While looking through a box of pictures recently, I came across a book of poems my late mom gave me 18 years ago for my 23rd birthday, called, ‘To My Daughter with Love on the Important Things in Life.’
In the front pages, she wrote a letter to me that ended with:
“…I hope you might look into this book and find a saying or sentiment that may serve as a source of wisdom, strength, and love for you at times you need them, when I am not around to express them…”
I could not bring myself to read the pages of the book at the time. My mom and I had always had a tumultuous relationship, and her love always felt conditional. She missed a lot of important milestones. I knew I would not be to read these pages without anger or resentment.
At the time she gave me the book, I was at a fork in life, having just finished college, starting my career, living on my own, and trying to be the woman I wanted to become.
Though I couldn’t bring myself to read it, for some reason, I saved the book and tucked it away.
Deep down some part of me always knew she loved me the best she could, healthy or not, and that I would, in fact, want to read the words later.
And I did. About a week ago. And the words do have meaning now. And I actually believe them and can hear her telling me them. They are words I need right now from my mom.
I had the foresight to know I would need this book one day, and so did she when she gave it to me. This connects us in a special way now that it couldn’t back then.
Sometimes we are given things that we don’t want to accept or are hard to. We can’t make sense of them in the moment, but maybe one day we will. Even if it takes 18 years.
Today I the book is out of the memory box and has pride of place on my bookshelf.
And I dedicate today’s run to her. #stillirun