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>Words: A Letter To Mom

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Well, it’s Mother’s Day. For some of us, that’s a complicated day. Yes, I loved my mother and I choose to believe she loved me. I’ve stated in the past that ours was a very complicated relationship. It helps to know that she was sick for a really long time, and I’m not talking about her condition. I’m talking about her depression. And of course the grandmother was the root of much evil, but that’s a story for another day….
My mother had diabetes and the last insulin she was put on was later (after her death) blamed for many deaths. My sister and I discussed whether we should pursue a law suit. In the end, we didn’t want to relive the pain and horror of it all over and over again. And truly, Mom suffered horribly. We had all been through enough, so we let it go. 
Mom entered the hospital for what the doctors told us would be the last time. We’d been here so many times before….I worked second shift then and I cleared it with the head nurse on duty to come after 12am and sit with her. Of course when I arrived, another nurse was on duty and she said I absolutely could not visit at that hour. I told her that. I. was. sitting. with. my. mother. She left me alone.
I sat for just over an hour with Mom. Her breathing was difficult but there was such a feeling of peace about her. She told me I needed to go home and get some sleep. I said I was staying. I am as stubborn as she ever was, and that’s saying something. We sat in a companionable silence most of the time. It was enough. Finally, knowing that I was worrying her, I kissed her on the cheek and told her I loved her and she said she loved me too. Those were the last words we ever spoke to each other while she was alive. Again, another story…..
When I came home from her funeral, still in my dress, I sat down and wrote her a letter. It came out almost exactly as you will see it here. It was the second poem I put on my poetry blog…..it’s a pretty good summation of our relationship.

I think of the words

I should say
sitting here with you
Please don’t worry
it’ll be okay
knowing they’re all untrue
There is no future
only the past
thoughts lay heavy in my mind
The second hand’s turning
time’s slipping fast
I’ll give you what I can find
Fumbling through the memories
locked deep in my heart
I cry out in despair
So many times
words tore us apart
neither of us seemed to care
We gave plenty of words in anger
and quite a few in blame
too many now that can’t be taken back
Saddened with bitter regret
I lower my head in shame
I’m stunned by the courage we lack
How simple it would have been
to say I understand
forgive the things I do
I wonder if we had
would you have taken my hand
could we ever have said I love you
Still we shared many a laugh
good times lasted for miles
I wish you could come home
I want to go with you
I guess I’ll stay for a while
I’m afraid of being alone
Words really aren’t needed
we know each other too well
the past already forgot
You leave me here
in my sweet private hell
I watch as the second hand stops
RSM 4/20/1994

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