A Conversation with My Mom
Every now and again something occurs that makes me wish for my mom and sister. Clearly, part of me has longed to have her by my side at all the big happy moments in life – high school graduation; convocation from my bachelor of arts; convocation from my master degree; my wedding, etc.
I’ve spent a lot of time wishing she was here over the last few years to be by my side as we have gone through each miscarriage and grieved for our little babies. Somehow, I feel like my mom would be able to comfort me in the way I long for – yet, I realize rationally, she would likely be just like everyone else and not really understand what we are going through. But honestly, the little girl in me, just wants my mom’s shoulder to cry on, and have her tell me it will all be okay.
Anyways, when my Dad and Step-Mom dropped off a boxes of my family heirlooms a while ago, I was surprised when I stumbled across a few unexpected things. These are the things I will cherish more than any of the “important” items like china dishes or childhood dolls.
First, there were letters my Dad wrote my mom when they first started dating as teenagers. (I still haven’t read them, I’m afraid of what I might read. I figure there are things that a child doesn’t need to know about their parents, no matter the age of the child).
Second, there letters that my sisters best friends wrote her in the days immediately after she died at the age of 15. Evidently, they were left outside of her locker, and someone at the school collected them and gave them to my Dad. I had no idea these existed, but am thankful my Dad decided to share them with me. I knew all of the individuals who wrote the letters, and it was so touching to read their memories of my sister, the good times they had together, and how they will remember her. My heart broke that these teenage girls had to experience the death of a good friend. And then my heart broke that my sister’s life was cut so short, and she is no longer here to share her laughter.
And, thirdly, there was a box. A small plastic green box that was meant to hold cue-cards. I assumed it was recipes. When I cracked it open I found hundreds of green and yellow cue-cards. But no recipes. I was wrong. Each one containing an inspirational phrase. Each one, written in the unmistakable handwriting that belong to my mom.
So, here I am going through a life crises, my perfect breakdown, and I am handed the gift of inspiration from my mom who died 17 years ago. I suspect my mom wrote these as part of her professional career in helping others achieve higher education and employment. However, I have no way to be certain. All I do know is that I am thankful she did chose to write these cards. A few times over the last few weeks, I have opened the box and read a few cards at a time. Each time, feeling an odd sense of grief and hope all at the same time.
A sense of cruelty that I am left to read these, rather than have an actual conversation.
A sense of understanding, that as adults, my mom and I clearly share the same perspectives.
A sense of hope that what she wrote is so true.
A sense of gratitude that she wrote these down and they found there way to me.
So today, I want to share some of her words of wisdom:
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