A Letter To My Mom Before She Dies

Dedicated to my mother and my very best friend

It’s hard for me to even fathom the world, my world, without you in it.

You’ve always been in it.

But today I heard a speaker talk about losing their mother. I thought of when you lost yours. Then I realized if I lost mine, it would be you.

I immediately had a panic attack. Cried. Hyperventilated. Then prayed.

I don’t mean to be morbid. It’s just that I have never talked about it, written about it, or really even thought that hard about it because it terrifies me.

And I am so thankful that you aren’t sick, terminally ill, or hurt, but I just wanted you to know all these things before you die in at least 115 years.

That scares me so much, and I choose to ignore it, but I know God doesn’t want me to live in fear. Things happen that we can’t control and we can’t lose sight of God and let our worlds fall apart if they happen. He has already defeated death, so nothing can ever overpower his power and love, even my greatest fear in the entire world.

What we can do is make sure we show as much love as we can in the time we are given.

I showed up in your life earlier than you had probably planned (the only time I’ve ever shown up to anything early), and of all the things you could’ve done, you chose to love me.

From mother-daughter pictures in our matching overalls, to leaving me oatmeal creme pies to wake up to before you went to work. It was never easy, but as far as I knew, and as much as I can remember, it always felt so easy.

Simplicity and love are the two most important things you’ve shown me. And how important it is to eat our bacon extra double crispy – very important.

When my friends were mean, when I got picked on at school, when I felt like I didn’t matter at all, you told me I did then took me shopping to show me how real problems got solved. “We talked and window shopped ’til I’d forgotten all their names.”

My own personal alarm clock, even when I’m 22 and have a full-time job. I would’ve flunked out of college and gotten fired already without you.

I can’t make a single decision, even what I should eat for lunch, without calling you first.

People say to their friends, “I don’t know how I’ve made it my whole life without you.” I say to you, “I couldn’t have made it a single day without you.”

I don’t even remember one of the hundreds of fights we had. All I remember is talking at the same time then laughing about talking at the same time, shopping and eating then shopping some more then eating some more, Lifetime movies on Sunday afternoons, talking for hours and hours, sleepovers, and road trips, and all the stupid dreams you helped me chase.

I remember how you’ve given up your whole life so I could live mine. You gave up your dreams at 17 so you could make sure I reached all of mine. And you haven’t stopped giving a day since.

How is your house always clean and your makeup always perfect? Even after you work all day and cook supper for everyone? Still haven’t figured that one out.

I’ve seen you cry and I’ve made you cry – tears of joy, pride, and sometimes even sadness.

My triumphs have been your triumphs and my struggles your struggles.

Someone complimented my hair one time while we were shopping, and you said to me, “Gosh you’re so beautiful. And there’s no one else I’d rather be in public with and hear how pretty they are all the time.” I cried of course, but I also never forgot that.

All the lunches packed with sweet notes, all the Christmas presents, all the surprises waiting for me when I get home – my days have been made because of you.

I remember one time daddy picked me up from school and I was sick to my stomach just knowing something bad had happened to you. When I got home, you had surprised me for my birthday and painted my room – each wall a different color and hippie stuff everywhere just like I had always wanted.

That’s what you’ve done my whole life – painted all the walls a different color just when I really needed it.

No one knows me better than you and no one really ever will.

When I don’t feel like I’m worth a dime, I remember that you think I’m worth millions, and it never fails to make me smile and keep my head up.

I don’t give up because you’ve never let me. If my confidence is low, I pretend I’m walking into the room with you, my favorite partner in crime and confidence boost.

I say all of that to say your job as a mother has been done very well, but your job as a person, as my person, couldn’t have been done by anyone else.

I know there will be a day when I won’t have you to pick me up or save me or tell me if I can wash my blouse with my towels, and that breaks my heart and sends tears streaming.

But then I smile because God gave me you all those years ago and knew how much I would need you. So it’s not sad that we won’t always be a phone call or short drive away because we’re as close as close can be.

Thank you for wearing matching overalls with me, making my days special by taking me to Burger King, having my Barbie doll baked atop my birthday cake, and recording Barney on VHS so I wouldn’t cry when he would leave.

Because of you, I do stand a little taller and love myself a little more.

I am not sure what I will ever do without you, and I pray it’s no time soon, but remember the rule…we don’t talk about it.

I sure hope you don’t read this mom, because I know you will just cry and cry and cry.

And hey, this was the hardest thing I’ve ever written, and I cried the entire time.

But I wanted you to know all these things, and God gave me today, so I wrote it today.

If you’re reading this and have a special person in your life, make sure they know how much you love them because the best time to love is right now.