Writing this letter to you is hard; I have tears streaming down my face as I write. It’s difficult to reach out to you like you’re still here when every day I am painfully reminded that you are gone. I miss you every, single day. I always knew that losing my mom would be one of the hardest things for me to deal with. I was right; it’s been hard.
I tried to write about you last year, but it was all too fresh. I made the mistake of reading through my journals that recorded your last illness and death. It helped in some ways because I was reminded of all the things that you could have done to make your life more comfortable, but you refused to do. The choices were all yours and I know there was nothing I could have done differently, but damn, it was hard to read through my frustrated notes from the time.
Despite all the things your body had been put through, and no matter how many times you said you didn’t care if you died, you fought to live with every ragged breath you struggled to take. I know it was hard for you to accept that you had actually passed away. Your spirit felt restless and confused to me for the first few months you were gone. Gradually, I could feel you relax into your new existence and become at peace with your transition.
In some ways, it feels like just yesterday that you left us, but in other ways, it seems like you’ve been gone a lifetime. So much has happened in the last two years. Everyone is doing fine, but there were times when we weren’t sure if everything would be all right.
You see, Mom, your grandchildren have had some health issues. Your grandson-in-law had a kidney transplant in May after your passed. He is doing fine, but we were all concerned about whether or not he would be able to find a kidney before it was too late and the single kidney he had gave out. A loving family member donated their kidney and everyone is now past the critical 12-month mark.
This year, your oldest granddaughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had surgery and they got all of the tumor, but it was really scary. While we all missed having you to talk to, we were so glad you weren’t on this earth to worry through her surgery, radiation and recuperation. I know you, and other family members in the next life, were all at her side, taking care of her and making sure she did all right. In the days before the surgery to remove the baseball sized tumor, I heard you and Daddy reassuring me that you were taking care of her. It was a comfort to me and I hope I was able to relay some of that comfort on to other family members. Your spunky granddaughter is amazing and has impressed the doctors and therapists with her rapid, determined return to “normal.” She still has a lot of healing ahead of her, but I know she will excel at that just like she has everything else she has put her mind to.
All of your children and grandchildren are doing well, despite the health issues I wrote you about. Some of the grandkids have moved and taken on new jobs, but everyone is doing just fine. Your great-grandkids are all spunky as hell and they are challenging their parents every day. I can’t speak for my siblings, but I can tell you I fine great pleasure in hearing the escapades of my grandchildren. I know revenge is a poor excuse for enjoying your grandkids, but it’s so much fun to hear my kids complain about their kids doing the exact same things they did. Of course, all of your great-grandchildren are inventive enough they have come up with escapades their parents never dreamed of. I know how much you would have enjoyed watching them grow.
It was my life-long habit to call you, if not every day, then pretty darn close to it. You were always one of the first people I shared all of my news with. Relationships, babies, careers, and dreams were all shared with you. In the two years since you left us, I can’t count how many times I’ve reached for the phone to share some news with you. When I remember I can’t call anymore the pain hits me like a fresh injury.
I always think of you as my tiny mom. I was still in grade school when my grandfather, your father-in-law, looked at your, looked at your children and pronounced, “Lynda, I believe you’re going to be the runt of the litter.” The look of surprise on your face amuses me to this day. I realize now that despite your diminutive stature, you were the glue that held this family together.
As I write this I can hear your laugh. While it makes me cry, it also makes me happy. It means you are able to relate to where you are in your journey, and that you still enjoy getting caught up with the family.
We all miss you and wish you were still here to worry us and make us all just a little crazy.
I love you Mom,