These are days I really could use being able to talk to you.

I think we would be spending a lot of time together, you and I. I wish I had made more time for you when you were still here. I know you would say it’s okay, that I did my best, but I would give almost anything to have those days back.

My kids are almost all grown up, Mama. How did this happen so fast? I wonder, did you feel like someone had sucked all the air out of the room the afternoon I told you at 16 that I was pregnant and by the end of the day I was a bride and three weeks later I was a wife? Because I have a daughter who is nearing 16 and thank God she has so much more sense than I did and already in her young life is wiser than I was at three times her age, but she’s growing up so quickly and I already miss her and she isn’t even gone yet.

How did you do it, Mama? How did you watch your kids grow up and move on in their lives without running after them and begging them to slow down and let you hold them just a little bit longer? Because sometimes that’s how I feel.

Life seems to be speeding up and I want it to slow down so I can breathe and squeeze the essence out of each little moment and why aren’t you here so I can ask you all these things?

The grief books lied. They told me it would get easier, the missing you. It isn’t easier.

I don’t miss you less like they said. I miss you bigger and deeper and more gut-crushingly than anything I could ever have thought grieving could be.

You’re gone too soon and I can’t make you come back and I am mad. Oh, I am so mad, Mama, and not at you and not at God but just mad because you should be here. We should be spending this time together, these hours that are coming so lonely, should be talking over coffee and joking silly like we used to and starting cookie dough fights and stirring chicken and dressing with our hands and playing UpWords and plotting pranks.

It’s been five years, and still sometimes in the night I cry for you. Well, sometimes in the day, too. Sometimes the only way I can get through this is to just not think about you, but that empty is worse. I would rather feel the pain than to not feel you.

I miss you, Mama. And I love you now even more than I did, and I wish I could I could hug you and tell you how these days I’m living through right now make me long for you more than I could ever have imagined.

The tears I shed for you, though, I consider a gift because they mean you are still part of me, still nestled deep in my heart where you will always remain. I see you a little more clearly each year in my bathroom mirror staring back at me, the you reflecting through my own features. Rosie has your smile, and sometimes when she turns a certain way I draw in my breath at the resemblance. How I wanted her to know you longer.

I take these things to God, and I ask Him to heal the hurt so I can keep going, keep trying to mother my children, even as they are so swiftly taking flight, with the fierceness and courage of the woman who mothered me.

If I can’t make you come back, at least I can make you proud.

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7 thoughts on “Dear Mama,

  1. I have lived every moment of this. And no, it doesn't get any less as time goes by. Maybe we develop ways to cope with the never ending loss, but it doesn't lessen. Thank you for putting into words what my heart knew but my voice couldn't articulate.

  2. Lisa, This is beautiful. You and Steve have raised an amazing family and I know you mama is so very proud of you and proud of your children.I didn't know you had this blog, but I know I am going to enjoy reading through it. In December I started a blog about my mom and caregiving, and Alzheimer's. I'd love for you to take a look. http://whathappenswhenthedaughterbecomesthem.blogspot.comYou are such a talented writer. Are you posting on BlogHer? I encourage you to post your blog there too. I do.–Mari

  3. Boy did this tug at my heart. You never really stop missing her you know – you just smile more when you think of her. It’s been 15 years and I still had a dream with my mom in it last week. Lisa – I know. Just know this. I know. Thank you for this. God bless and keep you and all of yours.

  4. Aww, Sis, this just rips right down into the core of me. Everything you've said here about Mama Rose, it applies to my grandma. It doesn't get easier…we miss them more over time. The tears don't lessen…we still cry when we talk about them, when we remember. How could the grief over the loss of someone who was the very reason for our existence ever lessen?Love you so much, Sis. {{{hugs}}} I love Mama Rose, too, for without her, I wouldn't have you in my life. You are such a blessing to me.

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