I’m not sure why, but this weekend I decided to pull up a box of papers I’ve stored in the basement from college and graduate school.  Amidst old writing assignments, memorabilia, and material from my semesters abroad, I had years and years of letters.

You see, one thing about me is that I don’t throw away letters.  I do toss cards, but letters, even little notes, get kept.  EVERY one.  For my WHOLE LIFE.  There’s a lot of paper in boxes in my basement.

This afternoon, I decided to tackle one of the boxes because I was sure that a lot of it could go.  A few hours later, it turned out that I only got rid of about 1/8 of the stuff.  Still too connected to all the rest.  For the first time, I pulled out all the letters from the late 90s and looked through each one.  It was a wacky trip down memory lane.  I got accepted to college, went away from my dear friends, met great college friends, met Bryan, went abroad to Botswana and Australia/NZ, graduated from college, and got married.  Through all those transitions, I got a lot of mail.  My mom wrote to me extensively.  Heather, you wrote so much I was a little stunned.  There are lots of notes in there from Sarah, my college roommate.  Sarah, I still had about every note you left me such as, “I’m going to have lunch with my sister.  See you at 6 for the concert.”  There were notes from Anne and Kacy and from my grandparents.  It’s pretty neat.

My mom sent me multiple postcards a week during my first years of college.  Looking though the stack of cards from her, I felt immersed in her writing.  I could hear her voice coming off the pages.  A couple times I had to shake myself as if from am dream to remember that these letters are from over a decade ago.  And that my mom is no longer here.

I feel so fortunate that my relationship with my mom was as loving and open as it was.  Mom’s notes to me were brim-full of loving words and praise, and it’s clear from any note I saw that I was oh-so treasured by her.

It’s a good reminder to me…to not hold back…to make sure I tell those who are important to me just how stellar I think they are every single day.  And to put it in my own hand writing too.

♥ ♥ ♥

I just sat down this evening to transcribe more of Mom’s recipes onto the computer for the cookbook I’m making of her recipes.  Looking at her hand-written recipes (you can see them all here), I was just a little overcome with missing her.

Mom had this whole, full life that she wrote about to me when I was away.  She made all these great recipes that she wrote down.  And now she’s just gone.  There’s no more daily life, there’s no more Thanksgiving yams.

We’re all moving on, and for the most part I’m used to that now, but back in the 90s, we all thought we’d have so much more time together.  Tonight as I look at the splattered, stained recipe card, I’m a little overcome with missing my mom.

She’s been gone now for three and a half years.  I’m thankful that her absence doesn’t cause so much pain, and the ache is lessening.  But I still wish she was here.  Oh, so much, I wish my mom was still around.

7 Replies to “Missing”

  1. What you just shared is profound proof that your mom is indeed still within all of our hearts. She is such a huge part of who you and your siblings have and will still become. And when either Andrew or Sylvie give you a special hug or a wink, we know who that is as well…….

  2. Thinking of you, my dear friend. I had a lovely dream about Margot the other night. She was helping me watch a little baby and get him dressed. So sweet. I have no idea who the baby was, but it was comforting to have Margot there. 😉

  3. I keep my letters (and some cards!) also.  It’s so nice to read about our most important thoughts years later.  I printed every email we wrote to each other our first year in college.  We wrote at least once a day and often 3-5 times a day.  Many of these were page-long emails.  Amazing.
    I miss Margot also. All of this cookbook work has me thinking of her so much and talking to Evie about her.  The look of wonder in Evie’s eyes when she eats some yummy treat and says, “Margot’s recipe?” makes my heart ache.  It’s not fair to either of them (or me!) that they never knew each other.

  4. Your website is wonderful!  I check in to see how Margot’s kids are doing (but have never posted a comment). It seems like only yesterday that our children were babes and the most important topics were what eases diaper rash and smocking magazines.
    What a treat to see her hand written recipes. When ever I needed a recipe, Margot was my source. My family is sure that her brownie recipe is THE BEST.  I took a batch to a Boy Scout Court of Honor last Saturday and came home with a pan of crumbs.

    Margot is one of my greatest treasures.  I think of her often and cherish the memories.

  5. Sandy, thanks so much for your sweet note.  I was just telling my kids the other day about how we used to watch you kids sometimes when I was little.  And I was telling Byran about Excel back in the ’70s.  Sounds like you all had a lot of fun.

    Glad you still think of Mom with such love and good memories.  It feels so good to know that there are lots of people out there who knew her and remember:)



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