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April 22, 2008

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Tina

This would be my letter to my mom, the letter that I actually could never give her because I'm not ready and because she thinks "I love you" is something to not be taken lightly. I agree, to a point. Hearing from your mom would be nice and not taken lightly at all.

Dear Mom,

This letter is full of mixed feelings, of good and not so good memories. I feel that you have always held me but at a distance, or maybe just always held my little sister closer to you. Either way I am proud that you are my mom even though I feel like I'm looking through the glass window into your world all the time. You are the most intellengent person I know. You are so practical and levelheaded. You only loose your cool when there is not other way to deal with things. You have taught me so many good things, how to take care of myself, how to be humble, how to fulfill my promises. You have also taught me how to hold others at arms length, how to shut down and wonder every day why I'm different. I suppose that this has given me inner strength, sometimes hard to find but there none-the-less. You didn't teach me how to say I love you but I found out that I can say I love you to my kids as much as I want, and they won't run, they even say I love you too. I know that you had to drive a hard line. We grew up well, we didn't do drugs or smoke or party... much. In general I would hope that even though you gave me a wonderful wedding day, a wonderful babyshower, more than enough wonderful days to remember, I have rarely heard those words I long to hear. I hope you know that even though I don't say I love you as much as I should, mostly because I hold back, not because I don't feel it, that you know it. Because I know that you love me and I hope that even after 30 years I hope most of all that things can change.

love you always,

Tina

dct

My dearest mother.

I write this and it seems so cold. So formal. I would like to write Dear Mom, or Mommy, even Mommy dearest, despite its rather negative connotations based on that movie from two decades ago, but all those terms evoke images of someone, and I have no images of you. Only of the mother I always dreamed you might have been.

My dearest mother.

Mother’s day approaches and I am reminded of all the Sundays I cringed in my little white dress with the corsage of lilies that let everyone know I was to be pitied. Oh, look at poor little Gaby, the adults would whisper, just loud enough for me to hear, with their clicking tongues and shaking heads, holding their children near and dear as if they would catch whatever I had that made me poor little Gaby.

My dearest mother.

Once again, the day draws near and my heart pinches, my eyes fill. I’ll go to church and see all the mothers and daughters. I’ll look around and smile and nod, and wish all the mothers well. The priest will give each a rose and bless them at the altar, and I’ll close my eyes and see you there, or at least the you you might have been, if you were here.

My dearest mother.

You would think that after sixty-five years, I’d be done with this. You’d think I’d rejoice in my own motherhood - in the daughter who loves me, who plants flowers in my garden and tries to ease my way. And the grandson who makes me glad to be alive with his infectious laughter, his goodness and sensitivity – despite full-blooming adolescence. You would think.

My dearest mother.

The day that broke my heart year after year approaches, and I can hear the crack within a little more. I still feel the weight of being surrounded by solemn, pitying mothers and children. My state being made apparent and more lonely on Mother’s Day, as I processed into church with all the little children but me the only one wearing the lily corsage. The death corsage, of course. The motherless child.

My dearest mother.

If I had known you, I would have loved you as I do even now in the absence that encompasses sixty four of my sixty five years. And I would wish you the happiest of days this Mother’s Day and every day of your life –

my dearest mother.

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