A Letter to My Mom

Dear Mamant:

First and foremost, happy birthday. I wish I could be celebrating you with fresh flowers and silly songs. But we will celebrate and remember in our own way. Not a day goes by that you aren’t on my mind in small or big ways.

I feel like you deserve a life update. So much has changed this calendar year and maybe I haven’t done a good job of “including” you in that. This year I started a new job in an Elementary School. I don’t always feel equipped but I know you’d tell me it will get easier day by day. The staff is wonderful and inclusive. I feel completely myself and not like I’m hiding behind a facade like my last two jobs. It is so nice to feel landed for the foreseeable future. And like I am making a difference each day. Like Dad has always said, look out for the little people: the less than in whatever way that appears. Be there for the overlooked and see them. I think that is truly what my job is all about. And thank goodness for my perception and intuition.

I’ve met a boy (I will never stop calling him a boy regardless of our age). It’s kind of surreal, mama. And my biggest heartsickness about it is that he’ll never get to meet you. Yes, I’ve shared stories and brought you to life for his mind’s eye but it isn’t the same. He won’t hear your laughter or be goofy with you. He won’t be able to have serious talks with you about his Grandfather’s growing up in Congo. Though I don’t know for sure about the concept of your being , I like to believe you somehow have a sense of him: that you know how much he loves me and how he makes me happy, that Shelly likes him (and what a huge deal that is), that he’s goofy and serious and listens to me even when I’m being ridiculous. Somehow I think you’d be the least surprised that I’m the one who has ended up with someone so similar to Dad. I dunno, I just feel like you knew it was an eventuality.

I miss you. Each day. And this month, and the days near your birthday make my heart yearn the most. What I wouldn’t give for just an afternoon of cooking, crossword puzzles, laughter, and creating. I made that boy some curtains yesterday and all I could think was “how apropos and what a way to celebrate you”. And though I miss you dearly I’m forever thankful for your lessons that still keep providing. I wouldn’t be me without you, even now. I love you.

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