A letter to my mama

Hi Ma, long time no speak.

I’ve so much to tell you. So much has happened since I last saw you, I don’t know where to start. I guess I’ll start with the important stuff: I miss you. Lately, so much. Every day, something happens that makes me think of you. I wake up knowing I’ve dreamt of you, but unable to recall the details. But that is ok, because I’ve finally letting go of the fear that I’ll forget you or the feel of you. I get it now, when people say “I’ll always carry you in my heart”. I couldn’t at first, I’m sorry – I was too damaged and broken. But now that I’ve worked through a lot of my issues and my depression is at bay, my heart is freed from all that noise, and it turns out you are still there. You didn’t leave me, when I couldn’t be there for you. What a mama.

mama 1

Some key updates, if you were wondering:

  • Pa is doing good. He went through a rough patch, oh boy. His rough patch hurt me, too, because for a while while he was in the grips of his grief, I lost both my mother and my father. But its been over a year now that he seems to have reached a space of peace. Sure, he misses you awful still, but he is going to be ok, if not great. He is meeting new people, and going on adventures, and learning to be fully himself. We are discovering what it means to have an adult relationship with one another – it’s completely different from the one you & I shared, but that’s ok.
  • My Qc cousins are doing SO good. Kat got married, to Ben, and it was perfect. In a library, no less. You would have loved it. In fact, I’m pretty sure you would have extended your stay in Qc a whole extra week, just so you could spend every day in that library exploring the treasures therein. And the wedding! Ma, you would have cried. Both Sof and Jud did, and I almost did, but I was scared of water-staining my dress. Ma! My dress!!!! It was sexy and blue and perfect, and I wore red shoes!!! Sof is a lawyer, just like you always thought she would be, and Jud is a never-ending surprise. She wants to be a psychologist – I think she shares your desire to make things right in people’s hearts and minds, to find and acknowledge everyone’s truth, and find peace of mind. I bet you would have great conversations with her.
  • My Boston cousins are continuing to explore the world and take over the North American continent. Beauty and brains, all of them. Pete is pursuing a Masters in Ancient History – another shared interest of yours. Mad and Miche… forging careers as diverse as their personalities. Your wish of a tight-knit happy family is true. We don’t see each other as often as we’d like, but when we do, our hearts sing will collective joy. You know, Ma, after you died, both families rushed to Mtl to be by our sides. Our first night together, as soon as the first wave of hysterical sobs over, my cousins started planning how they would maintain our family tradition of Thanksgiving. They figured out which family would host each year, which families would bring what dishes, how to split the workload and fit all those bodies into each of our homes. We will celebrate our 4th Thanksgiving this year, without you – their planning worked. They value this tradition as much as you did. We drink a bottle of champagne in your memory every time.
  • Your brothers are doing good too. Healthy and happy. My aunts too – role models at balancing careers and family. Every time I see them, it feels like Christmas. Our family might be a small one, but boy oh boy, are we a happy one. You did good, mama, keeping us close. Baba sure would be happy with how things turned out.
  • My godmother watches over me, like you always knew she would. My adopted godmother, your dear friend, also keeps an eye on me. Through them, I feel your watchfulness, and I bask in the comfort of knowing they care. I should be a better god-daughter to them – I’ll remember to call more often.
  • The key players in my life are still there. Dynamo is married, now. Can you believe it? His marriage is what triggered my renewed closeness to you.  All that love at his wedding, the love I have for him… my heart couldn’t feel that love and ignore the love I have and will always have for you. My friends are awesome. If you could have seen how they picked me up and held me together when you died. How they’ve stayed true throughout the years since then. They are all doing good, married and babies and promotions. Blessed bunch. I regret keeping my friends so separate from you, growing up. Now that you’re gone, I realise I should have shared you with as many people as possible. I didn’t know how to: everything was always so hard and painful for you – I didn’t want to impose an extra stress on you, for the mere purpose of gratifying my pride in my friends. Oh my mommy, sometimes I weep when I remember how much pain you were in – the wheezing breaths you would take, the sound of your canes on the ground, each of the sighs you would make as you tried to make yourself more comfortable. How you’d calculate the number of steps to get from one spot to another, measuring the effort, debating if it was worth it. The sheer number of pills you carried – like a walking pharmacy. You did so much, despite a body that was determined to make you its prisoner. My brave mama. I wish my friends could have known how wonderful a mama you were.
  • There are new key players in my life. A whole swath of people you never met, didn’t know existed. Coach. My fantastic, special boxing gym. It blows my mind that these people will never meet you, and it makes me sad, because they’d enjoy you as much as you’d be fascinated by their stories. But you’ll be happy to know that in your absence I’ve surrounded myself with good people. Kind, funny, caring, inspiring people that are my 2nd family and have my back. We hold each other up, whenever one of us stumbles in this world.
  • I’m finally dating again. Boys are still stupid, it turns out, but some of them aren’t so bad. You were right, all those years ago. My ex and I weren’t a good fit. I can see that now, and I’m enjoying learning what is the fit that will make me happiest. You’d definitely chuckle at some of my stories, pretty sure.

So that’s what’s up with me.

How you doing?





  1. What beautiful tribute, June! Yes, I miss her too but I know, without a doubt, that she watches and is SO very proud of how you have matured and are learning to deal with life (Your personal FB picture is what helps me, BTW – thank you). Remember that every memory is a tribute to what you learned because of her. Keep talking to her. And when you do hear her answer, do not be surprised for their “more mysteries under the sky then were dreamed of my mortals: (or something like that -Shakespeare). AND thank you, for sharing! Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I could answer on her behalf, I would say she still worries at you, even though she knows you have what it takes to be the greatest person she wanted you to be. She would suggest you take care of your knees and eating habits. Most importantly, she would smile and tell you how wonderful you are and how much she thanks you for the letter, and would ask you to keep writing as your words brighten the place where she lives… Oh, she is so proud you found they way to reach her. Oh June, how much we miss your Mom… From your adopted godmother.

    Liked by 1 person

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