I write these letters all the time but I never share them. Today I heard from someone very close who is going through something similar and is brave enough to share how she feels. I thought that in honour of her, I would share this letter to my mother.. And hopefully if she reads this, she might know that she’s not alone feeling the way she does. And if you’re reading this – you know who you are!! I’m so proud of your strength and bravery. I’m sending so much love your way and keeping your whole family in my prayers.
This is a letter I wrote, about how after all my mothers struggles with cancer and heart problems she signed up for a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Before she made it there, she unexpectedly died. I write my mother all the time. This is the first time I’m sharing.
In this very room that I am in, I so clearly have a memory of you. You were holding me close. All my emotions bubbled to the surface. And I shook with rage. I began to cry because I was sad and above all, I was scared. How could I loose someone who is in every way all that I am? If love is good, why I am torn right now? Why is my heart breaking? I thought to myself that we had already defeated our own battles. Why now must we have to be separate to fight another battle that’s not our own? Why test fate with a second chance? Call it selfishness, but I didn’t want you to go even just for a little while. And as the date drew nearer that you were to go, you spoiled me. You poured your love onto me. You reminded how proud you were of me. But I never expected such a twist of fate. It was too soon that you really left. And this time it was for good. The paint still fresh on our nails from our mani pedi just the day before. The sound of Louis Armstrong and family gathering from all across to “say goodbye”. But I could never say goodbye. You’re too much still alive. You’re in me and in my sister. You are too much in my heart no matter how many pieces are left of it. You are too much in this city that did nothing but torment our lives. You’re too much across the ocean in the place you called home. You are too much in every nail polish I paint on. You are too much in every song I hear. You are too much in my laugh and in my smile for me to ever say goodbye. And though every second of every day rips me apart even more because I can’t share a breath of this worlds air with you, I can’t say goodbye. And I can’t say goodbye even when the pain of it all hits me like ten thousand stabbing knives. All I know is that I love you. Too the moon and back. To infinity and beyond. I love you all the world and more and more and more. Not one day goes by that my day can possibly be good because I can’t share it at the dinner table with you. I have a facade that I wear on my face. Happy Natasha. The one that wears the smile and passes it on to others. But when I see my very smile, I see yours and it hurts me too much that I can’t feel your arms around me any more. I can’t hear you tell me how much you love me. I can’t taste your cooking. I can’t smell you anymore.. You had the sweetest smell. I can’t even enjoy our favorite holiday – Christmas, because Christmas is about family and you’re my family and you’re not here to celebrate with me. Above all, I never had to prove myself to you. You knew exactly what I was feeling and what I was capable of and yet somehow with all my shortcomings, I surpassed all of your expectations. I brought you joy. I don’t have anyone to bring joy to anymore. I’m left with only my shortcomings and insecurities. I’m left lost and broken. And I’m still angry. I’m still sad. I’m still scared. The things I would do, what I would give to only have you again. And oh what I might say if I had one chance. But I don’t. I might never. And so this is what I do left to my own devices. I write to you.., and I pray that the universe is kind enough to just deliver my messages to where you are in heaven. No words can match these three simple words. I love you. I love you. I love you. But never goodbye.
Merry Christmas, Mama.
I wish I was there.