Michelle says: Today is Mother’s Day in the United States. Wherever in the world you are, write your mother a letter.
Well, Michelle, it is Mother’s Day in Canada too—and I am going to take you up on your prompt—more for me than anything else.
Well, to start, I miss you. It has been 21 years now, and not a day goes by that I do not think of the creak in the stairs. An odd memory you might think—but it is one of my most vivid.
When I would come to visit you after I was married, with toddler Adam firmly held by one hand, and baby Tyler balanced ever so precariously in my other arm, (precarious because he was always moving) I would knock on the front door after climbing the four steps to your covered front porch. Then, I would wait to hear the creak on the stairway which led from the upstairs of our house (it was still “our” house even though I did not live there anymore) to the main floor. That creak meant you were walking down the stairs and had hit the step that produced a loud raspy groan that announced any trip down (or up) the stairs (I remember avoiding it when I came in late as a kid and young adult). That squeak meant you were making your way from your sitting room upstairs (my old bedroom) to the front door to let me in—and I knew it was my invitation to just come in.
You would take Tyler from my arms and cuddle him with one arm, and hug Adam with the other. You were always, ALWAYS, glad to see us. You would shepherd us into the middle living room (an odd house—we had a front living room and middle living room that was once a dining room perhaps?) and offer us drinks and food and good conversation. And you would play with the boys—being a grandma was an interactive activity for you. I remember my grandmas were wonderful but they never, ever played with me or took me for walks or taught me things. You did all those things with your grandchildren.
You helped keep me sane as a young mom—and when you left this world for another, I was equipped to handle it. Equipped but not happy to handle it without you—but as there was no choice I did the best I could.
Life has been good and bad, wonderful and awful over the last two decades. Lots has happened, but suffice to tell you the most important thing: the boys have grown up into fine young men (an odd clichéd thing to say—but true.)
This letter is more for me than you, because I think from where I imagine you to be, you are helping me out along the way and are aware of what is going on in my life and that of your other kids. You know our heartaches and our triumphs and I am sure you laugh and cry for us. I will always think of you as my personal cheerleader, someone who believed (and believes) in me and my brothers and sister. You are our guardian angel—we know that for sure.
There is no proper ending to a letter like this except: I love you mom ~ Lou