I decided to try something a little different again tonight – I wanted to write to my mama in real time instead of finding an old letter in a journal. So, here it is:
I could really use your ear this week. It’s been a raw last few days for me and it’s a strange feeling because I’m actually quite happy with life, to say the least. I guess this is what gratitude feels like – despite all the shittiness, I still manage to laugh and smile because there’s so much to laugh and smile about!
I received a two-sentence email from David today. It was about 3:40 in the afternoon and it made me cry, yet another odd feeling because while I am so far removed from him and while I share his sentiments of wishing to “get this over with,” it still hurts. It still hurts when I read his words spelled out across the computer screen, “I just want to get this over with.” It wasn’t that long ago, he was saying, “I can’t wait to make you my wife.” I know it’s his goal to inflict pain so I don’t respond and give him the satisfaction of knowing he succeeded. I know his heart is aching, too, but it doesn’t give him the right to treat me this way. I’m undeserving of such harm. I won’t stoop to his level, though, mama – I just won’t. You taught me that. And believe me, if I acted on half of the impulsive thoughts that run through my mind after being on the receiving end of his abuse, this divorce would be a lot uglier than it already is. I sincerely don’t wish him harm, though – even after everything he’s put me through. That’s not to say I don’t get extremely angry at times and say things like how much I hate him but the truth is I’ll always love him. You taught me about that, also, mama – about unconditional love. Thank you for that. *heavy sigh*
I took a much-needed hot shower as soon as I arrived home from work tonight and I opted for the Pantene Pro-V conditioner you always used. It wasn’t until the moment that I lathered it into my thick, long hair that the nasal nostalgia hit me, though. Goddamn, I miss you. My ADD onslaught continues to prevail and cause extra work for me (yes, I’ve diagnosed myself, ma – Ha!). I hope I’m making you proud. I wish you were here, as always.
I sat with a dear friend last night whom had the distinct pleasure of meeting you once. We spoke about you and David and loss and love and life…she pointed something out to me. She said, “That’s great that even after everything and through this divorce, you can still recognize and appreciate that you experienced the kind of love that you and David shared. You understand that not everyone gets to have that experience in their lifetime.” And she’s right, mama – Because of the kind of love you gave and showed me for twenty-six years of my life and because of all of the loss I have experienced, I understand that it is better to have loved hard and passionately for a short period of time than to never have loved at all.
I could go on and on tonight, mama. As I said, I am über raw. I keep having flashbacks of sitting in cozy, random Brooklyn cafés with the person who was once the love of my life and of the morning we waited in line at the New York City courthouse to obtain our marriage license. I can still see the elation on David’s face as we sat, goofily snapping photos of ourselves, patiently waiting for our number to be called. I keep reminiscing about giving you your favorite hand massages while watching Everybody Loves Raymond reruns and walking around your beloved gardens, of the house that will now be someone else’s home, while you excitedly explained in detail what each flower and plant was.
I feel alone often, though I’m surrounded by what I deem are the most amazing friends anyone could ever ask for. I just want to fucking talk to you and hear your voice and not through a goddamned recording! I read an article today, written by a mother who lived each day as if it were her last and by doing so, would kiss her kids goodbye every morning in a manner as if it was going to be the last time she ever laid eyes on them or pressed her lips to their rosy cheeks. It made me think of you and what you must have been feeling in those last few days of your life. The author of that article, Ellen Seidman, wrote, “Pondering the thought of no longer being there for your children is both hard and awful.” I started crying after that sentence and had to minimize the window on my computer for a bit before I could finish reading the article in its entirety. It made me think that that was exactly what you were feeling when you uttered to my brother, Jason, and I, “This is going to be hard.” What I wouldn’t give to hold you in my arms right now. I love you more than anything, mama. Goodnight, talk to you tomorrow and hopefully, I’ll see you in my dreams.