They say you only truly understand your mom once you become one yourself. I never believed it—until now. As a new mom, fear and worry have become my constant companions. Though I can seek the advice of friends and relatives, there seems to be something missing.
Whenever I have questions about motherhood, be it as simple as changing diapers and putting my baby to sleep or as complicated as how I will be able to finance my baby’s education in the future, I always catch myself wanting to know what you think. Will I be a good mother? There are so many questions I want to ask you, but they all bring me back to the same feeling. The feeling of loss, of not having you by my side.
I want to be a good mom like you, but I’m not sure how I can do it without you here.
You were always so wise. You knew just what to say. It’s like good advice was your second language. Whatever I was going through, you always knew how to put things in perspective. Simply hearing your voice was enough to calm me down whenever I panicked about life’s challenges.
Ever since I was a little girl, I looked up to you. I guess this is why I named my favorite doll after myself, so I could pretend to be you whenever I played. But playtime is over; this is the real thing. I am now a mother and I am scared. I am scared that I won’t be as good at this parenting thing like you were. I fear I won’t be as devoted and as patient. I worry that I don’t have what it takes to sacrifice what I need to in order to be even half as selfless as you were.
I still don’t know why I had to lose you right after I got married, but I’m glad I got to share that day with you. Had I known it would be the last milestone I’d have you with me, then I would have paid more attention. I wouldn’t have been too stressed about making the day perfect, because you were there. It was already perfect.
How did you do it? You raised me and my two siblings all by yourself. You remained kind, compassionate, loving, and nurturing despite our rebellious phases. How did you manage to provide for us while still making time to make us feel safe, loved, and cherished? I wish I could have been a better daughter. Because you deserved the best. If you were here beside me now, I would hug you and thank you. I would tell you I Love You every single day.
*This letter is based on a correspondence with one of our readers. Minor edits have been made.
READ: An open letter to my child who died too young