“As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.” 

Dear Mum,

Today is the 3rd anniversary of your passing. They say time is a great healer but time is taking its time with me. My heart hurts. Even at this moment, I’m battling not to cry. I understand now that one is never too old to need their mother. In life you were my strength, my anchor, my rock, my unwavering place of safety, my mother and my friend. 

 “A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. -Tenneva Jordan” You were that mother for us. You gave up so much for us and now you are not around for us to take care of you. It breaks my heart anew every time I think about it. I want to say thank you for everything you did for me, for us, and yet the words just seem so inadequate. How can thank you be enough for the woman who gave me life; slept in the chair next to my hospital bed when I was ill; took me right up to the classroom door on my first day of school; kissed my bruised knees better; slapped the nonsense out of me when I thought being a teenager meant I was an adult; bought me over sized uniforms so I would “grow” into them; insisted on buying me a pair of shoes I hated (yes mum, I remember you secretly went back and bought them and put them in my bag #sigh). I remember how you called me sunshine; wrote me a letter every week when I was in boarding school; made us work in the garden in the scorching sun (I hated that); that silly dance you used to do when you tied a kanga around your waist. The strangest thing is I find myself doing the very same dance when your songs play….It makes my sister laugh. I can not list all of the ways in which you were an amazing mother.

It makes me laugh now to remember that you were so nosy about my life, my friends and my boyfriends. You wanted me to get married. I was in no hurry so you nudged and prodded and hinted (not very subtly) about it all the time. It irritated me at times and yet now I miss it.

I have so much I wish I could tell you. You fussed about my brother’s height. You always wanted a tall son and he was still short when you last saw him. He was 15 going on 16 then. After you passed he had a surprising growth spurt. He’s so tall its unbelievable. You would be so proud of him. He has become very religious. I think its his way of coping with losing you. He plays provincial hockey like me. He is graduating from high school next week and he unintentionally made me cry for a week last month. It was prize giving day and he won a couple of prizes and performed. He sings mum! Imagine! My sister and I can’t even hold a tune (and neither could you hahahaha). Afterwards, he said he wished you were here to see how much he’s grown and how proud he would have made you. I know you would be. How could I not cry? His acne is clearing too….I introduced him to the almighty facewash :). I also suspect he has a girlfriend. They grow up so fast.

My sister had such issues with discipline when you passed. You used to say I could be a bit hard at times but its that very streak that came to my rescue with her. She became impossible soon after you passed. I guess that was her way of dealing with it. I mercilessly punished and grounded her. When all else failed, I sent her to live with mainini for a few months while I got back on my feet financially. She came back a changed woman. She had calmed down. She realised now that rebelling had consequences. The downside….she was obese! Mum! She was huge! You would have had a heart attack when you saw her….I nearly did! She had also picked up a lot of unladylike habits from her friends. So I set about grooming her etc. One day, after watching Doctor Oz (a spin off from Oprah) she decided to diet. I didn’t have much faith but she has amazed me. To date she’s lost nearly 30kg! yes I said 30. She looks amazing and feels it too. You would be so proud. I know I am. She is obsessed with makeup and sometimes she wears too much hahaha….but baby steps.

I bought a car. I know how much that would mean to you so I wont say much else. I’m still not married and I am in no hurry (I’m sure you are rolling your eyes and clicking disapprovingly). In fact, I’m single for the first time in a long while and I am just getting the hang of it. I miss getting relationship advice from you. Making decisions on my own is difficult but I think I made the right one here. I feel happier and more content than I have felt in a long time. I am wiser, less idealistic. I’m more passionate about life. I cry a lot especially when I miss you. I know what I want and I prefer to wait for it than to be in relationship just for the sake of it. I’m enjoying my work and I’m studying for a masters degree. I have made so many new friends and I stopped locking myself away from the rest of the world. I am almost an extrovert now hahahahaha.

I can’t put everything in a letter but even though you are gone, as mother and daughter, we are connected with one another. You are the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. You are my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. You are the beating of my heart. All I am I owe to you, ‘you did not just give birth to me, you helped me give birth to myself.’ If that is not motherhood perfected, I don’t know what is.
I miss thee, my Mother! Thy image is still
The deepest impressed on my heart.

-Eliza Cook

I love you.