Dear Mom,

Dear Mom,

Your voice has faded from my memory.

I’m always a little jealous when people say things like, “I can still hear her voice” when they talk about you.

“Can you?” I want to say. “I can’t.” Though they tell me I sound like you.

You know how in movie flashbacks when the daughter or son have those full-color visions of holding hands with their mom, glancing up and seeing her face looking down? I can’t see that. Though they tell me I look like you.

I do have pictures that I am grateful for. You, in all kinds of situations just being your awesome self.

I wish I had just one video though. I would wear it out.

I’d love to see you animated and hear you laugh. I want see the way your hair flew in the wind and the way you moved.

I wish so much that I could be in one of those rooms you lit up like people say. Just one more time.

I didn’t know it was the last chance I’d get. Each thing that you did and said, I thought I’d see you do or hear you say a thousand more times.

I remember that I used to see you in dreams. Real honest-to-goodness dream visions and you would talk to me and sit with me. It went on for weeks after you died. I thought I was wishing those dreams into existence.

I would wake up and write poems that I’d never share because I didn’t want anyone to know I was still hurting. Because maybe, I should have gotten over it by then, in my teenage mind.

I’m much older now and I don’t care who knows my heart. And I don’t care if they think it shouldn’t still be broken. It’s been broken for forever and scarred over a thousand times.

But I still went to bed each night hoping that I’d see you while I slept. And you’d talk to me when my mind wasn’t trying to shut out the pain of losing you. That’s when I could really listen. I was never defensive in our secret dream talks.

Then, one day you stopped visiting me in my dreams. And your voice and your realness faded away from my memories.

I am a little jealous of the people who got to know you as an adult. Those people remember you well.

I bet you gave the best advice and listened when they talked and kept the secrets they asked you to. I am more than a little jealous that I didn’t get to be your friend.

I’ve tried to work it out so that I didn’t miss you this way. I have tried not to need you. But thoughts of you are always there, because you’re not.

And when I had a daughter and I realized that she was my whole heart, I suddenly felt that I knew more about you. We finally had something in common that I could touch and see and hear again.

When I realized that nothing would ever stop me from holding on to her. Nothing would ever stop me from saving her if she needed me, that’s when I knew those dreams were the best you could do. And you gave them to me for as long as you could.

And maybe, I really won’t ever have another one.

But I can’t accept that I also have to forget. Maybe I can’t touch you again. Maybe I’ll never hear your voice. But I am absolutely going to hold out hope that somewhere in the aging and forgetful part of my subconscious your voice exists and I’ll hear it again.

So, if I could just have another one of those vivid vision-like awesome dreams, where you come and sit beside me and hold my hand for a little while, I promise I won’t forget this time. I’ll commit every piece of you to memory and hold you there the way you deserve to be remembered.

– Love, Cook

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Rumors

Rumors

Rumors are the shards of glass that fall from the shattered chandelier of adolescence.

They stick in your feet as you try to walk by them with your head held high and scar your hands when you try to clean them up.

When you get dressed and try to go about your day, they constantly sting and burn.

Everyone notices your hands. They heal quickly though, that’s the good news. People will forget.

But at night, when the world is quiet and the shoes you had to wear come off, the shards are still there, so deep you can’t extract them.

They’re still there in your 20’s when you’re deciding what kind of life you want.

They’re still there in your 30’s when you’re asking “is there anything more?”

They’re still there in your 40’s when you’re teaching someone else how to navigate the world.

Maybe you can find a way at some point in your life to overcome the pain and help someone else through theirs. You can’t get that time back though and sometimes it all comes rushing back.

Something to remember though, that’s helped me down the road, is that nobody starts a rumor about someone who doesn’t matter. Your magnetic qualities, your strengths and your charisma made you a target. You get to keep those things.

You couldn’t have prevented it. That’s how rumors work. Rumors are the things you didn’t do. Someone else is responsible for causing that kind of pain.

Just don’t be that someone else. You’re better than that.

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