A Letter Home to my Mother

"A Letter Home to my Mother"

I’m writing this week mainly because I want to connect and share with you where I’ve been. I know how hard this year has been for most of us, and hearing other women’s stories is critical to healing right now. It’s critical to know we are not alone.
 
I’ve been in a deep healing cocoon this past year. My silence has been the deepest form of self-care. On top of the pandemic I have faced many personal hardships that I am ready to share. I am starting to write again as a way to heal my wounds and as an act of service to connect women.
 
I couldn’t quite put into words everything that happened this year, so I want to share a letter I wrote to my mother. She passed away 13 years ago, and it was cathartic to write to her after this difficult year. The letter will catch you up on where I’ve been. I write about leaving California, recovering from a hysterectomy, and sitting patiently in the unknown.
 
If it inspires you, I invite you to look back over this past year and take note of all of the things that have happened in your life. Maybe even write a letter to someone you love, past or present. The act of looking back, marking important moments, and writing to someone you miss dearly, can be healing.
 
With Love,

Michelle


A Letter Home to My Mother

Dear Mom,

 
It’s been a long time since I’ve written to you. There’s so much to say, I hardly know where to begin.
Life’s been pretty hard lately. This year has been like no other.
I wish you were here.
Everything is shifting and changing. So much you wouldn’t believe.
Pretty much nothing looks the same, Mom.
We left California. The hardest decision I’ve ever made. But we did it.
We left.
And now the four of us sit alone in a beautiful white farmhouse surrounded by pear trees and apple trees and wandering deer.
It was my dream, Mom. And it came true.
We left for more space to spread out, more land to dig roots, more time to heal, and a way to slow down.
And the thing is, even though my dream of this house and this land and this vision came true, I feel so alone.
 
Who knew a global pandemic would hit so soon after we moved?
Who knew everything would shut down and it would be so hard to connect with other people?
Neighbors have gone dark. Blinds are shut.
The kids don’t go to school. They sit at home and learn on the computer, disconnected from friends and sports and laughter and life.
They wonder when they can go back and be normal again.
I don’t have an answer. I struggle with what to say.
I never thought I’d be homeschooling either. But here I am. A homeschool mom.
Will they have a normal highschool experience?
Will Forrest get to dance at homecoming and prom?
Everything is changing and shifting.
The gift in all of this is time, I suppose. Our days are slow and spacious.
We are closer than ever. This was also part of my dream.
 
Mom, I had surgery ten weeks ago. It was my second surgery in seven months.
A hysterectomy and an oophorectomy and an appendectomy.
I got really scared. Because I learned I have what you had.
Endometriosis.
It feels like fire and swords inside my womb. I know you know what I mean.
They took my uterus, Mom, just like they took yours.
It was so hard to let go of the part of me that made my children, the part of me that felt so connected to you.
Now I get what you went through.
Illness is a darkness we suffer alone. I never knew.
I got so scared that I am walking your path, Mom. That my health looks like yours.
I got so scared that I will die young too.
I fell into the darkness.
I felt you with me, though, lifting me up.
I hear your voice.
I am a different person than you. A different body. With a different story.
The doctors know a lot more now. I hear you, Mom.
And they cleared my body of all the Endo so I can finally heal.
 
I have to mention the fires, Mom.
On top of everything, fires roared through California this year.
Months of smoke and grief and pain.
The fires came up here to Oregon, too.
Smoke crept into my farmhouse and clouded the summer skies.
How do we grow back from the ashes, Mom?
How do we make meaning from all the loss?
 
Time is in the inbetween. My dreams are on hold.
We are neither here nor there.
We’re trying to cherish the moments as we wait in this gap.
There’s a thousand-piece puzzle on the table, hot chocolate on the stove, and a puppy on my lap.
There’s reading and writing and walking and breathing.
There’s trust and hope and surrender to it all.
As hard as it is, I’ve learned that isolation is medicine I didn’t know I needed.
 
I wish you were here, Mom.
I wish you could see the kids grow.
Forrest loves to bake.
He has blonde curls and feet bigger than mine.
Eden loves horses.
She has your lips and the most delicate hands.
I wish you could come for Christmas dinner.
I’ll bring out Grandma’s china and bake your pumpkin pie.
We’ll stay up late drinking red wine.
 
I wish you were here, Mom. It’s hard without you.
It’s hard being a mom without a mom.
I miss your touch, your comfort, and your grace.
 
But I hear your voice, Mom.
 
It’s going to be okay.
It’s going to be okay.
It’s going to be okay.
 
I love you, Mom.
 
Your daughter,
 
Michelle
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