I'm sorry I used your gift card for that.
We used to talk about everything and since you've been gone, there have been quite a few things I haven't gotten to tell you.
First things first: Kids are good. Ezra was diagnosed with ADHD after all. He had a surgery on his belly but is all healed up. Riley developed a peanut allergy. That one was crazy. Oh an here's something:
I am now the age you were when you had me.
It's a weird thing to be the same age as your parents. As a child I always looked up to people in their thirties as these pillars of wisdom and constancy, people who are confident and know what they are doing. Well, now that I am in my thirties and have four kids too, one thing is for sure; adults never knew what they were doing.
You always seemed to though.
It's funny the things you remember about a person after they're gone.
I'm surprised at the amount of times I think of when you picked me up from the Halloween party turned séance. Thanks for that.
I have on many occasions imagined us walking around the mall eating pretzels with cream cheese and marinara.
And at every doctors appointment I hear your words "be your own advocate."
Truly, I looked up to you. Literally, I can imagine standing below your knee, looking up and tugging your burnt orange and brown 70's era house coat made of worn terry cloth. I remember that vividly. Your housecoat was always coupled with the smell of hair dye. Because I inherited your weird premature white hair gene, I have also dyed my hair for years now.
Do you remember how I debated about growing my white hair out? Well, you'd never believe it Ma, but there was a world wide pandemic. We were all quarantined. It was crazy. Since I was literally not allowed to be seen by the outside world, I figured what a great time to shave my head and grow out my white hair. You know, just to see how it looked.
It looked like you.
But the most upsetting part wasn't that suddenly I had aged thirty years or when I looked in the mirror I saw your face looking back at me. No, the hardest part was when I saw your sister...and Dad...
The briefest joy broke across their faces, only to immediately wash away with the realization that you weren't miraculously standing before them. That would be impossible.
It was too much.
I dyed my hair purple next.
Oh, and about that morning you passed... well, I was playing with Eden. She was putting on a pink knit hat and crawling along the floor when all of a sudden she stopped, looked past my shoulder and said "Gah-ma." I knew she meant you because that was a newly celebrated word. As soon as she said it, I don't know why, but I recalled you telling me that you saw great grandma the day she died. I turned to look, seeing nothing I brushed it off.
I was making coffee at 2:00 when Mike came home to tell me. I knew there was something wrong but I didn't think it was you. When he said the words "you're mother died this morning," I reflexively said "are you serious?" Of course he was, who jokes about that sort of thing?
Then a wave came over me. An empty wave of realization. You were gone forever.
I stood in the kitchen and wept next to the Keurig machine, coffee still steaming in my mug. Ezra ran in to see what could make his mother make such sounds. When we told him, he asked if we had called the Rescue Bots right away. I've always thought you'd find that funny.
After I gathered myself I fearfully grabbed my phone to see what the last thing I said to you was. A few days before we had a little fight about a gift card you sent us. I had thanked you for it from the both of us but you had wanted to hear from Mike personally. I thought that was silly.
Quickly I scrolled past that argument and thankfully found a text that read:
"Mom, you have been through hard things before. God will get you through them again. Trust in Him. I love you."
I sighed with relief. I was so happy that we had left on a good note. But then a few days later, out of the blue, my phone began to relentlessly display this notification;
"Message not sent."
For months it did that.
We were poor at the time. Suddenly we had an emergency road trip from Vermont to Ohio before us and I was stressed about cash. I also was overwhelmed with the idea that you always wanted us to look nice for things like church, weddings, funerals...
I kept thinking "Ma would be so upset if I brought my babies to her funeral in ratty clothes."
So, Ma, I have a confession. I used the gift card to buy them clothes... for your funeral.
But the thing I regret the most is you never got to hold him. He was just four weeks old, his birth was so traumatic, and we were just so far away... Sure I sent you pictures and videos... but I know how much you wanted to hold your youngest grandson.
I'm sorry we were too late.
Of all the things I wish I could tell you, the one thing I wish I could tell you about is him.
He would have LOVED you. He is the sweetest, funniest five year old. He loves rockets and Toy Story. He thinks sloths and pigs are cute. Man, I wish you could have known him and he could have known you.
I have to explain all the time to him who you are. It breaks my heart, but I know he can't help it. He was too young to remember.
The last thing I want to let you know is that I did introduce you. I carried him over to your casket and whispered the shaky words "Ma, this is Milo. Milo this is your Grandma."
I hope somehow you did know that one.
P.S I saw that snow flake land on the rose I took from your grave. I have no idea if it was you, but for some reason I felt like you were blowing me a kiss. I took a picture and have kept it for five years.
About the Creator
My life is a little crazy. Four kids, homeschool, hotel clerk, write, create and coffee. Coffee is a verb. Do you coffee? I aspire to blow glass and finish / publish my novel. I would like to have an impact. Also, coffee.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Original narrative & well developed characters
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
This was so heartfelt and made me want to go call my mom
I really enjoyed this!
This was so touching!