Recently I received the new Audible original series by Scarlet Curtis called “To The Woman,” in which women read open letters to other women. One of the letters was heartbreaking, spoken to her mother who had recently passed away. I was driving home from work at the time and I sobbed openly in traffic while people stared. I’m newly moved out of my family home to live with my partner and this letter hit me where none other could have.
So this is an open letter to the woman who raised me, the mother that everyone should have, and my humble tribute to her today, on her 55th birthday. Mama, I love you more than these words could ever convey, and it’s you that made me this way. So if you are feeling down about your age today, just know no matter where I stray, I’m your little girl from May.
Most people find their first big love when they are older, and that’s their partner. How lucky was I that from the day I was born, I already had one of my big loves. As I grew you loved me, and I loved you too. How fortunate for us to have one another. I don’t have to worry about sounding conceited because I know how much you adore me, it’s a fracture of my adoration of and for you.
Although you didn’t have it easy, money was never ample, the times were tough and the climate was tougher. In a world where being a mother and a wife was not celebrated as it is now, you were expected to bear children and be happy about it. Not only did you do this with grace and love, never for one moment making us feel like we weren’t your priority, but you instilled in me my own worth.
The women I am today is a fragment of the woman you’ve been all your life. Your resilience, beauty, and elegance astound me. Your laughter and humour have filled me up when I was emptier then wine bottles after we’ve been at them.
You are the wind beneath my wings, the sky to my star, the sea to my boat. I love you more than my luggage and I miss living with you every day. Thankfully you taught me to seek a love that is strong and supportive like yours. So even though I’m on my own, I’m still loved.
You taught me that you can spend all your time making money, or you can spend all your love making time. That you should sing your lungs out, and dance in the kitchen. Cry when you need to because sometimes life makes you cry. That when I had nothing, I had you, and Dad, and Chris so I had everything I ever needed. So really this letter is for them too. You picked me up and taught me that there is more room in a broken heart. I believe in love because I was loved.
I’m telling you this because when I heard that woman, crying for her mummy, I cried for mine. I wanted to squeeze you and tell you how wonderful you are, how beautiful you are, and how perfect you are in all your imperfections.
I’m always coming to the edge and willing myself over it. I’ve made so many moves I could never have done without you. Oh, my heart is aching, but no you stand behind me and tell me to go on. If you fall, I will catch you, time after time.
Here I am Mama, begging for you to recognise your worth because in my eyes you’re everything, you’re all I’ve ever wanted to be. Fierce little woman. Forgive me for any time I’ve hurt you, you broke your body for me, and I unaware tore you asunder. You let me go my own way, but I’ll always find my way back to you.
My first big love, my Mama. Thank you, and happy birthday.
“I love you.”
“I know.”* I hear you whisper.*
*This is from The Empire Strikes Back, in case any of you troglodytes didn’t know.
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