The Hole That You Left in My Heart is My Strength
I remember you.
I remember how you looked at me. I looked at you the same way.
I remember how eating dinner together every night was a priority.
I remember how you made me breakfast in bed every day. I still make my daughter, your granddaughter, breakfast in bed every morning.
I remember when you told me that you had a cyst. You didn’t tell me that you had breast cancer. You didn’t tell me that you were getting a double mastectomy. I know you were trying to protect me.
I remember when you told me you were going to die. I wanted to die. All you wanted was for me to live.
I don’t remember enough because you have been gone for so long.
I used to dream about you.
After you died, I dreamed about you every night for a year. Every morning when I woke up from those dreams, I didn’t know if you were really dead. Soon I realized it wasn’t a dream. It was a nightmare.
In my dreams I used to call our old number, 818–505–8988. I would wait for you to answer, but you never did. Then I would wake up and dial the number for real. You wouldn’t answer then either.
I wish I still dreamed about you.
I wish it was all different.
I wish I asked you more questions about your childhood and your life before me. I still don’t know enough about you.
I wish you had told me that you had cancer — the first, and the second time.
I wish you didn’t have to suffer so much, physically and mentally, for so many years. I know you never told me how hard it was to protect me. But after you died, I found and read all of your journals. I felt like I died over and over again for all that I was unaware of.
I wish I hadn’t made you cry because I was so apathetic in college. It was hard to concentrate during the first two years. As much as I tried not to worry, it’s all that I did. I would call you for days with no answer until someone would tell me that you were in the hospital…again.
I wish I had more time with you than twenty measly years. I’ve endured twenty-six years without you now, but it feels like more.
I wish you could meet your grandchildren. They would adore you, unconditionally.
I wish you could have held them when they were babies. You would have been the best grandmother. You were the best mother.
“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” - Honore de Balzac
I miss you.
I miss your soft voice.
I miss your smile.
I miss your laugh.
I miss your advice.
I miss your love.
I miss having a mother.
“Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.” — Alphonse de Lamartine
I am strong because of you.
I am strong because I watched you. I watched you through a divorce. I watched you as a single mother. I watched you do everything. I wish I helped you more.
I am strong because I am you. I always looked up to you. I admired you. I wish I told you that while you were alive.
I am strong because you wanted me to be strong. I will still do anything to make you proud.
I am strong because twenty years with you was worth so much more than the suffrage of twenty-six without you.
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” — Frederick Douglass
I love you.
Forever and always.
“Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face.” — George Eliot
My mother died in the summer of 1991. Her maiden name was Lauri Adrienne Lieberman and she was the most caring human being on Earth.