I have forgotten the things you told me. I remember the conversation, the connection, the confiding, but I’ve forgotten the words. And while I would give anything to hear your voice again, to listen to all of the words you have to say to me, somehow, they don’t seem to matter. What matters is that I don’t ever remember a time when we didn’t talk, and the deep, profound, unbreakable connection we had is one that I will never find with another soul. You were it for me. You were my love.
I have forgotten all of our arguments. I remember that there was only one thing we ever fought about, and how after you left I removed it from my life. It just took you leaving for me to finally realize how right you always were; how intimately you understood my heart and my needs, when I couldn’t even see two inches in front of my face.
I have forgotten all of my past sadness. I remember that you were always there. You were always there. You were always there. I remember how warm, how comforting, and how at home I felt in your embrace while I cried into your shoulder and you held me, you played with my hair, and you knew exactly what to say when I felt like my small griefs were beyond repair.
I have forgotten the summer night chill. I still remember the taste of your special hot cocoa after we had finished hours and hours of movie marathons, sitting out on our front porch watching the stars. We’d talk about God and astronomy and I would not trade anything in the world for those memories.
I have forgotten what car you drove. I remember we would go everywhere in it together. I was your adventure buddy and you were my best friend and we were inseparable. I remember Starbucks runs and daily Mass and matinee movies and impulse Barnes & Noble trips.
I have forgotten what we ate. I remember that you’d pick me up and take me to the lake at lunch and we’d walk and eat and laugh and I felt like the luckiest person in the world because you were mine. And I don’t think I ever told you.
I have forgotten how tired I was those last few months, staying up with you in the hospital as the nurses would poke you with needles and check your vitals every 4 hours. I remember that I got to do what I had always wanted to do for you: take care of you, the way you always took care of me. I got to nurture you and love you and cook for you and help you every morning into your chair. I got to help you publish your book and see you cry as we put the hard copy in your weak, bone-thin hands.
I have forgotten the last thing I said to you. I still remember our last hug. I still remember hugging my best friend for the very last time. And sometimes, the only thing that gets me through it all is the hope that I will get that chance again.
I still can’t watch our old go-to movies. I still can’t look at your picture without feeling a stabbing hurt. I still can’t go more than two or three days without crying myself to sleep. I still miss you more than words could ever even come close to describing. I still can’t think of my future without you there. I still have so much that I want to tell you.
But mostly, I wanted to say that I still love you. And I still remember.
And you’re still my mom.