Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

The last time we spoke, we got into a fight. I wanted you to sign some papers transferring control over your affairs to me, and you didn’t want to. I remember saying something like, ‘don’t come to me next time you need something’, then hung up, screamed FUCK as loud as I could and then just got up and left my office and went home. Not long after you were getting rushed to the ER, went into a coma. I got to see your lifeless body one more time before we pulled the plug, thought I could make some peace with things. But how do you reconcile knowing that that fight was the last straw for you, that you gave up fighting after that. You’d battled so bravely through so much, surpassed every prognostication and lived to see all the goals you set out for yourself, to see some of the seminal moments in your children’s lives. After being absent nearly the entire time of your sickness, never really doing anything for you if it inconvenienced me in the slightest, after being terrible to you most of the time before you got sick, my final act was to deprive you of whatever small will you had left to live. I didn’t kill you, but I might as well have.

And what was I so angry about? That you couldn’t motivate yourself to get out of your situation and make a new life for yourself before it was too late? After you died, I fell into your situation, and guess what, I didn’t do a damn thing either. I never once thought, while you were alive, how hard it is to dispose of your entire life, start over from scratch, when you’re alone all the time, nobody wants to spend time with you or really help you, nobody wants to talk to you unless they want something. No one appreciates what you do for them, they just take it as an indication of what to expect in the future. And my situation isn’t even 1% as bad as yours, between the financial security I used to have, all the treatments you were getting, and COVID lockdowns that made my isolation not seem so bad. But even from Heaven I believe this has been you teaching me a lesson, because there’s so many days I don’t even want to get out of bed, and I know you must have felt like that a lot too.

I can’t tell you where the last 3 years went. I can’t tell you what I’ve done during that time, or where all my money went. I’ve just been drunk, or hi, or both, pretty much every minute of every day since you died. Every day I wake up, I can feel my life is a little bit less than it was the day before. My chances of ever having the life I wanted grow a little smaller. I never understood how much I relied on you until it was too late. I never appreciated how all the kind words and positivity you sent in my direction bolstered me to get through all the difficulties of life. I would give anything to have one more day with you, to tell you how sorry I am and how much I have learned from you since you passed.

I could live the rest of my life atoning, in my own way, for what a failure I was to you and I just feel like generally. It probably wouldn’t take much longer. But if I have any chance left to get my life back on track, I have to take it now. Maybe that’s the only way I can do right by you now, is to make the most of life to honor yours. I’ll never stop missing you, regretting so many of our interactions and desperately trying to remember the really good ones. But I can’t change any of that any more than I can get back the 3 years since you died. I love you Mom, please forgive me and look over me and help me do what I’ve been putting off for so long.

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