a letter to my mother on Mother's Day

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dear mom,

you called me first this morning as you always do, on YOUR special day, to ask how i am doing.

i know you worry. i know you are scared...and i know you want to take this away from me. 

i know you want to be the one who is sick. the one who is losing the hair.

you call me after every day in the hopes of motivating me, inspiring me. you work endlessly to lift my spirits and provide hope. you spend hours researching solutions and you cry with me on the mornings when i find chunks of hair in the drain. 

you've even gone so far as sitting next to me just last week, masking your own pain and sadness for your little girl while a hair system was attached to my head to cover up the baldness.

i know you want to take this away.

i know you want my physical loss to be your own.

but then how would i ever be able to find you in the grocery store, the mall, Gabe's graduation ceremony? your fluffy electric blonde hair has always been a beacon of light when i was lost or afraid. a lighthouse, calling me home.

mom, this loss is not meant for you. this is my journey.

your life is your story though, and you've held my hand through it all: 

you were there the moment i took my first breath. you were there for all the beautifully foggy moments of my childhood that brought holidays, happiness & brothers. you were there to hold me and cry with me when the nasty middle school girls called me a fat hog on instant messanger, stole my Pokemon cards, and dumped all of my belongings into an overflowing janitor's mop bucket.

you were there to take me on shopping sprees and have sleepovers with endless amounts of tortilla chips and every other consumable snack in the grocery store. you sat with me, both of us in salon chairs, getting our hair cut and styled to "perfection". and you were there for me when i realized i didn't quite fit in at high school. you were there to motivate me to sing, to dance, to read & write

 

 

you cried the morning i read my Geneseo early acceptance letter and you were there every step of the way for those four difficult years. you were the voice of reason, the spokesperson for yourself AND for daddy. you argued with me, fought with me, and TAUGHT me. i struggled with anxiety & depression, yet you were always there on the other end of the phone line to listen. you were always willing to drive down and ease my mind. 

 

 

 

 

you were there to watch me graduate, just like you were for my brother yesterday, and you were there to help with the stressful job search. you were there to help me "adult" and "do all the grown up things" . you allowed me to make mistakes & you let go and watched me fly. you were there to catch me when i'd fall. you were there to get drunk with me on my 21st birthday and pay 20 bucks for a $30 tab while suavely telling the bartender to "keep the change".

 

 

you were there to succeed with me and you were there to fail with me. you held my hand through every abusive relationship, every musical performance, every sickness and every weight loss or gain. you took me on adventures and got lost with me on bike paths, cities & cemeteries. you were there to sing with me. to argue with me. to understand me. 

 

mom, you were there for the the first bald patch & the second. you were there to celebrate my progress and give me hope during the times of loss. you were there to care for my devastated heart after my second diagnosis two days ago that affirmed my second auto-immune disease

you were there at the crack of dawn every morning to drink coffee with me & share our separate stories while we unknowingly/simultaneously created our OWN story, TOGETHER.

mom,
my pain and my struggle is not meant for you to take as your own.
but you are the greatest gift in my story, you play the most important role.
you are a beacon of light.
you are the lighthouse in my story.

as you hold my hand through this painful experience, we continue to create our OWN story- the story of a mother and a daughter.

the story of two best friends.

mom, you are my voice of reason, my advice giver, my partner-in-crime. you are my shoulder to cry on, my shopping AND eating buddy, my broken heart healer. you are my psychologist, my life coach, my cheerleader. you are my inspiration. my strength. my story wouldn't be my own without you in it.

you are the greatest gift in my life, mom. i am blessed to be your daughter.

let's continue OUR story, TOGETHER.

Happy Mother's Day.
love, your daughter,
Clarisse