My mom. She was beautiful. She was thoughtful. She was kind. She was the kind of mom that I hope to be. (Except let's be honest, I really don't want to carve pumpkins. Sooo messy. And sharp tools!) She made birthdays extraordinarily special. She made sacrifices for family.
She was mine. And she was gone too soon. Just when I was starting to gain momentum as an adult, she was gone. And that leaves me here. Wanting more. Thinking about all the things I am missing. That she is missing. That J1 and J2 are missing.
I usually try to get the kids' birthday letters done before I open this vein. But I am behind. This year has been extraordinarily hard. Some of it brought on by myself---e.g., thinking it was a good idea to train for a marathon---some of it brought on by forces over which we have no control. I am struggling. Struggling to keep my head above the water. Struggling to dive deep when the waves crash, with the hope of coming out better, brighter, and with more depth and self-awareness.
And as I hold my breath waiting for the storm to pass, it's then I miss you the most. Because in this past year, I definitely would have called you. A lot. All the time. I am not sure I have ever needed you more than I have in the last 12 months. I can't tell you what I would say, but I am certain there would be tears. I'm also not entirely sure what you would say in response---or if it would even make me feel better. But sometimes you just need your mom. The person that loves you in a way so completely and unconditionally that it is beyond description.
Each year is one more year without you. Each year is another year where I try to be as good as you were at this whole mom thing without being able to call you up and ask how you managed to get me to piano lessons, swim practice, Girl Scouts and still put dinner on the table---while here I struggle to just get the Postmates driver to show up at my door rather than in the alley.
Maybe I attach too much significance to all of it. Maybe if I called, you'd be like "f*uck, Nina, I don't know." Just kidding, my mom would definitely not drop the f-bomb. Regardless, of whether any particular conversation would be good, bad or indifferent, I just miss having the chance. The chance to even have a bad conversation. Maybe even the chance to disappoint you. Whatever. Just the chance for more. I look at some of the last photos I have of us together and have to remind myself to be happy I had you until I was 23 years old. But it will never be enough. Because really, all I want is more. More time. More photos. More you. More mom.
As an adult and particularly as a mom myself, I can clearly see that you gave David and me the best of you. I am doing my absolute best, which is far from perfect, but I hope I can honor your memory by giving J1 and J2 the best of me.
I just miss you. So much. That is all.