Since December 29, 2018, I have been searching for the right words to say. Still not sure if they're "right", but I do have words now. To commemorate my first Mother's Day without my best friend, I'd like to share an open letter to my mom.
I miss you terribly. I often find myself wondering what you would say if I could have a conversation with you about recent happenings. I study our text conversations, and chuckle at how your advice is still so, so relevant. It's almost like you were preparing me to live without you. I hear your voice so clearly sometimes. I hear your laugh. I hear your rebuke. I even hear you praying.
Here's what I miss: Your hugs. When I was in your arms, my grown self felt like that care-free little girl all over again. I knew that I would have to walk back to my problems, but your embrace provided just the relief I needed. Your laugh. Our nightly FaceTime sessions watching laughing-baby videos, talking to CoCo (my dog), planning my dream wedding, and preaching to each other were the highlights of my day. (Thank you dad for letting us talk excessively while you rolled your eyes at us in the background.) Your ear. You showed me my voice mattered before I believed it myself. Even if you didn't agree, you listened. You were always engaged when I talked. You affirmed me. You heard me. You understood me and my corniness. Your encouragement. You were THEE Encourager. Not just for me, but for so many. You encouraged with such compassion and conviction.
Here's what I learned: It wasn't until I got older that I realized that your compassion and conviction did not come without a price. You purposed your pain. You exposed your Hidden Scars to serve as proof that wholeness from brokenness was actually achievable. I used to always say, "I admire, but do not envy your vulnerability and will to love time and time again". I recognized what a great woman those characteristics made you, but I never wanted them because of the pain it caused you to get there. You warned me often not to live on the sidelines trying to avoid pain or failure.
Here's what I know: You were ready to go. As I have already shared with my loved ones, you told me and one of my aunties that you were ready. Truthfully, there would have never been a good time for me to give you back to Heaven. Had it been in 5 years, I would have wanted you to stay to help me raise your grandchildren. Had it been in 10 years, I would have wanted you to stay to see me excel in my career. Had it been in 35 years, I would have wanted you to stay to meet your great-grands. I would have never been ready. It would never hurt less. It would never be a good time. I know you are free from pain. I know you taught us well. I know you left nothing unsaid.
Your faith was so strong; heart so big, love so wide, and smile so bright. You were in no way perfect, but I am certain you were the perfect mother for me. I'll never forget your words. I've already caught myself telling my clients, "My mother used to say..." With shaky knees and sweaty palms, I am leaving room for imperfection, embracing vulnerability, and living out loud. I'm doing what you said. Sorry it took me so long, but know your pressing was not in vain. I will keep making you proud.
Happy Mother's Day mom. I love you.