Monday, January 17, 2011

A letter to my mother

On January 17, 1939 my mother entered the world. We've never been good at showing affection, or talking about our feelings, so at Christmastime I wrote her the following letter and sent it with her card:

Dear Mama,

I wanted to write a little more than the Christmas card space allowed, so I hope you don’t mind the typewritten letter.

First, I want you to know how much I love you since we never say it to each other, and I want to make sure that you REALLY AND TRULY KNOW. I don’t think it needs to be said because the things we do for each other seem evidence enough. Besides, we both get emotional and Lord knows there are enough tears shed whenever our visits come to an end. “Good-bye” is becoming increasingly difficult to say with each subsequent visit. My urge is to put you in the car and demand that you get on the plane with me. But I know that’s not possible, even though I wish with all my might that it was.

Growing up, we were like a team – just you and me. You made sure I was fed, clean, and decently clothed. You provided much-needed structure, and more importantly, you brought me up in the Catholic faith. You stood silently by as I went to other faiths, and as long as those religions believed in the Trinity, you seemed okay with that. Well, I’ve had 30 years to explore and sometimes not explore, but I’ve finally come to the conclusion, as you know, that I need the comfort and rituals of Catholicism in my life, even if it’s under the umbrella of Anglicanism at the moment. Thankfully, Dennis is on board with me; otherwise, I would have gone on the path alone. The worship service is so comforting to me on Sunday mornings, that sometimes my eyes fill with tears thinking of all the years I could have been worshipping this way but didn’t. Then again, maybe I needed to go through that to appreciate the faith.

Sadly, I haven’t been the perfect daughter, or the perfect mother, or the perfect wife, and it’s hard to admit those things. Hell, it’s hard to live with. All I can do is go forward and try to do better. You have demonstrated how to be a graceful lady my whole life. I inherited maybe 10% of your grace (and that’s a big MAYBE), but I try to incorporate more of you into my personality as the years go by. It’s funny…when I was young I wanted to be my own person and not like you at all. Now, all I want is to be like the gracious lady you are.

Finally, I want you to know how much I appreciate all the things you have done for me and my family over the years. You were at every high school graduation, college graduation, marriage, and more. My children have always felt and known your love from the day they took their first breath. They’re at the age now where they’re trying to discover themselves and make their way in the world, which means they’re busy and preoccupied – not a lot of time for mom and Mimi. But there is such comfort for them to know that you love them unconditionally and are always in their corner no matter what.

Well, that’s enough for now. I will see you soon and hopefully have one of the children with me – probably Greg. Please keep him and us all in your prayers.


Lisa said...

What a beautiful letter Gail. Is that picture your Mom? What an incredibly lovely lady!!

You are both truly blessed to have one another.

Have a wonderful week!


hootnonny said...

What a sweet letter for your sweet mother. She is very beautiful, evidently inside and out. Yall are so blessed to have each other to love.

Anonymous said...

That's an awesome thing to do. I'm happy that everyone around me know how much I love them because I make sure I let them hear or feel it. It's very important to be able to leave the world when your time comes without any regrets. I won't mind regretting any other thing in life, but I'll leave the world very disappointed at myself if I knew that I left one single person in doubt of my love for him/her.

Have a nice day and well done!

Starla said...

What a beautiful woman your mother is!!
And what a beautiful letter to your mother. And since I'm about to go on a crying jag since this made me think how much I miss my own mom....I'm gonna leave my comments at that...

Louisiana Belle said...

Thank you all for your sweet thoughts.

Kittie Howard said...

Oh, Gail, you've written such a beautiful letter. It really, really touched my heart. Thank you for sharing. Is that your mother in the photo?? She's a beautiful lady!

Hope you don't catch what I've got, groan! But your lovely post made me feel better.

Nadine, Chewy and Lilibell said...

Gail, that was a beautiful letter and brought tears to my eyes. And your mother was a very, very lovely young woman!

Attila The Mom said...

Oh, that was so beautiful!! Thanks for sharing it.

Jan @twoscoopz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan @twoscoopz said...

Made me tear up.
I can't count how many times I wish I would have written a letter to my own, to tell her all the things I took for granted that she would already know.
Good for you for doing it. It means so much.

(PS - I deleted the comment above due to a really, really bad typo ... LOL)

Louisiana Belle said...

Thanks, guys! I appreciate hearing from you! Jan, I'm sorry that your mom is no longer with you. I can't imagine how difficult that must be. My heart goes out to you.