May 8, 2021

Dear Mama, Remember When…

Dear Mama,

Remember when I was really little and I hated when you sang to me? Secretly, I loved it.

And remember when you asked me if I wanted to join girl scouts, but I said no because I didn’t want to lose my time with you?

And remember that time you hopped on a plane just an hour after I told you I was raped? And remember how we went out for sushi that night and I asked for some pickled ginger to-go to help soothe my tummy from the medication I was on?

And remember that same visit we walked along Pearl Street and you bought me my first pair of Dr. Martens? The black ones with the purple laces? I still wear those.

And Mama, do you remember when I would stay out late, drinking with my friends, and forget to call you? I’m sorry, Mama.

But remember when I would stay home instead and we would cozy up by the fire and tears would fall from our eyes because we laughed so hard every time we heard the way Carrie Ann Inaba’s name was said?

And remember that two-legged horse GIF that had you rolling on the floor, barely breathing from laughter? And the rest of us nearly peeing our pants because your reaction was funnier than that damn horse? Those were moments of bliss.

I’d do anything to watch you laugh like that again. I just want to see you happy.

Because remember all those times you made sure I was happy? Like that time we were laying on the same section of the couch that just barely fit the both of us—your arm was bent in a zig-zag beneath my boney back, and I looked at you and said, “Are you comfy?” and you looked at me with a small ache in your eyes and replied, “As long as you are.”

Remember that? I do.

But Mama, if we were to be on that couch together now, I would look at you, and instead, I would say, “Mama, I will never be comfortable until you are.”

Because Mama, we are one, and if you’re not comfortable then none of us are. Because someday I’ll be a mama and you’ll have taught me to sacrifice my own comfort for your grandchildren, and then suddenly, we are both uncomfortable.

But Mama, I need to say thank you—although that doesn’t do it justice.

But thank you for your love. Thank you for loving so hard that you sacrificed every inch of your big heart—that must have been a lot easier to do than to keep some for yourself.

But remember all the times I got sick and you would stay up late just holding me? As a mama, those sacrifices have to be made. I get that.

But Mama, please, pull your arm out from beneath my back and tell me what I can do for you.

I love you, too, ya know, and I want to be a team.

Because together we can make this work. There’s enough room for the two of us on this couch. You deserve to take up more space.

Thank you, Mama, for showing me how to love others unconditionally, but now, can you please show me how you unconditionally love yourself?

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