Friday, May 06, 2005

Say it now, while you have the chance

A while ago, I heard an episode of This American Life where the theme was things you wish you had said in the moment. One of the speakers talked about how he wished he had told his mom how amazing she was and how much he loved her before she died. It really hit home with me, and since then I've been composing a letter to my mom in my head, just so she really really knows what she means to me. It took me forever to get around to putting my thoughts on paper, but I finally did, just in time for mother's day, and I mailed this instead of a card.

Dear Mom,
This year we may have missed the first gold by a bit. I guess that’s the point, right? That it’s fleeting. But you sent me the email anyway, and it’s lucky you did. I don’t think I would know that spring is here without it. In those last few weeks of February, I am waiting for it, hoping that it’s just around the corner. When you called me up to tell that we may have missed it, you said something like "someday I’ll be dead and maybe you’ll see the first gold and think of me". And what I wanted to tell you is that while I hope that day does not arrive for a long long time, I want you to know that even right now, you are a part of me in a way that means that I think about you every day, all the time, in many moments and maybe more often than you know.

Sometimes, when I should be thinking lofty work thoughts in meetings, I look down at my hands, and see your hands, and think "I got these hands from my mother". When someone asks me how to spell something, I always know how, and I know that I got that from you. When I hear that one of my friends is in therapy because she has no self confidence and doesn’t know how to get any, I think about how I am a strong self confident woman because I had a strong self confident mother who knew no other way to raise me, and I am so proud and so grateful for that. Not everyone gets that from their moms. Not everyone gets as lucky as I did.

When I am sick or tired and I wish I had someone to push my hair back behind my ear and sing me Irish lullabies, I am wishing for the you I remember from when I was a little girl. When I have my own children, I will do the same thing for them, and I will think of you. When I tell someone I love them, it is because you taught me how. Whenever I start something for the first time, I hear your voice in the back of my head saying "Give em hell". When I laugh at something no one else thinks is funny, sometimes for days, every time I remember it, I think "this, this I got from my mother". When I need courage, I think of you, and stick my chin out a little farther and do what has to be done. Whenever I meet a new person, and my natural shyness takes over, I stick out my hand anyway, because you taught me I had no other choice. When I run, I think of running with you around the dirt track of our tennis club and I hear your voice telling me to lengthen my strides when I run downhill. For the rest of my life, whenever I smell Chanel Number Five, just for a second, I’ll remember being seven years old and running into your arms at the end of a long day of school.

There are thousands upon thousands of moments like this in my life. Every day moments where I smile or laugh or draw courage or feel a little bit sad, and they are all moments when I am reminded of you. I want you to know now, so that you know it forever, that you have been the person in my life who I have most wanted to be like, who I hold up as my example in all things, who loved me best and first. You are the most amazing woman I know. I will always think of you; it would be impossible for me not to. We have been through my whole life together. There have been times when things seemed hopeless, but you never gave up, and I was never surprised. I knew you’d always be there for me, and that nothing was going to get the better of my mom. You are my role model, my motivation, and my most loyal ally. There could never be a time when I do not think of you, when I do not love you, when I do not think "how lucky am I, to have had such a woman in my life".

Happy Mother’s Day

No comments: