fourteen years

Dear Mom,

Today marks the fourteenth year I have had to live without you. I am proud to tell you that I have grown up so much and in ways I never imagined were even ways to need to grow up. I think you'd be proud of me too if you were here to see it all. I don't think on it often, but I do wonder a bit about how things would be if you hadn't died yet—how you could make a difference.

I do believe you and Dad watch over me and your grandbabies (as you used to refer to the first two that you did meet). I don't ever feel you actually here, yet somehow there is such a sense of your influence that I can't help but think you are near.

I love you. I miss you. I am finally learning to live without being so sad about your absence. I catch myself being truly thankful you died with your boots on. It gives me comfort knowing you died just after doing what you love—caring for your family and patients.

You teach me every day still. When life is challenging and I don't know what to do, I try to recall what you did and learn from it—whether to follow in your footsteps or do differently—and I love you for all of your example, good and bad. You and Dad truly lived. You made mistakes and you worked miracles, sometimes all in the same day. I'm so grateful for having had such wonderful parents.

There's something that I have been thinking about lately that you told me when I was a teenager. You said to me one time, "Motherless daughters do strange things." I guess I am one of those since you left, and I believe that can explain some of the unexplainable ache for acceptance that I never had before. I'm certain my need for acceptance is not even close to normal people's, but it exists now. I thank you for teaching me how individually exceptional I am that I never really felt any of this pinch until now. You taught me how to shine and laugh and be myself no matter what other people think. Your exuberance lit rooms and hearts—and still does—it is just that far-reaching. I hope to be more like you in this respect. Someday hopefully.

In the end, I am also glad you're with your mother again. I'm sure you've been catching up and have mended any fences within the first day, maybe even the first moment. I am eternally grateful that you and I mended our fences long before you left, so when we meet again it will most assuredly only be to embrace.

You are forever in my heart,

Your favorite (only) daughter




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17 comments:

  1. Wow, that was very powerful and made me think of all the people I have lost in a positive way. Thank you for sharing and I am sorry about your mother!

    hannahshappenings.net

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  2. I am so very sorry for your loss! A loss as huge as this will ache, no matter how much time passes by. I love that you can be so poignant and reflective even while still dealing with the loss. I am sure your mother is watching over you and must be so very proud of you! Thank you for sharing something so personal!

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  3. What a lovely letter from your heart as you continue to experience the elasticity of grief. This line, "I don't ever feel you actually here, yet somehow there is such a sense of your influence that I can't help but think you are near." struck me. I totally get this - someone who is gone is with you, but not as a presence, rather a permanent impression on your soul.

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  4. Dates stay with us, and time doesn't heal pain--it just makes it change. We miss differently, but not less. I love the way you write to her and fill her in, but also express the joy you had having her as your mom. Writing is brave. No need for apologies for this annual topic!

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  5. Dates stay with us, and time doesn't heal pain--it just makes it change. We miss differently, but not less. I love the way you write to her and fill her in, but also express the joy you had having her as your mom. Writing is brave. No need for apologies for this annual topic!

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  6. There is no need to apologize for writing about the same topic. I found this a beautiful tribute to your mother. Writing allows you celebrate your relationship and share that your love is still strong. ~Amy

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  7. I can't thank you enough, Laura, for your bravery in sharing such a vulnerable piece of yourself. You have made me think about my dad, who I will have lost 27 years ago later this month. As I was reflecting on your post, I realized for the first time that I've been married longer than my parents were. This thought hit me like a ton of bricks. Sounds as though I have some more writing to do myself.

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  8. Writing about your mom year after year after year is the thing a heart needs. You write beautifully about your mom.

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  9. It's a lovely heartfelt letter to your mother. As I read I thought of my own mother, too, gone too many years. I miss our daily conversations the most, and now I have those with my own daughter. Hugs to you on this special day of remembrance!

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  10. That picture is worth a million bucks!

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  11. A beautiful letter-tribute-slice. I'm so glad you have the memories and can write about it.

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  12. Oh my goodness, that last line: "I am eternally grateful that you and I mended our fences long before you left, so when we meet again it will most assuredly only be to embrace." May we all be so fortunate! Beautiful letter.

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  13. What a lovely letter. Thank you sincerely for sharing.

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  14. Beautiful and poignant - what a lovely tribute to your mom.

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  15. Beautiful, Laura. Many of the things you wrote, I could have written about my mother. We are blessed indeed! Thanks for sharing.

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  16. I feel so grateful that I was able to meet both of your parents before they passed. They had an energy and a zest for life that you can't often find. You memorialize then beautifully and I'm so grateful to be able to read about them through your memories. My post pales in comparison to the gravity of yours but for anyone interested, here's my slice for today: https://joolimammoth.blogspot.com/2017/03/rough-raw-unedited.html?m=1.

    <3 <3 <3

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  17. You have such incredible insight into your relationship with your mom and how her absence affects you now. I don't know what this type of mother-daughter relationship is with my own mom and I appreciate reading about yours.

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