Monday, September 3, 2012

Dear Mom

Today marks three years since my mother's passing. In many ways, it doesn't seem like it has been that long, yet so much life has happened in the three years she left us that it feels like it's been forever ago.

Every day, Monday through Friday, the last few years of her life I would talk to my mom after work during my drive home. So much life has happened, and many many times I've wanted to pick up the phone and tell her what all was going on, only to remember I can't really do that. I suppose she knows the scoop anyway; I just miss hearing what she thinks about it, her advice and insights, her pleasure and excitement around it, and her support.

She use to threaten to come back and haunt me if I didn't come visit her at the cemetery. She got her wish. I've often gone to the cemetery and sat by her grave overlooking the lake at the Hines Center to talk to her. She picked that spot for her and Dad because of the view. I remembered thinking her silly, but now, I'm not wondering if her plan, even an unconscious one, included the view for me to enjoy during our“visits.” Many, many times I've visited her when my heart ached or felt troubled over matters around my dad, friendships, relationships, work, or life in general. The setting, that view she would show off to family members before she passed, has been very peaceful, healing and meditative to me these last three years.

When I lived in Colorado, I wrote mom lots of letters or notes in cards. I realized today I haven't done that in three years, and decided to do just that. Honestly, I'm betting it's probably old news to her since I'm confident she knows what's going on already. So really, I suppose this letter is for me, just like her gravesite.

Dear Mom,

I know you're good; how could you not be reunited with all those in Heaven you loved dearly that passed before you, especially your dad? I find comfort knowing you are taking good care of Casey and Belle too. We who loved you here miss you. And I know you're around when I energetically “ring” you up in my heart and thoughts. Thank you for still taking my calls.

Dad's doing well, you'd be very proud of him. Remember how you fretted he couldn't take care of himself? Well, he's doing a pretty good job of it. He's not too keen about my helping him unless it is doing the dishes and tending to the kitchen. He's better at asking for help but still a proud and stubborn man. Remember how you use to vent about him being unappreciative? Well, I may have over-defended him a bit. After living with the man this last year, I see your point. LOL. I've done a lot of healing work in and around my relationship with him and I think you'd be pleased with how he and I better relate now. As for him, I anticipate some changes in his living situation and life in the next year. If you can just “talk” to him in his dreams, in his thoughts and convince him to be more open to my and Steve's help more through this process, I sure would appreciate it.

I love my work at Wendell Foster's Campus and enjoy the people we serve. It's been one of the highlights in my life since returning to the Owensboro area. I get to do what I and my heart enjoys – writing, teaching, advocacy and education. Life is joyous again since you're passing – it took a couple of years to get over you leaving us. I grasped at a lot of straws to stay afloat in the grief. I still feel the ache of loss now and again but it no longer consumes me like it once did. And it's a little more intense today on the anniversary of your passing but I take comfort in knowing it will pass.
I've settled into living in Owensboro again. I've enjoyed reconnecting with many past classmates and friends. We even had a 30 year class reunion! Can you believe it? I miss all my friends in Colorado and living there but it's nice to be closer to family again too. I'm happy to be here for dad too. He misses you and while he'd never admit it, I think he enjoys having someone else in the house since your absence.

Living with Dad has been an experience but a positive one. Aside from rebuilding and restoring our relationship, I've had the opportunity to enjoy the setting in which I grew up. We've tried to keep your flower beds in good shape but both my and Dad's thumbs are not nearly as green as yours. This summer's drought took its toll on everything, everywhere. But I know Mother Nature will tend to it all come Spring. I will miss this place when Dad does finally sell it, but it has become too much for Dad. I know he'll miss it as well. I only hope whoever buys it appreciates it as much as you and Dad have, and as much as I do.

I miss talking to you daily, feeling your hugs, seeing your smile. I miss you laughing at my corny jokes, getting excited about the good stuff happening in my life, and our conversations. I just miss you.

Love you,


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