In case you’re wondering how, or even if, you live on in our lives — I wanted to reassure you that the seeds you so carefully sowed all those many years ago are thriving and even propagating strong new shoots. The careful preparation of the soil, the tending of that young garden, the hallmarks of your special touch are still evident today.
I see your face in the mirror and realize it’s me. I see your fingers on this keyboard and see the same characteristic marks of your hard-working hands. I welcome home my college student with the same joy and urges to feed him and spoil him — just like you did for me. An inexplicable irritableness can sometimes intervene in the simplest dealings with teen-somethings — remember those turbulent waters?
I hear your voice coming out of my mouth when I sing, and laugh at how joyfully I can sing so poorly. I see my young adults cringe at my behavior in public sometimes, and know they have seen you too, and it will all be good in the end. When a jag of uncontrollable laughter erupts from deep inside, it’s your laugh I hear. Those same laughter tears I once found so embarrassing feel like blessings to me now. My heart’s desire is to create a place in the world, where my family feels at home, nourished and loved. I know that comes from you. It seemed less ambitious than a bona fide career, when I was younger, and now it is the only thing that really matters.
As I approach the same age you were, when you were so abruptly and prematurely wrested away from us, 23 years ago, I am comforted by all the ways I witness how mothers live on. You missed the days of sitting in this beautiful garden you planted, but the garden is in full bloom, because of your vision and tender loving care at those critical early stages.
With love, your only daughter.