A Letter To The Mother I Never Knew.

Momma, Here I Am

I hope you'll be proud someday.

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Momma, oh how I wish you could be here with me, how I wish we could connect, end to end but you're not. You've been gone a long time now and I can't help but feel as though you've missed something. Not just something but everything: graduations, grandchildren, and so, so much more. We all miss you but I feel that my pain is somehow unique. Today I unpacked my things to start my new life and I lost your watch. I only lost it for a few minutes but it felt like you had slipped right through my hands, it's all I have. I don't have memories of you, not really anyway, and I was much too young to understand the value of keeping the memories I did have. I miss you, that I do know.

I still cry when I think of you, so many years later, I still mourn you and I can't help but think that makes me weak, but it shouldn't. I should be proud that I grew into the empathic daughter who feels everything in such a deep manner to that it nearly destroys me, I should understand that feeling isn't so bad and that you'd want me to understand all feelings, not just the ones that feel good. I have felt so many things about you over the last seventeen, nearly eighteen years but the one that's never faltered is my love for you and for people.

I feel love so intensely that it sometimes brings me immense pain but I believe you would've wanted it this way. You would've wanted me to know all things, and that includes pain. I have felt pain day in and day out, from my losing you to my very first heartbreak, I felt it all and I continue to because it all matters, just like every moment we had together matters.

I may not be able to remember much but I cherish the little things I do because I loved you, I still do, and I promise I always will. You are not just my mother but my hero, the more I learn about you, the more I learn about myself, where I came from and where I'm meant to be. I hope I make you proud and I hope you can forgive me for the moments that I didn't, I was learning and I still am. I will never be the perfect daughter but I'll always be your little girl. I love you momma and I hope that'll always be enough.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.

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Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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