Friday, November 28, 2008

The Gift

Dear Mom,

I've spent the last few days thinking about you a lot. Today was especially tough because I decorated our Christmas tree with all of those glass ornaments that you gave me more than 10 years ago. I unwrapped each one from the tissue that you originally packed them in - and discovered that several were broken. I know it's bound to happen over time, but I just got very, very sad knowing that they couldn't be replaced.

It took me a long time to move out of my state of shock over your death. Probably longer than most. The profound sadness is still there and has blanketed my soul. I'm so thankful that we had that last year together. It changed everything for me. It soothed a lot of my hurt and shame from my childhood. It helped me see the real you - the person you were really meant to be once you got away from Dad. I'm grateful to have those memories.

I am really, truly sad that you never knew how well things turned out with Baby Boy. I wish you had gotten the chance to meet him, squeeze his legs and swing him around. He's an amazing kid, Mom. He's got a goofy sense of humor but definitely has a "serious side." He says, "I love you" about 50 times a day, and I am positive that he understands what he's saying and really means it. He can count from 1 to 13 and he just about knows every letter of the alphabet. He absolutely loves music and sings to us at night. He insists on taking a bath every night and runs around like a crazy boy in his footed jammies.

Being his mom is more wonderful than I ever imagined.

Everything was in such turmoil when you died. None of us knew how to handle Ann's death, and I had no idea how horribly it would effect you. I never thought that you would just give up. I certainly don't blame you for doing it, it's just that I wasn't ready to give up on keeping you healthy and alive. I was so focused and yes, even co-dependent, that I became an ugly person when even the smallest things didn't work out. I tried to hold it all together but crumbled from the inside out.

Things are different now, Mom. We have a wonderful house with a much, much smaller mortgage. We love Colorado and hope to raise Baby Boy here until he goes off to college. I am no longer driven by the need to prove anything to anyone else, so I'm less antsy and high-strung. Husband and I are having good times together again, and we just love to hang out together and play games with the baby.

I know that you worried about me for years and years. Yes, I married late (at 32) and no, we couldn't have kids. But it turned out OK. Actually, much better than OK. We are all genuinely happy and settled.

I really just wanted to tell you that I miss you and so deeply appreciate all of those ornaments. I put every single one on the Christmas tree. One day, I'll give them to Baby Boy, and I hope that he too is touched by love and good memories as he unwraps each one from its tissue paper.

He'll always know that they came from you.