Dear Mom –
Hi. I miss you. It’s been awhile – 18 years ago today – in fact. I still remember that morning as clear as day. It seems this time of year I can feel it in my bones. There is no shaking it. It’s the same every September. It starts just after my birthday and ramps up over the next two weeks as I approach September 5th. Every year. Same thing. I smell it in the air. I see it in the shortening days and in the shift of the positioning of the sunsets. It’s particularly hard because it is back to school time. I’m supposed to be all organized – and instead I am scattered – in a fog – more so this year than in the past few. Maybe that’s not true – maybe it’s always like this. I can’t even remember right now.
You were 18 years old when you had me – and now you’ve been gone 18. Yep. I’m 48, Mom. Can you believe it? Forty-eight. The age you were when you left this earth and the age I have been fighting not to be afraid of all these years. Now – here I am – feeling like this is something of a rebirth. Hi. It’s me – becoming “the woman of my own.”
Your death rocked my world. It crumbled around me for awhile there, Mom. Then I started to rebuild. Bit by bit. I have rebuilt on a much more solid foundation. I am fairly certain you are proud.
Oh – and please – don’t think I am blaming my scatteredness on you for something you could not help. There are many things going on right now – and honestly – I just want to talk to you. So I am – in a way – talking to you.
Why here? I have a feeling you know. Did the title of this blog spark anything for you? Last night I realized that this would be the perfect place for us to meet.
Do you remember that book you gave me at some point in the last couple of years before you died? You gave it to me for Valentine’s Day. It had the pretty shiny maroon cover and the little lock and key. It had the words “Passion Journal” written in cursive on it? Do you remember?
Do you remember how you told me that the journal was not to write about “passion” in – in the way I might think of passion in my late 20’s – that I wasn’t to write about my boyfriends. You told me I should write about what I felt passionate about in life. It was pretty, and I kept it on my shelf. I am fairly certain I never wrote a word in that book. My memory of it is one of fear. It brought up such a blank in me. I’m pretty sure it is in a box in the garage that I haven’t opened yet. I didn’t think about it much. I remember seeing it during my moves – that’s about it. I didn’t feel I had worthy passions to write about, Mom. If only I knew, then, what I know now.
Back in 2010 – I was in therapy – and I had started exploring my passions (or what seemed like a lack of them). I was moving through a horrible depression. It was the culmination of many things. Come 2011, I was starting my own business and really wanting to write – so I thought. I decided I wanted a blog so I took one on Blogspot and named it Her Passion Journal. I had decided on the name in the year before and bought the domain – as well as A Passion Journal and My Passion Journal. It took a long while to settle on “Her.” To me – it brought the two of us together somehow. I wanted it to be mine, but I also wanted anyone who might read it to know the blog’s owner was a woman. I was unable to commit to the website domain. Blogspot wasn’t workin’ for me either. I took this space. One day I’ll get up the balls to write at herpassionjournal.com. One day. Not today.
Super long story only sorta long? I’ve written 2 entries in 4 years here. I sometimes think about how I think I may have lost the key to that Passion Journal you gave me, and feel like now I keep losing the key to this. Uh. Yeah. I write everywhere but here. I write on Facebook – on my own wall – in long comments on others’ walls. I write in FB womens’ groups. I write thoughtful responses to Blog posts. I oftentimes write big ol’ long things on a “public figure” wall and then cut the whole thing out and paste it in a Word document and file it away – because I have actually come to realize what I am doing is blogging, and I should put it here. But I don’t. I don’t put it here. I’ve been scared to – or something. There is a big ol’ block that I have got to crush. You know why? Because I am a writer. Grandma was a writer. You were a writer. I AM A WRITER.
You would force me to write when I was young. Letters and journals. I’ve always written good papers. Way back when – my teachers told me I was a writer. Mrs. Burns told me I was in 7th grade. I went on to AP English classes and loved writing in college. You know who doubted me? You. There was the time you helped me retype a research paper I wrote in nursing school. You told me it was really good THEN you asked me if it was really mine. That was a slap in the face. It may have seemed like a small thing to you – but I’m sure you can see now – knowing our history as you do – that that was all it took. I had worked my ass off on that paper. I was so proud of it and -just like that- I was off and running with the self-doubt again – because Mom – it was that easy. For most of my life I have not felt good enough. For most of my life I have doubted every little thing I’ve done. I have second-guessed. I have felt someone might point their finger and laugh. I have been afraid that someone might call me out. I now know that you were just like me. It’s hard, huh? Chasing and hiding. I digress.
So – yeah – who would of thunk it – I am now calling myself a writer. My confidence comes from outside sources saying they want to hear my voice. This has been a common theme. SO – for the next month – I am going to post something to this blog every day. It might be a long rambling thing like this – or it might be a poem – or it might be a picture. I probably won’t be showing my skill as a writer. The purpose is not to show skill. The purpose is to crush the block while excavating and collecting some of my many passions. The purpose is to crush the fear – the fear that steals my creative expression – the fear that silences me so that I feel some need to skulk off and hide my words in the comments of others’ posts rather than claim them as my own.
The purpose is also to help quiet the sadness of September.
I miss you Mom.
I still love you so much.
See you in my dreams.