It has been 29 years since you left your body and I still relive the last time I saw you, a few days before you took your final breath. It appears I still carry the weight of not being able to say “I love you” as your nurse suggested. Today I am thinking that if I had asked your step-father, my husband and daughter to leave the room we probably could have had at least a one way conversation. Perhaps the problem was also helped along because by then you were in a coma and couldn’t have responded. If you remember we waited to come until you felt it was time. In a sense you had the last word, which is not surprising, since you were always in control of the family. A talent I carried on until I discovered I no longer wanted the job. It appears my daughter has taken over.
It is really difficult to say I love you to someone who was critical of everything I did or said. I remember the last time you came to visit. Everything I did from the way I made my bed to the way I raised my daughter was wrong, according to you. Because of the way I was treated I overprotected my daughter, which has caused a serious break in our relationship, which may never be repaired.
Growing up I never felt loved by you. I never felt that you even wanted to be a mother and that the reason you got married was my fault. Your life long lie that I was premature was typical of the way you dealt with facts. As another example; your last name was never Cole, even though it appeared on my birth certificate as your maiden name. Oh, and full term also appeared plain as day. It causes me to wonder how many other details you chose to lie about.
There were efforts that you made to do nice things. I keep thinking of some of the clothes you made for me and the bride doll wardrobe you created one Christmas. I really did appreciate it. Along those lines I remember an experience during your brief stint as a Brownie leader. We were embroidering scarves and you loudly criticized my work in front of the rest of the group.
Even though my first marriage was a big mistake you did not come to the ceremony. If it wasn’t for Nana & Pappy I would have had no family there. I also recall your insinuation that my son was part black because of where his paternal grandmother was born. You also carried negative thoughts against gay people and oh I almost forgot- nuns for crying out loud! Thank God your prejudices did not carry through to my life. The crowning negative thought you offered was,” never put anything in writing”. Again, thank God I didn’t listen, because I became a very good writer.
To round things up I suppose I can now say I love you, because you could have had an abortion and didn’t. If you had your life probably would have been a lot different, but mine would not even exist.
From this day forward the past is the past and I am letting it go.