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.