I won’t even comment on how long it’s been since I last blogged, but over the past several months I’ve been thinking about rebranding this thing…but that’s another blog for another day. I have something on my mind that I need to release.
It’s 7:20 on a Saturday morning and I’ve been up all night…a not so unusual occurrence for me, considering I’ve been working the overnight shift for going on four years now and, as a result, my circadian rhythms are totally off. So I’ve been sitting here watching old episodes of Cold Case and doing homework. During one particularly emotional episode, I start to think about my mother, who passed away suddenly of a heart attack in October of 1999, at the age of 45.
Being that my mother didn’t raise me, by the time she got me I was 16 and headstrong, and even though I loved the idea of finally living with and getting to know my mother, we all know that the relationship between a mother and her teenaged daughter is a tumultuous one. Add a drug addiction (hers) into the mix, and, well…yeah. I still love her, though…always have. I just wish I had shown it more often back then. My mother, however, on her good days, never failed to show me that she loved me, unconditionally, it seemed. It took her to make me understand that concept.
Anyway, there were some days I’d be back in my room doing homework or whatever, and my mother would be in the living room. She’d call me in there and she’d be laying on the sofa, and she’d beckon me to come lay beside her. Now, my mother was not a small woman, and I was much smaller then than I am now, but it was still a tight fit for the both of us. She’d hold me tightly and give me a letter that she’d written to me in her flowery cursive handwriting…the letters would always be on that stenography paper…in the letters she’d tell me how much she loved me no matter what, and that she wanted me to realize my true potential and basically do more in my life than she’d done in hers. She’d tell me things about herself that she saw in me, good and bad, and how she believed in me and never did she want me to think that she didn’t love me, even though she and I would get into it sometimes. She’d listen while I read the letters aloud and then she’d kiss me on the cheek and tell me to always remember that she’d loved me even though she wasn’t there for me for a long time, that all that mattered was that she was there now. I’d never held against her the fact that she’d left me to be raised by my grandfather and my aunt and uncle…because I knew she did it for my own good. But I know that she felt some guilt about that.
I had just turned 18 the month before she died, and afterwards I went through a period of transition and homelessness. I moved from pillar to post for quite sometime, and even though I tried my hardest to keep track of certain mementos like pictures and her letters, it wasn’t long before those, too, were lost. That was several years ago, but even now, to this day, I wish I had those letters. I’d like to think that she wrote them for me to have when I was feeling down, or lonely, or unloved, and Lord knows I’ve had plenty of those days. But at least I do still have the memories attached to those letters. And Mama, I love you, too.