A Letter from Me to My Mother for Her Birthday Today

My mother died back in 2000. I miss her often and wish she were here. Here are a few things I’d say to her at this moment if I could.

Hi Mom,

I wish you were here. I miss our talks together. I miss the connection we had. I also miss knowing that you believed in me and loved me.

I know you’ll be pleased to hear that I am happy and healthy and surrounded with love from Ray and our children. I wish you could meet my grown-up girls, my two sons-in-law and my three grandchildren. You would be very pleased with this whole little crowd of folks. They are smart, decent, hard-working and kind. You would definitely approve.

And, yes, Ray and I are still together, alive, well and happy. You were right. He is a total iconoclast, just as you told me. And, yes, he is about the smartest person I’ve ever met. The best part is that we have remained best friends after all these years. And, yes, he is still buying and selling antiques.

I’m still writing. I have been published in short fiction, memoir and essay. Thank you for all of your support of my writing life. You have no idea how much that has meant to me over the years. Sam and I are doing some writing collaboration on a song or two. He and I miss everybody in the family but we’re doing okay down here. We are good friends and love each other. I know you’ll be happy to hear that we’ve been careful to keep our relationship intact and important. I also stay in close touch with Lee and the rest of our extended family and they are all doing well. You’d be so pleased to meet your great-grandchildren. They are all adorable.

I think you’d be very pleased with my work with my writing students. I’ve had many now over these past 20 years and they have been real lights in my life. I have had the opportunity to use my Master’s in Counseling while helping them look deep inside to write personal essays. I have become great friends with many of them and several check back with me periodically. Working with them has helped my own writing, which has been a win-win situation.

I am part of a women’s writing organization I know you’d love. It’s called Story Circle Network and it encourages women to tell their stories. I have met so many wonderful women writers through this organization and continue to have daily contact with many. I am on the board and also am the coordinator of the online writing program. If you were here, I think you’d love being part of this group and so would Dorothy. Women celebrating women in the best possible way.

We still live here in California, which has proven to be just the right place for us. We have a home in Sherman where we go on a regular basis, but our life here in Southern California continues to be positive and good. You would be surprised to hear that Ray was senior warden of our church for three years. You would be proud of the fine job he did. (I was senior warden too a few years back and am currently an acolyte and Lay Eucharistic Minister. I know that pleases you to no end.)

Happy birthday, Mom. I can see you very clearly in my mind and can almost smell your Oleg Cassini perfume. Oh, how much I’d love to be sitting across from you in your living room having a good chat or be snuggled up next to you in bed with both of us reading, like we did when I was little. I look forward to the day when we’ll be reunited. That will be a very happy day indeed.

Give everybody a big hug from me.

Much love,

Len

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