The UM. 1 Year.

It’s been a year, mom.

It’s been a year when I’ve had to grow up. People say you don’t really grow up until your parents are gone.

From when I was very little,  you taught me that, in everything, there comes balance.

And here I am. I got Cameron, and then Dad went on. I found love, and then I lost you.

Yin and Yang. Balance.

I won’t lie. I’ve been feeling like an orphan for a while now. But, the thing that stops me sinking into that abyss of self-detriment is that notion of balance. Yes, I’ve lost you and dad but, I have gained more than I ever imagined over that time. Whilst I do not have my parents, I do have a family of my own. The closest approximation to the homely texture of bloodlines, that I could possibly wish for.

The one thing that stings in my heart, mom, is that you and Dad have not been able to witness this joy in my life. This all-encompassing love and its ramifications, attachments and journey. You witnessed the hell of my teenage years and my aimless wanderings through young adulthood but, I feel like you’re missing the good part. The part you were hoping I would end up living. The part you kept believing was my future, but were never given all that much evidence that it would be.

Mom, I want you to know, that to the best of my ability, I have done and am doing the things you told me to. The only thing I cannot face, still, is finishing your book. I feel incapable, unworthy, just thinking about it. I’ve read it. I’ve read all the things you wrote. I’ve read them, over and over again. Some of them…well, one of them, is stuck on my fridge and I read it every day. It was a letter you wrote to me when I was thirteen. It’s relevant to me every single day, and I’m wholly reminded of how blessed I am to have had parents who wrote to me. Who gave me a legacy of words, and who passed on a history of rich memory and absolute treasure.

I really, truly hope I am half as good a parent as you and Dad were to me. I really, really hope I am.

I thank you, daily, for being the inspirational parents you were to me. I know I was not the easiest journey. Moreover, I know you wouldn’t have changed a single day of that journey because it brought me to where I am today. I know I wouldn’t either. I love that you gave me the power to stand firm for myself, and I thank you for being that rolemodel to me. I thank you for believing in me with your whole heart. I thank you for believing in your values with all your life’s power.

I’m trying to write this without crying, can you tell? We generally suck at that kind of thing. We cry at everything. Television weddings, especially. 🙂

Mom, Cameron has grown. Mom, the most important thing I know I can do with Cameron is create memories with her. So I try my very hardest. I want her to grow up believing that every day is special and different. I want her to have that enthusiasm that she shows, where each new day is an absolute treasure, and that there are smiles, even when it’s raining.

I wish you could be here some days. Yesterday, when she saw a rainbow for the very first time. The other day, when she drew me as her mom for the first time, properly. The picture was full of hearts. Oh how I cried and cried over that. How I absolutely cried. How lucky did I get? She knows that I love her and she loves me. Mom, she knows that I love her. Thank you for teaching me how to let my child know that I love her. I learnt it from you.

I learnt how to love from you. The greatest lesson of all life, I learnt from my greatest heroes. Even more blessed, I was born from them. Could I have been any more blessed?

I hope you know this. I really hope you do. I hope you know that, through all the tribulations we went through as a family, we know love.

Every time I dance like a madperson around the house. Every time I make your first granddaughter giggle. Every time I stand in front of the stove making dinner. Every time I sit down and play with Cameron. Every time I tuck her into bed at night.

Every time I breathe as a mother, and every time I hope like hell that I’m doing a good job. Every time I get a sign to say that I’m doing okay. Every time I start to try again. Every time I do not give up. Every time I start over. Every time I make my peace with what life has given me. Every time I celebrate my blessings.

Every time. Every time, they are a tribute to you.

I love you and miss you daily.