Dear Readers

Dear readers, I simply wanted to drop a line, this evening, as I am diligently writing to complete a story that is near and dear to me. I have a couple of weeks to meet a deadline, for a prominent literary magazine and to have my story repeatedly edited and polished for submission. I do not wish to neglect my blog nor especially my readers so please accept this as my humble apology for the fewer and far between posts as of late.

When I decided to embark on this new chapter (no pun intended) of submitting my writing to professional literary magazines and other media outlets, I wasn’t certain if I wanted to share it or keep it under wraps for fear that “nothing will come of it.”   I realized that nothing coming of it was impossible because I can submit my writing over and over to a hundred different places and they can all end up rejections but at least I’ll know I have tried. And most importantly, at the end of the day, I am doing what I love, what ignites my soul. That is certainly not nothing!

I also had to remind myself that I have an amazing support system of people, near and far, dead and alive – people who wish me well and want to see me happy – people who read what I have to say. I will never take you for granted.

So, this is a blog post of my sheer gratitude for your patience, your kind words throughout the last couple of years and your curiosity. Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out. I will always do my best to respond in a timely manner to each and every one of you. If there were something you want to hear more about, something you have a question about, anything, I would love to hear from you!

In the meantime, I am going to leave you with this letter I stumbled upon during my recent collection of my mother’s belongings in Kansas City, a trip I tried vividly describing in Pi Miles to My Destination. I thought it befitting considering my mama was and still is my biggest cheerleader.

LETTER 2 MAMA

Dear Mama,

By the time you are reading this, I will be on my way to Los Angeles, California, where I will be living on my own for quite some time. This is not meant to be some sort of cheesy letter telling you how much I love you, but more like a “I’m growing up and doing my own things” kinda letter, an appreciation expression letter…though if it makes u cry or feel any other sort of “sappy” emotion, I apologize. Haha…Anywayz, I know it’s not like I’m not going to talk to you often or anything, but there are just some things I want you to know before I leave for such a long time and we are unable to see each other. I know that I have done some things that neither of us are very proud of, but I’ve also done some things that we can both be very proud of. Well, I hope that my moving to Los Angeles to attend Fashion school and do whatever else I choose to do will not only make myself proud, but I hope that you will be proud of me, as well. It is amazing how you learn something new everyday and since the day I was born, I have been learning new things everyday in Kansas City…Now, I will be learning new things everyday that I can’t just “come home” and share with you. I just pray that the outcome of whatever I learn and do will make you proud. I know that what I do from now on is my own decisions, but you really have been an inspiration, and I think everyone wants to make that one person happy and proud. It seems that no matter what I am doing, even if it is making me happy…I have to have the approval of my mother. And as annoying as that can be, it is inevitable. All the times I said that you weren’t supportive or encouraging, I realize that you always were and always have been…in more ways than one. I hope that someday you will realize how appreciative I truly am that you are allowing me this opportunity to go to California and attend this Fashion Institute. It is hard to describe the gratitude I feel. I dream that someday I will be able to repay you monetarily, but through your own little country home and all the other material things you’ve aspired of.

I know that I am not the nicest, sweetest daughter that I always could have been and I am truly sorry for all the times that I seriously hurt you and your feelings. I always say that I have no regrets because everything happens for a reason and u learn from your mistakes, and I still believe that with all my heart, but I learned in an unsatisfactory way. I am sorry.

No matter what I do and where I go, I will always remember where I come from and I know you are thinking that that is easier said than done, but you have taught me the simplicity of life. You have taught me that you truly can be happy with the “bare minimum.” You have taught me so much. I’ve watched you, for 18 years, now, go through so much shit and still come out strong and I just hope that that is a characteristic that I possess of yours. I am going to try so hard, every day, to not take anything for granted! I know that I still have to learn from my own mistakes, but at least, I have someone to look up to.

If I had myself as a daughter, I probably would have killed me before, but you didn’t and you would never. Do you know that I feel like I don’t deserve you and some of the things you’ve done for me? In fact, I know I don’t and of course, I’m not finished. There is more to be said. It is amazing to me when I think about the past years and how fast they came. I mean just six years ago, I was throwing a “Sevvy” party with Jen at her house. Now I’m throwing a “going away, we’re gettin’ out on our own, movin’ to California” gathering. Haha J I know that it is going to be hard not seeing you for a long time but if I have your motivation, ambition and strength, then I should be just fine. J

Call me whenever you want to, remember to set the alarm EVERY NITE please! Also, remember to do the things that make u happy…gardening, painting, being creative…where else do u think I got it? I will miss you and I love you so much. I thank you for the first 18 years of my life, and being the greatest mama you could. Once again, I’m at a loss of words, but I think you get the point. I love you.

Much Love Forever & Ever,

Your one & only daughter,

<3 Linds

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Pi Miles to My Destination

As I drove my rental van south on I-35 in Shawnee, Kansas a few minutes past five am on a Wednesday, headlights illuminating the dark wee hours of the morning, tears welled in my eyes. I sucked it up, not wanting to cloud my already poor night vision. The thought occurred to me that for the past four years, since my mother’s passing, I’ve been in search of something that I can’t quite find, that I’ll never find. I’ve been in search of her. And no matter how cognitively aware I may be that I’ll never find what I’m looking for, it’s almost like a reflex.

Last week, I returned from Kansas City after a long, solo twenty-six hour road trip. I spent a brief four days and three nights there before making my way back west with a van full of the remainder of my mother’s belongings. This included furnishings, photo albums and perhaps the most treasured of all, letters upon letters and cards written to my mother from various people, including myself, throughout the years. It’s truly a gold mine! She saved everything and I mean everything.

Those four days and three nights whirred by in the blink of an eye as I drove from one Kansas City icon to the next, showing my boyfriend where I spent the first eighteen years of my life. Thankfully, I was able to spend some of this time with loved ones I rarely get to see or speak to.

The emotional response to the death of my mother is to constantly seek her presence. Perhaps this is why it is not in the least bit difficult for me to drive to the home in which I grew up in and sit outside staring, reminiscing about “the old days.” Perhaps, I have this morbid, unconscious expectation that she’ll emerge from the wisteria-covered fence, gardening shovel in hand, perspiration dressing her smiling face and dirt covering her exposed knees.

I experienced this sudden heartache on a few other occasions during this quick trip, this feeling of grasping at something that I cannot quite reach. It was in stark contrast to the bold, green signs stating how many definite miles to my intended destination I was. On one of those signs, I imagine this particular state appearing as an irrational number, almost indefinite.

Mostly, it occurred when I was alone but once, in the presence of my grandmother. I realized that the photo of the beautiful woman on her refrigerator was my mother standing on the porch of her childhood home, white slacks and blue sweater, her long hair hanging down behind her narrow shoulders. I had been to the fridge many times before but this particular evening, I guess I just took a closer look.

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I suppose being in that close proximity to her mother, her history, places in which she walked, lived and breathed made the inability to reach out and touch her that much more painful. And maybe I felt bad, guilty, for not noticing the photo beforehand? It has been a great fear of mine since she died that I may forget the sound of her voice, the texture of her hair, the color of her eyes, the way she would say “that-a-way” instead of “that way” and so forth.

I know she’s always with me. She’s a part of me. Her energy still exists. As I said, on a cognitive level, I understand and believe all of these things but I’ve realized that the old adage is bitter-sweetly true: the heart wants what the heart wants. And my heart will forever want what once filled the colossal hole that it has been beating with in her absence.