Six and a half years since the last time you hugged me, yet you wrap your arms around me every day. I can feel it. Six and a half years since our last face to face conversation, yet each and every time I ask you a question, you still answer. I can hear it. Six and a half years since the last time you sprayed your White Linen, yet from time to time it still lingers. I can smell it. Six and a half years since you reprimanded me for biting my nails, yet you smile at the length of them now. I can see it.
The bond that you and I had is something that so many girls are deprived of. The times we shared together and the conversations we had, created a connection. It was a connection so deep that it could not be broken by the things that life tried to throw in the way like my crappy home situation or the childish decisions I made as a result of it that caused that last year to be so stressful and hurtful to you. Turns out that he never stood a chance at ruining a relationship as strong as ours. How could he when even death couldn't diminish its effects? You are as much a part of me today as you always were and the values that you instilled in us as children are more evident today than ever.
For ten years I put you through unnecessary drama. My strong will and need to fix someone else is something that I undoubtedly inherited from you. It is exactly those traits that led me to a place where I was the one who needed fixing most of all. It pisses me off to no end that I allowed myself to become part of something that deposited me into such a deep hole of despair. It was a hole that it took me way too long to garner the courage to climb my way out of. I had turned my back on the ones who really loved me and wanted the best for me, to try and find happiness in a situation where none could ever possibly be found. It is here that I find my POSITIVE in your death. (Wow, my proof that there is positive hidden in absolutely everything) With the knowledge that I could never again lie to you since I knew that you would have already seen from high above, I made my decision known. I was clear about the fact that one more time would be the last. I was vocal about the fact that if you ever saw what I had denied for so long, that it would surely be the end. I will admit now that I actually wanted it. For the first time ever, I wished for it. I was more afraid that it wouldn't happen than I was of the pain that I would have to endure if it did. It was the line I had drawn and I wanted it to be crossed. That was what he knew. The thought that me saying I would leave could possibly prevent a "next time", was foolish of me to even consider as a possibility. And then the day I knew would come, did. I was so scared and in so much pain but at the same time relieved. I had given the last chance that I had offered. I had stuck by my word. I am just sorry that you had to see that because thinking back, I know that the last time was by far the worst. It still took me months of prayer to get to where I had the courage and faith to walk away. All I remember of those months was that I stopped lying and I stopped trying. I spent every single chance I had begging God to make the way out clear to me. Then I sat back and waited, fully trusting that He would do just that. And then one morning, He did. I was not afraid. I did not doubt myself. I walked away and never went back. It saddens me that it took losing you in the most final of ways to get to that point, but God knows what He is doing. Never once have I ever questioned that fact.
I know that in these years since then I haven't always done the smartest and purest of things. I have made some mistakes in the last five years that I am sure left you scratching your head and begging God for one last day here on Earth so that you could smack some sense into me, but I have worked through them. I have used what you taught me growing up to mold myself into this person that I am absolutely positive that you would be proud of. Knowing that has made this letter so much easier to write than I expected. I wish I could say the same for the next few on the list, but hey, some people need to hear some things. I know that no matter what needs to be said, I will say it with dignity and grace. How it is received is another story which is purely up to them. I have learned that the best use of my time is to focus on my own actions and responses. It is a losing battle trying to worry about the actions and opinions of those around me. It is my hope that they will not just read my letters once, but repeatedly, until they see that all these judgements they have pinned on me are completely baseless and unfair. Perhaps a little whisper from you in their ear as they read will speed the process up a bit. Or maybe not. Either way, I will say what needs to be said.
Mom, there are still times six and a half years later where I lose a day or two to my grief over losing you. While these times frustrate me, I have learned to embrace them and accept them for what they are. I have learned to see that they are my excuse to do absolutely nothing at all but be alone with my thoughts of you. I have learned that the pain of these times is well worth the undivided time that I get to spend with my memories and my feelings of loss where you are concerned. It is these times that keep me right where I need to be in order to be able to support others as they deal with grief of their own. I have been the rock for others countless times since then and I am thankful for the opportunity to help someone else. Too few people allow themselves ample time to grieve and in turn expect others to follow suit. Shame on anyone who finds it in themselves to put a time limit on another person's grief. I will not stop grieving over the sudden loss of you until the exact moment when I am able to be with you again and not a day sooner. Anyone who has a problem with that may find it in their best interest to keep it to themself.
Thank you, Mom, for all of your countless hours of hard work to support us. Having a child of my own leaves me unable to imagine how hard it must have been for you to raise three of us all on your own. Thank you for showing me how to truly love the unlovable, although I am sure you never imagined that it would be my own brother who would test this trait the most. Thank you for the lil one you gifted us with that Halloween in 86. I am sure you could have never dreamed of the beauty of the relationship that he and I would one day share. He has become my ally in this family that has become so good at judging others during time that could be much more productively spent judging themselves. Thank you for your display of faith and trust in that faith. Following that path has become my sanity in this crazy world. You showed me daily that loving God is the only way. You showed me that we could never begin to handle the things of this world on our own. You showed me that no matter how dire the situation seems, that He will always provide exactly what I need. Thank you finally, for showing me just how important it is to be supportive of your children no matter what. Even when you and I both knew that I had screwed up 100%, you still supported me and defended me. That lesson has come into play more than ever recently and following your example will surely bring us through it. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me looking back and knowing that there was never a time when we were at odds for more than a day or two. I cannot imagine the hurt that some are faced with due to the fact that they do not have that same relationship with their own mothers. I intend to make sure that an issue such as that never arises with Lex. She will have quite a losing battle to fight if she ever intends to try to find a way to navigate through life without having me be a part of it.
Lastly Mom, I watched you be a prayer warrior for Analise. Oh, how I wish you could see that beautiful young lady now! But there is another child now who needs that same amount of prayer and devotion and he is part of our family. I do not know the details of how it works up there but I know that if anyone can find a way to move Christian up to the top of the miracle list, it would be you. With you and God working together, its no wonder that I am so positive that it's only a matter of time until we are blessed with this miracle!
I love you and miss you!