Today I was going through some things that belonged to my mom. It was mostly pictures, but in the midst of it all I found a card and letter that I had given to her on Mother’s Day, 1988. I was pregnant with my first child. It is a coincidence that I found this letter on the day that he was due to be born?
When I read through the letter, I was crying, of course, but I also reconnected with who I was back then, and how much I loved (love) my mom. I share it here with you to honour and remember her. The picture at the top of the blog is from her last visit to Moncton in 2009. It was the year of her 70th birthday, and the year she passed away.
May 8, 1988
Dear Mom, I thought that this letter would be easy to write, but this is my third try. I wanted to tell you how much you mean to me, but so many things are crowding into my head that I can’t sort them out. So, if this starts getting jumbled up, you’ll know why.
When I was little, I wanted to be like you. I loved your strength and nurturing without realizing that they were special qualities. They are part of who you are.
When I got to be a bit older, I wanted to be a nurse like you because it seemed glamourous, Cherry Ames and all that! I didn’t realize how hard you worked at the hospital, and then came home and work all over again. I was proud when I could point out the hospital to people and say that it was “Mommy’s work”.
When we moved to Sault Ste. Marie and I entered those confusing teen years I was glad that you were there to set boundaries and worry about me, even as I was fighting them.
Then when we moved to Moncton, and I started to discover who I am, I was glad that I could talk to you. When Ray and I were “getting serious” you let me take the first steps towards becoming an adult without judging me and I will be forever grateful for that.
When you had the operation and chemo treatments, I was scared, but I saw you do what had to be done, even though you were scared too. Our family was drawn closer because of your strength. I learned that families and friends are the most important things in the world, and with them you can get through anything.
Since I learned that I was going to be a mother, I’ve been thinking about the way I want to raise my kids. It was easy, I want to be a mom just like you.
There are still a lot of things that I want to say. I can never thank you enough for the kind of life that you and dad have given me. Everything I am I owe to you. You have taught me what is important in life. I know how to love because you showed me how.
You are my mother and my friend, and I love you more than I could ever say, even if I wrote a book about it. I hope this is the best Mother’s Day ever for you.
P.S. I still want to be like you