Dear Mom…

May 8, 2014 in Inspirational Stuff

Dear Mom,

One year has passed since you’ve been gone. How is that possible? How is it possible that I’ve survived this year without you? I know that sounds melodramatic, but I know you’d approve of me saying that this past year has been the worst fucking 12 months ever. You used to tell me to use curse words sparingly but appropriately. How was that?!

A friend of mine who lost her mom about a year before I lost you told me that she thought as time went on, it became more difficult for her to not have her mom around. Now I know what she meant. I’m not sure why people think your grief lessens, because even though that raw pain may be diminished, the grief of not being able to share life’s moments — both good and bad — does not go away.

On the one hand, I am thankful you are not here to see what your grandson has endured this past year. Had you yourself been battling your illness, I know it would have crushed you to not be by our side during this time. On the other hand, oh how I wish I could talk to you, how you could see and hear how strong and brave Little Dude has been through his treatments, and how your other grandchildren have been progressing with their school, sports, and activities.

The sucky part is missing you so much that there are moments when that ache starts in my chest and shoots up my constricting throat, all the way to my burning eyes. I let the sadness fall over me and then I regroup, because I know I have to. I have you to thank for that, truly. You were tough — never with me, but with any obstacles that came your way. Be it work-related or advocating for your kids (remember that C-minus I unfairly received on a paper and you went to bat for me?), you never backed down from any challenge ever.  I now know you’ve handed that trait down to me and I’m grateful for it, especially during these more recent months.

I hope you know how many people miss you so very much. Oh Boy Dad and I went out to dinner for Valentine’s Day this past February and he remarked how much he missed you. Of course I broke down crying and our romantic night out turned into a bit of a crying-fest, but it was a good cry. It felt good to know that you were loved by so many.

Aside from the “big” things I miss telling you, it’s also the little things. We recently bought some new area rugs for our bedroom, which has had bare hardwood floors for the 11 years we’ve lived here. A trivial purchase and yet, I wished I could share it with you, mainly because I knew you’d care, just the way you cared about everything in my life.

But, getting back to this very difficult year. Losing you was brutal, but then to be hit with another blow (Little Dude’s diagnosis) a mere two months later seemed cruel and unfair. Our family barely had time to grieve for you, and then we were forced to focus on a challenge in a way we’ve never had to before. You’d be proud of how we’ve managed. And you would be so touched by how our friends have rallied around us. I think some of my friends recognized what an emotional rock you were for me and they have tried their best to fill the wide chasm I feel without you here. I keep having the impulse to pick up the phone and tell you about the many acts of kindness that we’ve received from caring friends and neighbors. I bet you would tell me to write a blog post about it. Don’t worry, I already did.

And yes, I miss you reading my blog. You were a faithful fan, who always emailed me your reaction privately, rather than commenting on the blog itself. You were always helping me come up with new blog topics, too. I hope you don’t mind being the center of attention with this one, especially since you always disliked being in the spotlight.

How do I end this letter when I never want to stop talking to you, even if you can’t answer me back? Perhaps this will be one of many. I am a writer after all, and no one encouraged that more than you. So my dear (as you would always say to me), I am signing off for now, but I’ll never stop conveying my thoughts to you whether it’s through my writing or some other way.

Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom ever…and in case you were wondering, no I’m definitely NOT cooking on Mother’s Day! I know that news will make you as happy as it makes me….xoxo

P.S. We found your unfinished needlepoint and the nice ladies at the local needlepoint store helped make it beautiful and complete. We are going to hang it in Little Dude’s room. :)

This post was part of the Finish-The-Sentence Friday Blog Hop. To read more “Dear Mom” posts, or to participate, click the button here or in my sidebar:

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara May 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm

I am so touched by your expression of love and respect for your mother….Emily, you are a gem and your mother is so very proud of you.


ohboymom May 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Thanks so much Barbara…I am finding that she is an easy topic to write about. :)


Janine Huldie May 8, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Aww, huge hugs tonight Emily and I honestly can’t believe it has been a year since your mom passed. I know how close you too were and can only imagine how you feel now and this past year. My thoughts are with you this weekend and wish I could reach out and give you a big hug.
Janine Huldie recently posted…Dear Mom…Happy Mother’s Day!My Profile


ohboymom May 8, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Thanks so much Janine…last year was a tougher mother’s day because it was so close after she passed. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect this year and remember all the happy stuff. :) Thank you for your virtual hug!


Kerri May 8, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Oh….Emily….I was worried about you. I was worried that this weekend would put a damper on little Dudes awesome milestone. I’m so sorry that it’s been a year and it hasn’t gotten easier. But I also think it is kind of cool, in a morbid way, that your love for your mom (and HERS for YOU) was so awesome that it transcends time passing. You will always miss your mom, but more you are always grateful for the time, too short, that you had her. And better you acknowledge that she is still there, in a needlepoint, in your sons, in your knowing you cannot cook and its okay and in your heart.

Hugs to you my friend. I will be thinking of you this weekend. Know that while I don’t know your loss I feel for it.
Kerri recently posted…Mom in the elevatorMy Profile


ohboymom May 9, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Thanks so much for those sweet and comforting words Kerri. It will help to have the distraction and usual chaos of my boys surrounding me this weekend. :) Happy Mother’s Day!


Katia May 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Oh Emily. I was thinking of you and your mom when I reread your post that I quoted and your other post this week. I think I told you before that I had the same kind of relationship with my mom (I use past tense because we’re on different continents now) so reading this felt painful. I was living this reality (and that is not to make it about myself, just to tell you in the absence of your most faithful reader and fan what she would have told you, this is powerful, genuine writing that goes from your heart and straight into your reader’s). Much love to you and your brave little dude and the other three (two + Oh Boy Dad).


ohboymom May 9, 2014 at 11:47 am

Thanks so much Katia – I’m glad you were touched by this, as I think anyone would be who is close to their mom. I’m sure it must be so hard living so far away. Sending hugs back to you and Happy Mother’s Day to you!


Kelly L McKenzie May 8, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Choking up over here. What a lovely tribute to your mom. I am so very sorry that she has passed. While I still have my mom, I don’t have my dad. I miss him every single day. Hang in there kiddo.
Kelly L McKenzie recently posted…Mommy DearestMy Profile


ohboymom May 9, 2014 at 11:45 am

Thanks so much – for those of us who have lost a parent, we understand the feeling of always missing them. It’s never easy, no matter how old we are. Thanks for reading!


Kenya G. Johnson May 9, 2014 at 7:29 am

Emily this was absolutely beautiful. Thanks for inviting us in. I instantly felt invited into a small private space where you I watched you have a talk with your mom. If I were an actress and had to cry on cue – all I would have to do is fast forward to a day when my mom is no longer here. I cannot bear the thought. Thank you for sharing the real of how you are carrying on.
Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…Franks & Beans, Lipstick Kisses and More…My Profile


ohboymom May 9, 2014 at 11:44 am

Thanks so much Kenya and I’m glad you could feel the intimacy of the post. Happy Mother’s Day!


Cathy Chester May 9, 2014 at 7:35 am


You broke my heart and mended it by the thought of losing your mom but also having her close by at the same time in this post. She was one incredible lady who is smiling right now – I just know it – at knowing the strength, resilience and love she passed onto you.

Bless you and your mom for Mother’s Day. I know your friends can’t fill that empty place in your heart, but I will keep trying to do what I can.
Cathy Chester recently posted…Courage Despite Adversity: Lessons I Learned From My MotherMy Profile


ohboymom May 9, 2014 at 11:43 am

Thanks Cathy – I know I’ve had your support all along and that means a lot. Happy Mother’s Day to you!


Allie May 9, 2014 at 7:52 am

I’m so sorry for your loss. My mom has been gone for 26 years and it still hurts (sorry, not very encouraging, I know). I lost my dad three months after one of my children was diagnosis with autism. I couldn’t help but feel as though the universe was kicking me when I was down! Hang in there. Your post was beautiful.
Allie recently posted…Dear MomMy Profile


ohboymom May 9, 2014 at 11:42 am

Yes Allie, I can relate to feeling like I was being tested by the universe. Thanks so much for reading and I’m glad I found your blog!


marjorie weschler May 9, 2014 at 8:04 am

Dear Emily,
Your mother would be so proud of the wonderful mother you are–it is, or course, a tribute to her. She is proud of you, looking down. Happy Mother’s Day. margie


ohboymom May 9, 2014 at 11:41 am

Thanks so much Margie – and Happy Mother’s Day to you too!


Kristi Campbell May 9, 2014 at 9:23 am

Emily, she would love this, I think. What a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to her and to your special relationship with her. Huge Mother’s Day hugs to you and your entire family this weekend, friend. I’m so glad (not that there was much doubt) to read that you won’t be cooking.
Kristi Campbell recently posted…From a dad, who thinks his wife gave his special needs son the worldMy Profile


ohboymom May 9, 2014 at 11:40 am

Thanks so much and yes, cooking is out of the question! Happy Mother’s Day to you too!


Anna Fitfunner May 9, 2014 at 10:14 am

It’s pretty clear to anyone who reads your post that your Mom will never truly leave you. She is a part of you and your family every day. In a way, you’ve given your Mom the best Mother’s Day gift any daughter could….


ohboymom May 9, 2014 at 11:39 am

Thank you and you’re right – I like thinking about her that way, that she never truly leaves me. :)


That Girl Ryan May 9, 2014 at 10:46 am

This was so touching! I’m so sorry to hear about your mother, she sounded like a wonderful lady. Sending positive thoughts your way today, have a great mothers day!


ohboymom May 9, 2014 at 11:39 am

Thank you and same to you!


Stephanie @ Mommy, for Real. May 9, 2014 at 11:49 am

Oh, Emily, I’m not sure I can type through my tears. It’s hard to reconcile the feelings of gratitude for having experienced the gift of such a beautiful mother in your life with the unfairness of not having her in your physical world anymore. I think you should keep writing to her. Maybe it will be your first book. :) xoxo to you this weekend. You inspire me.
Stephanie @ Mommy, for Real. recently posted…A Letter to My Mom on Mother’s DayMy Profile


ohboymom May 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Thanks so much Stephanie – your letter made me weepy too. :) I like your idea of the book – hmmmmm….Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!


Kelly May 9, 2014 at 6:35 pm

It has been quite a year hasn’t it? And I am ever impressed with the example you set for others to follow. You are very courageous and always keep your sense of humor – your mother would be so proud of all of you! I wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day! XO


ohboymom May 9, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Thanks so much Kelly, and yes, I’m happy to put this year behind us. Wishing you a great Mother’s Day too!!


Chris Carter May 11, 2014 at 1:14 am

Crap. I didn’t know…

Oh Emily. I already think the WORLD of you and the strength you have found to persevere through this nightmare in the past year- and now this too?

I am so so sorry you got hit with some of the hardest blows any one person can experience in a lifetime, let a lone a year. You amaze me. And your little Dude amazes me.

Oh how proud your mother must be!

I will be thinking about you tomorrow, praying for you, and wishing you moments of joy and beauty amidst the grief and the reflection of your year. You are one hell of a woman, my friend. Keep on keepin’ on. If you made it through this year, surely you can make it through anything.
Chris Carter recently posted…My Writing ProcessMy Profile


ohboymom May 12, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Chris, yeah it’s been the suckiest of years, but we made it through, in no small part due to all of my wonderful blogger friends, including you! I always appreciate your messages of support. xoxo


Julie Burton May 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Emily, you certainly have had quite the year. Wow. What a beautiful tribute to your mother and all she meant (and continues to mean) to you. I love that she went to bat for you over a C-! My kind of mom! Keep writing to her Emily, and we will keep reading and supporting you in helping you keep her memory alive.
Julie Burton recently posted…How a New Book on Childhood Helped Soften the Rough Edges of 17My Profile


ohboymom May 12, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Thx so much Julie – I so appreciate your support! And yeah, that C- was a story we always looked back on and laughed about (because of the poem I chose), but I still think it was the right thing for her to do!


Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms May 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Oh, we do have some things in common, including appreciating the cathartic powers of a blog post. This was beautiful. And I just wanted you to know, mere seconds before I read this line–“that ache starts in my chest and shoots up my constricting throat, all the way to my burning eyes”–I had the very same reaction.
Thank you for sharing this. Ellen
Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms recently posted…Describing the Tsunami of Anniversary GriefMy Profile


ohboymom May 16, 2014 at 9:46 pm

I know what you mean — whenever I read someone else’s post or essay about what their mother meant to them, I choke up too. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.


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