Thursday, June 7, 2012

An Open Letter to My Mother

Hey Mom,

Well, I'm pretty sure you know what happened by now.

And since you were a blog lurker yourself, I'm sure you won't mind my use of this forum to talk to you about a few things.

That past few days have been rough, but we're making it through.

Let me tell you, Mom--planning a funeral kinda sucks. We tried to think of everything we could--we added your favorite quilt to cover your casket, we choose flowers in red, white, and blue, and we included one of your coveted curlers. We knew you wouldn't want to go anywhere without one.

And Mom, the amount of people that showed to say goodbye at your calling would have been so humbled. There was family, family of family, friends of family, and so many others to support us, including so many of your "quilt ladies," many of Dad's co-workers, and countless friends, associates, and family of all five of us kids. In fact, the line was out the door for most of your showing. It was beyond touching for me, so I can't imagine how that must have felt for you.

You would have loved your funeral, Mom. The music was everything you asked for (save for one song, but we'll get to that in a minute), and it was enhanced beautifully by Joel's cantering and Denver's trumpeting. You would have swooned at the music alone. Your sisters Jodi, Kitty, and Julie, and also your nephew Jimmy, did you proud in the readings as well. It was a beautiful service.

Now for some apologies: I know you wanted "Let There Be Peace on Earth" played at your service (remember how I chastised you for telling me that since it ruined the song for me?), and we stressed that several times to the planners, choosing for it to be the recessional. So, I'm not sure how they ended up with a different song in its place. I'm really sorry for that. If it helps, I'll ask for it to be played at my own funeral.

Another "I'm sorry?" How about that we didn't mention to the funeral director leading the procession to the cemetery that the detour signs did NOT apply to our route? Or did you have something to do with that? Kinda seemed that way, since the route we ended up following twisted & turned through the same country roads you & Dad liked to drive through.

And it was SUCH a beautiful day, Mom. I know that was your doing.

I also know you had something to do with the lights shutting of in Kohl's when we stepped in the store after that incident with the rude stranger in the parking lot. You would have been so proud of Megan, but the rest of us are afraid to cross her now.

Something else you might find intriguing? The flatscreen TV in the living room hasn't worked since you left us--but you might already know about that, too. Sean tried everything he could to fix it, but I think you wanted a nice screen to watch Dallas up there.

Everyone misses you so much, Mom.

You know, I understand it now when people say a part of them gets mad at their loved one for leaving them. But I temper that emotion with remembering how ticked off you must be for leaving us all so soon, so suddenly.

We know that you NEVER would have left us, especially Dad, unless it wasn't your call.

He's holding up as best he can. He misses you terribly, Mom. The thing he keeps repeating is that he's lost not just his wife of 37 years, but his best friend. It is crushing to hear.

But we're all here to help him through it, Mom. That's what you taught us to do.

I think this world would be a better place if more folks modeled their marriages after what you & Dad shared. I know I try to follow in your footsteps with Mike & our family.

Mike is sad that he'll no longer be able to call you "Suz" just like Dad does, or that he won't be able to tell you a slightly dirty joke and watch you pretend to get offended while you laugh anyway.

Nolan stands at the bottom of the stairs, points to your bedroom, looks at me and says "Mommy?" I'm pretty sure he remembers visiting you up there after your surgery.

The hardest thing for me so far had to be explaining to Aiden what happened. I think he understood my words, but not the concept. He's told me he misses your voice and wishes he could talk to you again. That HURTS, Mom, because I feel the exact same way.

There has been more than one instance in the past few days that I have thought OH, I need to tell Mom that! And it isn't until I've picked up my phone to dial that I realize I won't get your voice at the other end.

I don't know if I can get through this without you, and then I remember that I can because of you. You were an inspiration to me in so many ways that I'll never get to thank you for. But I think you know that.

I know you're probably so much more comfortable now, Mom; no lingering pain from the knee surgery, and no stress about getting the other one done.

And no, we haven't asked for a refund on that first knee. Yet. :)

I just wish I would've known when I talked to you Friday morning that it was the last time. I would've chosen better words than complaining about Nolan's hearing test, or bitching about the morning sickness that still hadn't quite dissipated.

Even though it's not something we typically said out loud, I would have told you I love you.

But I'm going to tell you that now. I'm going to tell you that by looking after Dad and loving my family the same way you loved ours. I only hope to come close to the legacy you established.

I'll probably write you more letters, Mom, if you don't mind. It helps a bit to talk to you.

I love you,



  1. Well said, Kimmie. Ya'lls are still in my prayers.

  2. It was such a beautiful day (we all know if it were my funeral, it would be pouring rain!)

    Love you.