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Things I Never Said (to my mom)

mother-daughter relationships are tricky things aren't they?


So yes, it’s Mother’s Day Weekend and yes, my mom is dead. But in this moment, there are no big emotions coming up for me. Right now it’s just another weekend and that’s okay.

If you think you should be feeling things and aren’t that’s okay. If you are feeling all the things, that’s okay too.

That being said, I did feel called to share a letter I wrote to my mom a few months ago. It’s a way to share more about myself and the love I have for my mom as I move into this weekend.

I’m including the text that I read in the video below.

Things I Never Said: 

So many things went unsaid, simply because it wasn’t until you were gone that I could let myself process them. 

I was hurt. I watched you struggle. Struggle with your body image. Struggle with your pain–physical and mental. Struggle with your ability to ask for help. Struggle with the substances you used to numb it all. 

The more I learned about myself and grew, I had difficulty reconciling the mom I craved and the unpredictable one that typically showed up. It was too crushing, too exhausting, remaining buckled into that roller coaster car, so I distanced myself. Instead of picking up the phone to call you, I called dad. I choose to laugh less with you. I elected to not take you seriously. I know you felt the shift. You told me. 

It took years for me to untangle my inherited patterns and discover alternative ways to move throughout the world. I only saw how you showed up. I only saw how you let life happen to you. At first,  I did all I  could to avoid becoming you. 

Eventually, I learned that I didn’t need to have something wrong with me to be worthy of the attention of others. I ripped up the sign that said, “patiently waiting for the other shoe to drop”. I unearthed the truth that the world is full of more love than hate. 

Once I reaped the benefits of my new truths, all I wanted was for you to see the world as I did. It was another thing the little girl in me wanted to share with her mom. I truly only ever wanted to see you content and pain-free. Even when you were asking for what you needed, I took it with a grain of salt or thought I knew better. The depth of my love intensified the hurt as you continued to live the only way you knew how. Up until the day that you died, I held out hope that you would choose differently. 

I only ever wanted the best for you. I don’t fault myself for that. However, my ruthless quest cost me opportunities to see you for who you truly were, not who I wanted you to be. 

There wasn’t enough time to say what I needed to say. There wasn’t enough time for you to be in a place to receive my words. But, even if you lived to 100, it still might have been insufficient. 

It’s been 310 days since you’ve left this earth. In those 310 days, I’ve started to finally embrace and love you for who you were, not who I wanted you to be. I’ve let go of the love-fueled anger. I’ve started to wonder if the pain you unintentionally inflicted, and your steadfast way of life was my greatest gift because it led me to the path I walk today.

In those 310 days, I’ve begun to warm to the parts of me that are you, and not fear them. 

While I started my healing journey in spite of you, now I want to continue it and help others do the same in honor of you. 

So to accomplish that goal, I need to bring you with me. I want to carry your tenacity. I want to carry your child-like humor. I want to carry your caring heart. I want to carry your love of the wild world. I want to let myself feel your love. 

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Finding the Flotsam
Finding the Flotsam
Maggie Glennon