An Open Letter to My Mama Dot

An open letter to my sweet mama Dot Dot on her 10 month heavenly birthday.

Mama bear. Today you’ve been in heaven for 10 months.

This is so weird to think about. Sometimes I still have to poke myself and say “really?” But REALLY? You’re not here with me? I don’t think it’s been long enough for me to REALLY fully know that you’re not here with me. Somedays it’s easy to fully realize it. Other days it’s still so surreal. Like, what? Life, you’ve got to be kidding me?

But it’s true. And as each month goes by I continue to process. And I look forward to getting to see you again one day in heaven and squeeze the living life out of you (actually no, let’s keep that life there).

Aunt Shelly gave me your makeup bag this weekend. Perfectly in tact, just like how you used to use it. Though I’m so glad to have it, I couldn’t look inside just yet – it feels too hard – but I can visualize exactly what’s inside…

I know your chapstick is in there, which you put on before your red lipstick. I know your tweezers are in there. Your pink and green (tube) mascara. Your brown Maybelline eyeliner. You’ve also got a safety pin which you used to separate your eye lashes (you dangerous woman). You also have a toothbrush which you use to brush your eyebrows out (you’re so cool and practical).

Like I said… I haven’t looked in the bag yet, but I can picture it perfectly now.

Oh mama. I miss you.

I miss your sense of humor and the way you’d joke about things. I can hear your voice and the little comments you’d make in so many different real life scenarios today. And you still make me laugh. Because I hear the exact things you’d say as if you were actually here. Your sarcastic but hilarious and oh-so-true and what-everyone-was-thinking comments. The way you would lovingly and hysterically lighten up the mood in a room. I can hear you laughing. Your laugh with all of those loud pitches and little breaks in between where you’d catch your breath and throw your head back.

You told me it would be hard to miss you, because you knew what it felt like to miss your own mom. You were right. But I also have to share with you… you have given me so much strength. I didn’t get to thank you for that while you were here, because I didn’t expect it. Thank you, mom.

You are an incredible mom.

Here are a few things I love and truly appreciate about your parenting: you never shamed me (you corrected me – that’s very different), you taught me to be nice to people, you appreciated the good in me, you never stuffed my schedule full – you let me be a kid and just play. I cannot tell you just HOW much I appreciate that last part.

You let me do my own thing for HOURS at a time. You didn’t worry if I fixated on something whether it was cleaning my room (of course not – haha), redecorating the whole house, playing school in the garage for an entire afternoon, taking care of my baby dolls and playing house with my friends, or if I sat at the computer taking care of my Sim’s family. You didn’t worry. It wasn’t a big deal. Rather, you trusted that I knew when to stop. When to get up and do something different.

You trusted me mama. And this I know. You trusted me when I wanted to stop my nursing classes and go for coaching instead. You trusted me when I wanted to break it off with a  guy who looked great on paper but who I just knew wasn’t right for me. You trusted me when I’d share a struggle but promise you that I was okay and would be making new choices.

And I trusted you in return. You always said, we told you way more than you wanted to hear (haha!). But you were a safe space. You were a safe space to explore “Am I doing the right thing?”

Mama, you always made sense to me. There’s so much in life that DOESN’T make sense. So many confusing emotions. So many people who are hard to read, but you never were. You were a consistent parent. A parent who I knew would always be there and understand.

In fact, in losing you, this has been something I’ve missed the most. In hard moments, I want YOUR specific response. I want you to either tell me not to worry… I want to hear you say “Oh, that’ll work itself out.” I want to just know that you’ve heard me. 

You know what’s funny? You weren’t a perfect listener. Sometimes I’d tell you something and you’d say something completely off topic. Now, I laugh about this and I actually remember you as a great listener because whether you listened or not (haha) you always had a response that put me at ease.

I remember your DEEP, DEEP love. Your absolute loyalty. Your “home first” and “family first” mentality. Your care.

It’s so true… Maya Angelou was absolutely right… “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Side note: I also remember a LOT of special things that you did. 

This is what I remember mom. You made me feel: trusted, loved, independent, special, kind, important, smart, beautiful, proud-of, celebrated…

The world has it’s own way of taking care of the rest of what I need. Like, making me learn that I am resilient, that I can get through hard things, that life isn’t perfect, and that you have to work really freaking hard.

But honestly… as I look back. Your life taught me these things, too. YOU were resilient. YOU were forgiving. You were hard working. You got through HARD things. Your life was NOT perfect, but you always found a way to help others, love on others, show up for them, and keep going.

You had a natural way of always seeing the good in people. You’d call a crappy situation a crappy situation. But you could see the good in PEOPLE within it. And you never ever gave up on the people you loved. Your heart was big enough for our imperfections.

Mama, you’re an angel. Literally.

I love you. On this 10th heavenly birthday of yours I am missing you, celebrating you, remembering you, appreciating you, and keeping you oh so very alive in this life of mine.

And I can hardly believe that February 11th will conclude the first year of my life without you here on earth with me. THAT is something I am struggling to believe. 

You’re my rock mama. And oh my gosh, do I MISS you.


Love, Paige

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