Let’s just be real here – being a mother is hard and life can be messy, making it even harder. And while I have another mother who has impacted my life immensely, today I have some things to say to my own momma, things that I didn’t get the chance to say. It’s tough, tough to lose your mother, tell her you love her, tell her all the things you haven’t told her, don’t wait until it’s too late, like it is for me.
There are so many things I never told you but now you are gone and it’s too late. I’m not even sure where to begin, but I’m going to fire away anyhow. I’m sorry that it took me so long to do this, but I hope you are watching and listening and I hope I have made you proud. Even though we only had you for a short while, you made an enormous impact on my life; I hope you know that the woman I am today is because of the woman you were. Before I get into that, I want to say thank you for all you did for me growing up.
Thank you for the countless nights that you stayed up all night making me clothes for horse shows, I know you did that for every single show. Thank you for making our chaps and winter blankets for our horses. Thank you for knitting us blankets, slippers, sweaters, socks, you name it. If you weren’t sewing or knitting something for us you were crocheting. Thank you for being my 4H leader and I’m sorry that I was the only kid that didn’t finish my project, not because you didn’t try, but because I didn’t try. I know you volunteered to lead that group for me and I’m sorry I never thanked you for that. I wish you were here now to teach me how to crochet, I’m now ready to learn it.
Thank you for being a leader and a role model for me, I know that you were one of the first women to be a heeler when team roping. I know heeling is the hardest to do as you have not one moving target, but 2. Thank you for showing me that I could ride a horse as good as anyone else could. Thank you for always watching me and cheering me on. Thank you for giving me confidence and for showing me that it’s ok to lose if you are gracious in doing so.
Thank you for your amazing smile and for the laugh you had that could fill a room. I know cooking wasn’t your thing, but thank you for always making me my favorite fried chicken if I was down and out. Thank you for our card games every Sunday night to see who had to do the dishes and thank you for always winning so I had to do the dishes with one of my brothers, even though I complained the whole way to the sink. Thank you for giving my brothers and I the time to spend with each other, even if it was just to do the dishes together.
Thank you for telling me “I hope you have a daughter just like you”. I’m not quite sure what you meant by that but because you aren’t around to ask, I’m choosing to believe you wanted me to have a daughter who was strong willed, confident, determined, loving and kind. And I did……2 of them. I’m sorry that your life was cut short and I’m sorry that you never got the opportunity to meet your amazing grandchildren (all 7 of them) or any of your great grandchildren (all 6 of them) but I know you follow them and wrap your arms around them daily. I know this to be true because when one of your grand daughters was about 3, she was coming down the steep steps from her bedroom every single night to climb into bed with her mom and dad, she told her dad not to worry because grandma holds her hand coming down the stairs. She never met you, but thank you for keeping her safe.
Do you remember all those times I told you I hated you? I didn’t hate you. I am so very sorry for that. It breaks my heart to know that I said that to the woman who did so much for me. I never knew how much that must have hurt you until my own kids yelled the same thing to me. I knew they didn’t mean it, as I hope you knew that I didn’t mean it. I know your intentions were always to keep me safe and to teach me right from wrong and how to be smart, self-sufficient, hardworking, strong and loving. I’m so sorry for ever yelling at you and saying things I promise I never meant. I never hated you. I have always loved you and I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that enough.
Thank you for being you and for loving us so fiercely and for trying to protect us. Thank you for showing us compassion and love, strength and resilience. Even though we didn’t understand all your choices, thank you for making the tough decisions that you felt were needed. Thank you for continuing to love me when I got into trouble and I got into a lot of it. Thank you for making all the flowers for my wedding, every single one of them by hand. I know that wasn’t easy and that you did it because you loved me.
I know there were times when life was really hard for you and I didn’t do much to make it easier, but I know that you did the best you could and you sacrificed so much in your life just to raise us, and it means more to me than I’ll ever be able to express in words.
There are so many things I never told you but I wish I could tell you now. I would tell you that I could never have become the strong woman I am without you. I could never have learned to care for the people I love without learning it from you. I could never have done half of the things in my life without you guiding me, even though you’re not here anymore, I feel your presence with me every day.
As I’ve gone through my turn to be a mother, I can now see what you went through for me and my brothers. I’ve lost my temper, I’ve screamed, I’ve yelled, I’ve cried and I’ve laughed. I’ve never looked at my own parenting as objectively as I am now, watching my own children become mothers. I realize that I did the best I could as did you, it wasn’t always pretty parenting but I did everything out of love and out of my desire to raise children who were kind, compassionate, loving, strong, smart and able. Able to navigate this world and whatever is thrown their way and that’s what we did. Thank you for teaching me that, without even knowing that you were teaching it. When I think about my parenting, a quote by Henry Ward Beecher speaks to me: “We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves”.
Lastly, mom, I want to tell you that I am sorry. I’m sorry for all the times I fought with you, for the times I let you down, and for the times I chose friends and other things over you. I’m sorry for the things I never told you but mostly I want to thank you for being my mom and thank you for loving me through all the ups and downs in both of our lives.
I miss you