5 May
As I got older and yearned for more of an understanding, something I could hold on to, I began to write letters to my mother. At first they were handwritten, sitting on the sofa or in my bed with a pad of paper and a pen, letting all the emotions pour out onto the page.
Time passed and somehow the days seemed to get shorter. There were never enough hours, minutes in a day. Soon I began to type my letters. It was faster, easier to fix mistakes. Less personal in some ways but equally personal in others.
My letters were a refuge. Maybe therapy. I would always write to my mom when I hit that breaking point. The moment when I was overwhelmed with sadness or something was eating at me. When I felt alone, that I had no one to talk to. I had found myself in a place in life that when the deepest of things tore at my heart, I didn’t want to bother anyone. They were my issues to deal with and I shouldn’t be bothering others with them. My mom became my safe haven. The place I could go to open up my heart and let everything pour out. Even the deepest and darkest of things I would never tell anyone, I would tell her. I am not sure what made me feel safe enough to do that. Maybe because she wasn’t there in front of me. Maybe because she was just a thought in my mind. She wasn’t real and tangible. I could not touch her. Or maybe because even if she judged, I would never know.
Whatever it was, I would spend hours writing. I would let every emotion out. I would cry as I wrote the words. Some hopeful. Many more filled with self-hate. I asked questions. Lots and lots of questions. Did she love me? Was she proud of me? Did I disappoint her? Did I embarrass her? By the time I was done I would tell her that I loved her and that I would try to do better. I would dry my tears and put away my laptop feeling exhausted. Emotionally and physically. But I felt better. Like a burden had been lifted. I got more out of that than any $30 co-pay at a therapists’ office. Don’t get me wrong. I actually very much support psychologists. I believe everyone should see one at some point in his or her life. I just get frustrated when I recognize what my issues are and know the solutions and then pay someone to tell me what I already know. The times that I have been were when I didn’t know how to deal with the things that were going on, so helpful, but in a situation like this, there is no better therapy than my letters and a good cry.
Thanks to the saving of computer files I started to notice a trend in my letters. They happened at the same time every year, around my mother’s birthday. Coincidence, maybe. Or maybe it was my sub conscious hard at work.
Ultimately I think my mom is the one figure in my life that eludes me. The answer to the age old question, “if you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?” I wish to know her. I wish for that one conversation. That one good look at her face, into her eyes. That one hug. That one kiss. The one time playing with my hair. The one time I could hear her voice, her laugh.
I am sad that she was not here for my first day of school, my first crush, my first school dance, my prom, my graduation. Maybe one day my wedding and my children. But as sad as I am, I am thankful. I am thankful for the mom that I have, the father and sisters, my brother and sister in law, my nephews and niece. They have been there. They have been my support system as have so many other people along the way. I had people love me so much they have fought for me. People who have accepted me for the person that I am and not judged. People who have loved me unconditionally. I am blessed. So many kids have a more tragic tale. I was one of the lucky ones!

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