write the letter part two at nautilus teachings


she had no guidance
her beautiful mother
now dead for 18 years,
she fell to the floor and prayed,
“lord i can no longer sustain buoyancy
i am being swallowed up
in lies,
i have no confidence
or self esteem
wash over me
the colors of my youth
light the path
of acceptance
and forgiveness
let me live within your grace
and rise up
in faith..”
and so in 2005,
Sheri finally grew up
found her footing
and began her own life
made her own choices
started living her dream
and began revealing to the world
who she was
on the inside
as the outside transformed
into a winged butterfly…
“your whole lives
i raised the three of you
to not need me
i taught you to cook
and take care of yourselves
i taught you to make
your own choices
to set high goals
to never stop
until you got what you wanted
your life was to be your own
i pushed you
when you were feeling
not quite well
to get up
go to school
because it is what
grown ups do
i did not let you whine
or complain
i held you accountable
i punished when necessary
and i raised you
up in the church
with faith…
i did this all
not because i
did not want to take the time
or did not love you
i loved you too much,
i did it because
i lost my mom
so young
i was never taught
anything but
to love, give, bake, clean
and cry…
no one supported me
to live my dreams
i was told what to do
where to go to school
who to marry
and i did it all
because i was scared
and full of doubt…
i could not
and would not let
any of you ever feel
that way…”

she is sobbing now
her body shaking
she has no regrets
she ultimately did
make all her own choices
after her mom died
but as her husband would say
her picker had been broken
and she had no solid
foundation to build upon
accept her faith.
faith would sustain her
during those years
faith and prayer
and when the day finally came
when she could take no more
she broke wide open
tore apart piece by piece
her entire life
and prayed,
i am yours
lead me…”
she wished
they were seated
across from her
so she could touch
their beautiful grown faces
see their reaction
in their own ways
they all know parts
of the truth
because they lived
“i wanted to run away
all the time during those long years
they only thing which held me back
and kept me from leaving
was the three of you…
you were and still all are
my heart…
you gave and still give me
such joy.
i know i was not the perfect mom
i know i did not spoil you
but i always loved you
i tried to protect you from evil
and instead ended up building a life
with exactly that…
forgive me?
i promise
to always live truthfully
with my heart for you to see
all my colors
and words revealed
so you can never ever say,
mom, i did not know…
what questions can i answer
for you ?
what do you need to know?
i am an open book
i love you
and am so proud of
who you all are becoming
the lives you are leading…
the choices you make,
the mistakes…
own them
be accountable
say you’re sorry
change if you need to
be a kind person
walk in faith
you old mom
always has your back…”

this letter
is barely cutting the surface
of her life
but the rest
is left written in journals
painted upon canvas
and etched in book
after book
on all the shelves lining
her tiny home studio
she knows
if any one really wanted to know
who she was
where she came from
all they need to is
pick a shelf
unfold the pages
and let themselves
fall into
the world
she created
under the red wooden
lit with faith
guided by
wise old mr. hawksbill
and buoyed
by the blue waters
of her youth…
she was
and will always be
fancy finns the mermaid…
“i was born into blue
a mid-western girl
saved by the Atlantic Ocean
who’s words are writ
upon paper
and canvas
for all the world
to see…”
the letter sits before her
she wants to mail it
to each one of them
so they have time
to think
to wonder
and to ask themselves
what questions
do i have for mom?
what do i need answers to?
what is it she wants me to know?
she creases the paper
grabs a manilla envelope
seals it shut
writes the words
‘my life’
upon the front
and then paints
the back
in different hues of blue
with three buoys floating
out to sea
each one labeled
with their names
and below it
her final words
which echo her mothers
in 1987 as she lay upon
her death bed,
“it is not the end
it is the beginning.
i love you…”

missing mom