I remember nights spent in your bed. The magic bed. The cool, green sheets. Megan and I would wiggle into the middle of it. She would spread out and go to her side, I would move closer to you. I always chose you. In first grade I had to take the bus, I was noticeably changed by the separation from you. Megan was supposed to sit with me, protect me, watch over me. She wasn’t ready for that role. I wasn’t ready to leave. That was when coming home became my definition of happiness, safety, love. I stared out the dirty window and pulled the emergency exit by mistake. Maybe it wasn’t a mistake.
When I played hide and seek, I didn’t want to be found. I stayed buried deep in your closet, smelling your clothes. I could hear your gold bracelets shifting on your wrists. You have the most beautiful arms I have ever seen and I like to think I have inherited them. Strong and feminine, soft and embracing. You drove me to soccer practice, acting classes and swim meets. Gymnastics, piano, tennis. I always came back to the swimming and you always drove. When I stood solid on the starting block, the sun beating down on me, you cheered the loudest. I can hear you even now. You have never stopped cheering.
I have made you cry. We have fought out of love, out of similarities, out of fear. I am more like you than I ever expected to be, but I always secretly wished. My wishes came true. I am a rough version of you. I still have years to go, but the outline is there and it’s solid.
I am so sorry for always taking out my insecurities and fears on you. You have always been my voice of reason. Mom, I love you so much. I love what you have allowed me to become. I love the woman I am because of you. I love that you have always filled my life with laughter, happiness, security and strength. You have kept me in the moment, made me realize I have happiness in my soul. You have been my compass and pointed out the stars. You encouraged me to touch them, feel them, reach for them all. You have told me that nothing matters more than this moment. You allowed me to let go and believe in the strength of my safety net. Thank you so much for the lessons you have taught me. I carry them with me, in my heart, every day. I love you so much.