Are You There Mom? It’s Me, Jamie.

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Dear Mom,

I have written and re-written this letter fifty times. Somehow I don’t have the words. I know you are now laughing because I never have a shortage of words. As one of the most frequent recipients of my words, your ears have probably been enjoying the break.

DSC02414It is not that I don’t have any words – just not the right words. Each time I try to write this letter, I have managed to make it all about me, and you are so very deserving to have it be about you. The problem is that, in this new life I am living, a life without you, it is easy to focus on my “have nots.” I do not have a nightly phone call with my greatest confidant. I do not have your laughter in response to my stories. I do not have your unwavering support. But, I had you for thirty-four years, and having you made my life.

The term “mother” is an evocative one. For many it conjures up pain and doubts. For others, insecurity. But I have had extreme good fortune in the mother department because the word “mother” fills me with a sense of warmth and well-being and belonging. And these days, a bit of longing.

Mom, for thirty-four years, you elevated me above yourself. On a daily basis, you demonstrated the greatest act of love – pushing down your own wants and desires, making them subservient to the happiness of others. What amazes me is I never realized you were sacrificing. All I ever felt from you was happiness to be with me. I can still hear the words you often said, “I had kids for myself – because I wanted to be with them.” I feel ashamed sometimes when I compare myself to you because I am often The Begrudging Mother – the mother who says to my kids, “do you know how much I do for you?” or to my husband, “being a mother is a thankless job.” But that was not you.

I never felt you required anything from me. As a child, I had to follow rules and requirements, but you never expected from me even a portion of what you gave. Even as our relationship turned to friendship in adulthood, you placed no expectations upon me. I gave to you out of love and gratitude but never out of obligation. You never quit being my mom. So often, I wanted to cry with relief when you walked through my door. As a mother of young children, I was desperate for someone to nurture me, to see me, to hear me. Your presence equated comfort.

Now, I look at our time together and sift through our memories and carry the best of you with me. I must admit to also carrying around a reservoir of loss and sadness, a lingering “something’s missing” feeling. But I think of all you have given to me and realize I would be doing you a disservice by living a life shadowed by sadness. You have shown me how much my decisions can shape another person’s life. Your decisions gave me security – the ability to not question who I am and to have confidence in my abilities. Your decisions taught me to find joy in each day – in the happy simplicities of life.

When you very first left me, I kept thinking “how can I be here when she is gone?” But now I pray for time. Time with my daughters. Because you have shown me that I belong to them. I want to hear their laughter and stories and ramblings everyday for as many days as possible. Best case scenario, I want to hear the laughter and stories and ramblings of my daughters’ daughters. I want to make decisions that enable them to find the joy in life.

For many months, I would tell myself that if I could just spend one more day with you, I could be okay. One more talk. Hear your laughter one more time. Feel like a complete human for one more day. But I know I was fooling myself. The truth is that if you had lived to be one-hundred, I would still be begging you not to go. Because I am a selfish person. Because there is never enough time spent with one’s soul mate. Because there are always more words.

I love you so,

Jamie

[box]This is part of our Strands of Love: A Mother’s Day Letter Series. Read more posts in this series… [/box]

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The Vintage Pearl
The Vintage Pearl creates meaningful, personalized hand-stamped jewelry and keepsakes that are customized with names, initials, dates, or words of inspiration, perfect for moms. Visit us at ourEdmond location at Spring Creek Village on the NW corner of 15th and Bryant.  Follow on FacebookInstagram and Twitter!
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I am a mom to two daughters - Avery Jane and Claire Chandler. Three dogs - Pete the chocolate Labrador, Addie the Scottish Terrier, and Pancho the Pomeranian - round out my household. And my husband, Jerrod, of course. I work part-time as an attorney. I am a transplant from Texas but have made my home in Oklahoma after completing both my undergraduate work and also my law degree at the University of Oklahoma. I love to play tennis, experience new things with my kids, and try my hand at any type of arts and crafts. I have always enjoyed writing (my undergrad minor is in English), and you can find my writings about my chaotic life at www.tortsandtots.com.

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