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A Note to My Mom 5 Years After

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

I spilled soup on my t-shirt today while I ate lunch. Grace drove me around today to drop some things off and we got soup.

As we were driving we saw a red tailed hawk, right there in the middle of the Village of Hamburg. “Not an everyday occurrence,” I said out loud. And just as we said hello to the hawk, “Into the Mystic” came on shuffle. Not the song that was previously playing Grace said. It just came on.

We know what tomorrow is. It is nice to know you are around.

Not news to you, but I have not dealt well with your death.

I have been very mad for the last 5 years. I even got mad at you. I was just texting with a friend this morning about how we canonize the dead. You spoke of this in one of our last full conversations together before you lost the ability to string together whole sentences.

You said we made Dad out to be a saint after he died. We all know that he was not.

I didn’t do that to you.

“We do this as a defense mechanism,” I told my friend.

So why didn’t I make you a saint?

Oh my God, woman, I miss you so much. If I let that creep in, and I made you a saint, I may never recover all the way. Me with all my talk about how you and the others are here with us. I know that you are. But it is not the same, not even close. We have to make the best of it. The best of having you all over there pulling for us, moving obstacles, making the rainbows come out on dark days, making magic in the little ways all the time.

I am sorry I have not done this the right way. It is still challenging for me to even look at your picture. Even after 5 years.

Old time picture of a mother and daughter
Me and Mom, I was always a clinger

What do you think of all of this? Me and Andy both marrying really lovely people. Erin getting married! Grandpa J finally getting the great-great grandchild he envisioned. The changes, the loves, the losses, the way we all get together and laugh and laugh as we always have. The way Mike still likes to hang out with us in spite of himself. I can’t help but think how we got short changed. But I also know that this is not how this works. There are so many people who have far less time with their people than us. I see it everyday. I talk to so many people with broken hearts. But just sometimes, I think how nice it would be to have you here, raking, laughing, using too many exclamation points in your texts, making (and consuming) a drink of the day, taking care of everything, wearing your party pants and tucking your hair behind your ears when you get nervous. And, yes, even you could get nervous. Brass balls and all, even you had your moments.

We all miss you so much. Thank you for your help, now and before, both here and over there. I know you will continue to keep us on your watch. You will be here for everything, the big stuff and the little stuff. I love you. You and I shared a bond that I don’t know if many others get to have. And for that, I am forever grateful.

Love, Christy


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