Dear Mommom & Pop:
I have regrets.
I wish I knew you more before you passed. You both went too soon. I was so young, and I was “troubled” and finding my way through the messy shamestorm of my youth. I pushed you away. I ran from your hugs and kisses. I shied away from deep conversations at sunset on the deck overlooking the beach–moments my sister describes as so beautiful.
I wish I could go back. I would not let go of your embrace. Pop, I remember you held me wrapped in a towel when I came shivering out of the ocean. I’m sorry I got “too cool” for that. Mommom, you wanted to plant your big bright pink lipstick lips on me; I’m sorry I ewwwwwed you away.
When I think of you now, I would be so grateful to be with you during the ordinary moments. When you munched on peanuts or did jigsaw puzzles or talked about the ice skater friends. When you sat for hours on the beach. When you took too many pictures and wrote letters that were too long and too boring to read.
I wish I could know, for sure, that you knew that I loved you even though I was mean and cold. I wish you could know how I have these regrets. Lately you’ve been heavy on my mind, in my heart. You were so young when you died, both of you, suddenly gone. I mean, really? Who dies in their 60s these days? I wish I’d at least have said goodbye in the hospital, Mommom. Mom told me that you said to her, “Give me my lipstick, I want to look pretty when I see Pop.” In those final moments, you sounded so brave and resilient and fearless.
I wish I could have asked you about your love for one another, your values, what made you laugh and what made you cry. I cherish your last letter, Mommom, even though you were so medicated it was nonsensical. I treasure the memory book you made but I wish you’d had written even more.
I ask that you forgive me for not realizing the love I had in you before it was too late. I ask that you watch over me and my loved ones and keep us safe, and that you send your blessings and feel pride for the woman I’ve become. I’m a work in progress, but I know that I’m worthy of love and belonging.
I will honor you by working hard to be grateful for the family I have (the birth and the chosen), the family who loves me even when I’m too busy to call or visit, the family who loves me unconditionally.
I miss you, I’m sorry, I love you, I love you Mommom, I love you Pop. More now than ever.