Sometimes I forget. Absent-mindedly, I reach for my phone to dial the number…and then, I’ll catch myself. My eyes close, I shake my head, remembering. It still doesn’t seem real. Sometimes, just when I think I’m doing okay, I’ll find something that makes me tear up ~ the birthday card you gave me last year, our texting history on my cell phone, my library card or a picture. Sometimes, I can’t stop crying. Adjusting to a world that lacks your physical presence in my life has been/is/will continue to be one of the most difficult things I’ll ever have to do. I know, in my heart, that you would not want me to be sad and I do have many reasons to feel happy at the moment. It’s just going to take some time for the pain to lessen.
I’m trying very hard to be the strong, dignified woman you raised me to be, so that I can move on and be there for my kiddos and everyone I care about. Outwardly, I think I’m succeeding. Inwardly, not so much. Being a mom, particularly a single parent, was easier when I was able to reach out to you for advice and support. Although I faced different challenges with my children, I felt empowered by your strength, wisdom and encouragement. You had faith that I could always overcome those challenges and your belief in me gave my confidence a real boost. Now, I must rely solely on my core values, instinct, mistakes, experiences, love and devotion to being a mom.
I will do my very best to teach, support, comfort, listen, cheer them on. No, children don’t come with a manual and, yes, every child is different. I was very fortunate to have a mom who cared enough to raise me properly, in a firm, but loving way. You were a prime example of a truly great mom. Despite the ups and downs our family had, I always saw the bigger picture. You gave your advice/opinions without interfering. You knew the importance of teaching by example, without preaching. Whenever necessary, you allowed me to make mistakes so that I could learn from them and realize things for myself. You listened to me without judging or criticizing. Because of our similar experiences, we were able to relate to each other very well and, knowing what you endured has always given me the utmost respect for you.
I will continue to strive to be a hero to my children, just as you were ~ and always will be ~ my hero.
I love you, Momma. Always.