and did a makeshift egg hunt inside the apartment last spring. Your traditions live on within me.
Thank you for being the absolute best mom I could have ever asked for. You taught me to never give up, treat people the way you want to be treated and above all to truly cherish every moment, no matter how big or small. You allowed me to make mistakes and grow from them. I knew I could always count on you to comfort and support me.
Your 64 years don’t seem like enough, but you truly cherished them and lived an amazing life. I’m sorry that the last several months of your life were filled with so much division and drama within the family. I wish it could have been a celebration of the cornerstone of our family. I miss you every day but I take peace in knowing you are with Dad and Uncle Dan and Aunt Nan and all those people you hold so dear.
When I go to your gravesite, I see the end date as November 27, 2005, but your legacy, your lessons, and your love didn’t die that day. They are reignited within me and will live on for the remainder of my days. I love you!