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|Letters from my mother…….|
Jul. 25th, 2013 at 11:32 am
The last thing my mother said to me was “I love you.” We were driving home from the hospital where they’d told me there was nothing they could do for the broken bones in her back. I ache with regret for not making them send her in an ambulance. They’d drugged her to the gills for the ride back to the rest home where she lived (she thought, in her own apartment, where she could go on daily walks to see the other tenants) but she was in such pain. I am the WORST person to be around when you’re suffering, I just empathize to a ridiculous level that I’m worthless to help. I kept saying “I’m so sorry, Mommy, I’m hurrying. We’re almost there.”
I didn’t think she even knew who I was, but she touched my leg and said clearly, “I love you.” And I nodded and she said, again “No. I mean it. I love you.” She died five days later, mostly comatose during that time.
As I posted before, I was sealed to my parents in May and have experienced a paradigm shift. The other day, I was looking for something in my piles of papers and mementos (I’m a hoarder, it’s official) and I came across some letters my mother had written me over the years. They seem new to me. I don’t know if I scanned them quickly and put them aside or what, but they mean so much more now.
I always answered my mother’s letters, wrote to her regularly and remembered her birthday, etc., but I dismissed her. Not so much now. Here are some excerpts from those letters that I found touching:
Feb 12, 1977:
“We heard some of what happened from Mom Lee about Don and yourself (***Don was my second husband, the marriage lasted only 7 months). It’s funny the way things turn out some times but they have a way of turning out for the best.. . .I cut my hair the other day after two years. It was real long. We have a book on hair cutting. I done ok.
. . .Love you three, Mom”
In the same envelope, a little note to James (then almost 4 years old):
” Dear Jamie,
(***My mom never was much of a grandma. I don’t remember this letter at all. Means so much now)
Feb 13, 1987:
Jan 12, 1989:
“I find if I keep busy, I can enjoy things instead of sitting in my apartment moaning and groaning. All you girls and your families are my push and go. My inspiration to get involved in things. That way I don’t sit on my can and think about the past and cry. I love my family more than anybody or thing on this earth.”
Now, I remember funny and sweet things my mom said and did. I remember her telling me how she loved the books “Green Mansions” and “The Mouse that Roared” and “Added Upon.” I remember her laugh, her smile. How she sang all the time “My Happiness” “Playmates” and “You Are My Sunshine.”
My heart was closed for so many years to my mother as I dealt with her alcoholism, abandonment, and childish behavior. Like I said, I don’t think we are really who we are, on this earth. Some come close, others, like my mom, not so much. But I read in these letters that she tried, she wanted to be better.
Sometimes in life, that’s the best we can do.