Dear Mom (Two Years Later)
By Pat Schwiebert, R.N.
You’ve been dead two years now. Seems like long enough. I don’t feel anything but love for you now. All the tension and anger and resentment and embarrassment are gone. You can come back now.
I’ve re-created you into the mother I always wanted—and that you always wanted to be. I know you always wanted to be a good mother. You often asked me if you were.
Don’t worry. You still can’t sew and you still don’t like cooking. And no, it never occurs to me that I’d take you on a shopping trip because you still don’t like to shop. But you do listen better now than you did before and you provide me great comfort. When I need something to lift my spirits I can count on you to make me smile.
I hope you like the new you. Don’t worry, I didn’t make you into Miss Goody Two Shoes. The refining process you went through just took out the stuff that was weighing you down. I left in all the goofy faces and funny little dances and some of your potty mouth statements for good measure. You’re still you.
Charlie, our youngest grandchild was the one you had the most challenges with because he was young and all boy—that is, loud and fast. You always favored his older brother who was polite and quiet and attentive to you. I remember one day you asked Charlie for a hug and he said, “No, not until Christmas.” I thought, ooh, this boy is setting some boundaries. I asked him the other day what he remembers about you. He said, “She was funny.” He’s not packing around bad memories of you either. I’m glad for that. See, the good part of you is still here with us.
Your coffee cup still sits by your picture in the dining room. You’re right there when I pour my first cup of coffee for the day so I can look up and say, “Hi Mom. Let’s do another day.”