what I wish I could say to my mother

I never understood those newspaper notes to someone who's dead. But I'm in the mood. I miss you.

Short note: I love you.

and slightly longer version since I got you in my head, Mom: Yeah, I meant it every time I said you drive me nuts, but let's not bother about that now. I love you and I hope I told you that I liked you too. You were funny as hell and I miss your Sunday calls. And all those times I hinted about needing money and complained about stuff. Let's just pretend those conversations didn't happen. I'm really fine and I hope--despite the fact that neither of us believe in life after death--you are too.

I know all that depression you dealt with was chemical. And speaking of rotten chemicals, those last ten years, you had as much dignity as anyone with dementia could muster. Pretty amazing that the last words I remember you speaking was the day we called Margaret and you said I love you...months after I'd heard you speak another word. That shows something, right? An ability to love? More than just an echo because you'd been silent so long so you had to be making an effort. Pretty good for a veggie.

So anyway. No more chemicals, no more depression or dementia or doubts, right? Even if you're as gone as if you'd never existed, that's a form of peace and that's good.

Did I mention I love you?

As my pal Catty says, hug 'em while you got 'em.


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