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The gift of being you.

The gift of being you.

If you’re new here, you can read this to get the background on my amazing Mom.

Warning: if you’re an ugly crier and you’re in public, you may want to read this later. I say this because I am an ugly crier. A very, very ugly crier.

Dear Mom,

It’s that time of year again. The time when I try to stay too busy to think about the fact that my heart aches for you. But the truth is, you’re the reason I love this time of year. Because you made Christmas everything it should be. Real trees that made the whole house smell like pine. Christmas decorations depicting family memories from years gone by. Hot chocolate, snow angels, snuggles under a blanket. And teaching me that it wasn’t about the presents, or the tree, or the nativity set. It was about celebrating our faith, our Savior. I try to give my girls the same thing. The same memories. The same love. And my heart breaks at the thought of them not knowing you. Of you not holding them, loving them, spoiling them with too  much candy. I feel like they got a bum deal, too. Because I know that you would have been the most amazing grandma ever.

I know you would have come to every Christmas play, every school award ceremony. I know you would have kidnapped them for sleepovers. I know you would have taken them for a night when I was sick. I know you would have been at the hospital with me when Goo was in the NICU. I know you would have helped me know if I was doing a good job, if I was overreacting, if I was loving them enough.

The truth is, there is one gift I wish I could have every year: just one more day with you. I day to ask you all my questions. To apologize for all the times I didn’t listen, all the times I hurt you. A day to tell you how amazing you are, how much I miss you, how much I wish I could have understood more as a child. To hear you say it’s okay, that you forgive me for being a kid, for not knowing how precious our time together was. I imagine that you felt the same way I do towards my girls: that Goo could never know how much I wish I could help her calm down when she’s so upset, Punkin could never know how truly amazing I think she is, Smush could never know the pure joy I feel when I see her every morning. I know you understood that I was just a kid, that I made mistakes, that I still had so much to learn.

I’m not one for discussing this openly, but somehow writing to you is cathartic. I have no idea how this afterlife stuff works, but I like to think you can read this. So you can read about Goo’s crazy antics, Smush’s silly smiles, Punkin’s overly aggressive affection. I like to think that you can see Goo scaling the walls, Punkin tickling her sisters, Smush yelling, “Goo! Goo!” every time she wakes up from her nap.

I wish you were here. I wish you were here so very badly. But you’re not, so this is my promise:

I will give like you gave. I will teach like you taught. I will forgive like you forgave. I will encourage like you encouraged. I will discipline like you disciplined. I will love like you loved.

I will teach my girls about you, about the way you let me wear your fancy dress when we watched Gone with Wind so I could pretend I was Scarlett O’Hara. The way you snuggled me at night. The way you prayed. The way you taught me not to listen to the world, but to listen to the truth, to the Word. The way you sang, the way you laughed. The way you were always so perfectly beautiful, inside and out. They way you called me Betsy McGillicutty.

I love you, Mom. Now and always.


About Mediocre Mom

I am a wife to the man who was made for me, and mom to three amazing girls: Punkin is eight, Goo is four, and Smush is two. I'm a Christian, a science geek, and completely addicted to coffee. Trying to stay sane one day at a time. Lowering the bar for moms everywhere.

6 responses »

  1. First of all I love your blog. I find it to be sort of relatable even though I don’t have any children of my own… I have a family that depends on me since my mom died. I lost her in July of 2010 to ovarian cancer. Even though I was just 16 I had a lot to live up to. I try to live up to her legacy and be the young woman she would wait. I want everyone to know who she was and how great she was and when I have kids I want them to know how much she loved her family. I try especially hard this time of year to keep her memory alive through family traditions and such because when I do that she’s not really gone. I feel like I’m not the only one missing my mom and trying to keep her memory going when I read your blog. Thanks for posting.

    • From the sounds of it, you’re already doing a great job living up to her legacy. Don’t forget that you’re very young, and the fact that you seem to be handling more than your fair share of trial already is a testament to the woman your mom was, and the woman you are becoming. I pray that her love surrounds you, and you can find joy and peace, at Christmas, and always. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Wonderful post. Your Mom is very proud of you. Amazing. Just amazing… and yes, I cried and cried a lot. Now I have to call my Mom….

  3. That was wonderful! I only knew your Mom for a few short years but she was an amazing person. Sarah still has the “car” she made in first grade with your Mom. (It moved to Oklahoma with us and I had specific instructions to be sure it was packed very carefully.) They were exploring the US and made cars to travel around in. She made learning so much fun!

    I will never forget the way your Mom never let the kids know they were having a test because she was afraid they wouldn’t do as well if they knew. And guess what, she was right! When Sarah went to public school she already had the best gift, she never panicked about tests because your Mom had taught her it was only another paper. I will forever be in awe of your Mom as a teacher. Sarah has never had a teacher that influenced her as much as your Mom!

    I am so sorry she had to leave you so soon. I can’t even imagine how much that hurts, but I also know there is a lot of her in you and I believe you are a wonderful Mom to your girls just like your Mom was to you!!

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your family with us. I have enjoyed every one of your posts.

    • I really love hearing from people who knew her and remember her the way I do. Every year when we decorate the Christmas tree, I hang up the ornaments she received from her students over the years. I have no doubt that her influence extends far beyond what I know. Thanks for sharing, Pat. 🙂


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