a letter to my mom at nautilus teachings

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sometimes i feel
as if i have
failed my mother…
her one wish was
to have her whole
family close,
celebrating birthdays
holidays, anniversaries…
she was the keeper
of our family
she was the
surrender flag
waving behind
all our heads
she never gave up
on any of us
she took the verbal
lashings from my brothers
forgave and loved them
she never let us down
she was open and honest
rooted in her truths…
when she died
my father expected me
to become the matriarch
of the family…
i was supposed to
“keep us all together.”
i could not
i did not know how
and i would no longer
do what my father demanded
it’s when i began-
at the age of 25-
my rebellion
against them all…
how could i look at
them all
knowing how they
had hurt me
my entire life…
i was a joke to them
their target
and i was too weak
i had nothing
they held all the power,
but my father expected me
to just put my arms
around them
and forgive them.
this was my mother’s job.
not mine.
i was not their mother…
now 29 years later
i have no sibling relationships
and a surface one with my father.

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dear mom,
i am so sorry mom.
i tried to follow
all your rules.
i wanted to be
the good daughter,
i really did…
i could not.
i kept hearing
their ugly words,
feeling their power
over me
and mom,
i did not know
how to stand on my own…
i messed up my life
i hurt my children
by staying in a bad relationship
and i am
so so so
sorry…
i love you and miss you mom.
i have been lost for so long
and even though i know
you would forgive me
and know you could make
this all better,
i am giving it up to God…
all my failures as your daughter
and their sister in my life.
oh mom,
all i can do is live my truths
and be who i was meant to be…
it is not the peacekeeper of your family
i don’t accept my fathers words as truth
nor my brothers ignoring me
and looking down upon me
for who i am…
i am strong
creative,
kind and loving…
oh, mom
i am everything
you taught me to be
in my own beautiful way.
and as your daughter
i stand before you now
in my aging body
with my healing soul
and aching heart
knowing
through my faith
i am forgiven and loved…
mom
you cannot hear my voice
nor hold me close
and as mother’s day approaches
this year
i begin to crack wide open
just i do every other year
for the loss of your life,
to me,
is the deepest scar i carry.
i loved you.
i loved being with you.
so many memories
my favorite always
being with you
top down, wind in our hair
music playing and us
smiling, together
mother and daughter -forever…
my failures as your daughter
turned into my strengths
as a woman…
i have found courage
i have found my voice
i know my path in life
i live my passion
i broke away, mom,
from all the pain
of 42 years
and i know if
you were standing
beside me today
you would tell me,
as you did over
and over in my
25 years with you
“oh, sher, i am so proud of you
and i love you…
my only wish was that
you had more fun
in your life,
you need to laugh…”
hey mom,
guess what?
i’m doing it all…
i love and miss you
happy mother’s day

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sher