Dear Mami: You have been gone almost 3 months now. It's unreal to me that you are truly no longer a being on this earth. I struggle most days because you were such a big part of my life. How does one go on without a limb? I still feel you here, near me in the same way that an amputee feels phantom pains.
So much has changed and yet not much is different. As I navigate through the decisions in my life, I remember conversations of the past where you shared some nugget of wisdom, reminded me of something important I needed to keep in mind or just reiterated my worth. Invaluable thoughts, all of them. Now I stare at serious decisions that must be made and I can see them from your perspective. From a place of peace. The most frequent phrase I hear in your voice as the thoughts race through my head is this: forget it. That doesn't matter.
I am your child so you know this is one of the hardest things for me to do. But I believe that I am getting better at it. The perspective of losing the stronghold of my life, the bearer of my soul, will do that to you. In focusing on those words I am feeling a certain level of peace I had not yet experienced. Yes, there are flare ups and there are annoyances because I am human after all. But mostly, I smile. Because it's taken me so long to see exactly what it was that you were trying to teach me. I wonder. Did you know my life would come to this crossroad? Did you perceive it (after all, moms know everything, right)?
One of the things I loved most about you (and not just because you're my mami) was your ability to be clear and concise and yet be impartial. If I was arguing with someone else that you loved and told you about it, that never changed your relationship with that person. It is a difficult thing to do when you are a mother and all your heart wants to do is protect your child. But you did it perfectly and seamlessly. In that manner, you taught me that everything I do should come from a place of love. No matter what someone else has said or done. I am to act from that love that is in my heart and I am to let whatever that is, go.
In death, you remind me that most things that we worry about are not important and that in giving them thought, emotion or words we, in fact, breathe life into them. I picture your knowing smile as I type this. The one thing I absolutely adore about you (besides how perfectly you loved me) is how proud you are of me. I choose to use the present because I like to think you are looking down on me now from your place in heaven where everything is much clearer. Now you look down and your heart fills with pride because I have arrived to the place where you so lovingly walked me to. To myself. With all my flaws and imperfections. With all of the things that you loved most about me. With all of the worth that you prayed for and instilled.
And I realize as I take each and every step, each and every day that every action you took in steering my heart and actions (whether intentional or not) was to get me to this place. To remind me of how I am loved and therefore how I need to love. How I am valued and how I need to value.
I am moved to write these words because, unfortunately, there are still moms and daughters out there with a less than perfect relationship. And I know you wish them to know that the bond is never broken. Not even after your child holds on to your hand and watches you take your very last breath.