I’m sitting here in my robe with puffy eyes and a heavy heart. I have to go to work soon, though I’m not sure how I’ll pull it off.
So, I pick up my laptop and unleash these words. To say all of the things I’m never good at saying aloud, those I certainly couldn’t begin to say last night.
Mom, you know more than anyone that I’m not much of a speaker. But, I’ve been known to write a thing or two.
I remember the dedication in my second book quite clearly in this moment. Between the special thanks and table of contents of Everything’s Not Bigger, it sits in bold letters:
FOR MY MOTHER
She smiled bravely and kicked cancer’s ass.
When the phone rang last night, I just knew. You never call on weeknights, you call on the weekends, always bright and early as you like to do.
I sat down slowly. I covered my face. I began to cry even though I was trying to stay strong for you.
And just like that, after all those years…it’s back again.
I couldn’t fall asleep. I stared at the dark ceiling with my eyes open, drying my stinging tears every so often with the edge of the sheet and trying not to scream.
I knew I had to turn my energy around for you. To bring some light into the darkness, because that is what we do when we have the courage to love fully.
We surpass the tough with beauty and happiness.
I thought about my favorite picture of all time. This one of beautiful you with the sassy shades and the flamingos.
I thought about the good times, Mom.
Here are just a few that came to mind right before I fell into a dreamless sleep.
- The way you used to comb my hair as soon as I came out of the shower. We talked about nothing and everything and it was so very perfect.
- The way you often said “to hell with cooking!” and we’d order a big pizza and watch old movies all night.
- The way you’d talk me into playing hooky from college, so we could go to lunch and a museum.
- The way you always had a secret stash of chocolate handy for those drama days of mine.
- The way you obsessively loved your dogs. Because at the end of the day, pets will always be there for us when we need it most.
- The way you lived for books. They were everywhere: the living room, the dining room, the bathroom, the bedroom, the hallway, the kitchen, the backseat of the car, the garage.
- The way you taught me that it was good to be strong, but even more good to be soft.
- The way you bought me a big ass stuffed animal cow (who everyone on this blog knows as Ken Follett the cow), when I was much too old for it.
- The way you hugged me closely on the hospital bed the last time you were sick, comforting me for something I was going through when I should have been comforting you.
- The way you were brave enough to make a joke last night when you shared the news and said: “I’ll keep you abreast of the situation.” That was beyond amazing.
Mom, there are a million more lovely things like these…I could go on forever.
You are the most magical woman I have ever known. Hands down, I would not be the person I am today without your generous love and encouragement.
Please know that you are very much loved.
You are loved, you are loved, you are loved, you are loved, you are loved, you are loved.
YOU ARE LOVED.
For those of you reading this, I kindly ask that you put some positive vibes out there for my mom. She needs them very much right now. With all of my heart, thank you.