Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Motherless mother

I've been thinking a lot about my mom today. More than a decade ago, my therapist suggested I write her a letter. Today seems as good a day as any. I'm posting it because when I started getting so sad this afternoon thinking of her, I googled "motherless mothers," to see how other people were handling it, to feel a tiny bit less alone. Well, if you're here because you did the same thing, you're not alone.

Dear Mom,
It's been 15 years since I thanked you at your bedside. You were floating in and out of consciousness; I don't know if you heard me. I'm sorry that I waited so long.
I'm sorry for so many things, of course. Every time I lost patience when I was taking care of you, every moment I was selfish, impatient for you to get better. 
I miss you, of course. I miss talking to you and cuddling with you. But I really ache for you to see who I am now.
I'm married, and I'm a mother. We have a boy, Abbott, who is three. Mom, he's so much like me. I remember Dad talking about how if anything new entered the house, I'd know immediately. He's the exact same way. Last week, I put two miniature Play-dohs into his big bin of Play-doh equipment, where he doesn't even play that often, and he noticed it within a minute of coming down the stairs. He's like you, too: He's so sweet, and very thoughtful. Oh, and I know that he's your grandson because every time he has gas, he looks up and frantically says, "I don't have to poop!" 
I wish you could see him, but more than that, I wish he could see you. We talk about you, and I show him pictures, and I try not to get sad. But it's hard. 
I wish I were more like you as a mom. I wish I were more patient and kind. But I have always been a lot more like Dad, haven't I? But I have become so much more compassionate. I like to think you'd be so surprised and delighted, Mom. 
I'm still working at the paper. I'm an editor now. I dress up, even. 
I get sad sometimes when I think of you. It's an emptiness that's nearly always there. But you know when I miss you the most? When something great is happening. I want so badly to share it with you, so that you can be proud of me. I'm respected, and loved, and you worked so hard for me to be able to have these things. I just want you to see what I've
I would never have become an atheist if I'd known it would take you away from me, again, for good. It's a lonely reality.
You will always be one of the most important forces in my life. Thank you for everything.
Your Judy

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