My Dear Fiona,
I missed you today. I thought about you all day long, and so wished you were here with us. I went for a run with a friend this morning; I have to try to stay healthy mentally and physically in order to survive this grief and stick around here for your sisters. But I’m ok with getting older, as it means I’m getting closer to seeing you again. If only I could be with you, and with them, all together how we should be. I wish I could come visit you in heaven, or even get a glimpse of what you are doing there without us.
I remember your last Mother’s Day with us, in 2015. You were 8 years old, and so concerned with making sure the day was special for me. After asking me some sneaky questions about things I liked, you wrote a list to plan the perfect Mother’s Day and made sure dad helped execute your plan. I still have the list; it is a precious reminder of your kindness and sweet personality.
I remember the gift you gave me that year. I keep it on my dresser next to one of my favorite photos of you. You were very creative and resourceful; you took a small glass jar of beach sand, emptied it out, and put stickers on it, spelling out “Best Mom”. Then you filled it with a berry scented, pink perfume. I’m still not sure where you got the perfume or how you made it, but it smells yummy even today, two years later. I wonder how long it will smell so nice. I put some on this morning in memory of you. You made me feel like a best mom. I was sure lucky to have such a thoughtful daughter.
I remember the beautiful day we had that spring. We went up to Red Lodge to have a picnic. Daddy fished while we relaxed and enjoyed the beauty of the outdoors. It’s hard to go up there now, as it feels sad and empty without you, altogether gone from this planet.
I missed you at brunch today, sitting around the dining table with daddy and your sisters. Your sisters miss you too. Poppy wore two of your necklaces today, and put on makeup. She bragged that you taught her how to do makeup. She will always look up to you, her hero and constant playmate. Maisie knows today was hard for me, and she was so very kind and loving. It’s just not the same without you here, especially on this day meant to celebrate the blessing of being a mother. Poppy gave me her Mother’s Day gift she made in school, a precious book and photo of her pretty smiling face. Maisie made me a beautiful painting with 4 hearts, representing me and my three girls. My heart breaks that there is no special gift from you. The best gift from you was you, your precious life that we cherished so much. There will be no more gifts from you, either handmade or store bought. Last spring, you only had time to complete the first row in this woven vase, then you were gone. Your teachers and classmates finished it for you, to give to me on Mother’s Day. They did such a good job. They filled it with lilacs and it looked so pretty, you would have approved.
Your dad wrote me a beautiful poem he started last year for Mother’s day, and finally had the strength to finish a year later. I didn’t read it at brunch in front of your sisters, because I already had a lump in my throat before I’d read one word. After they went outside to play I read it, and cried the tears I’d been holding inside. Your dad cried too, as we thought about how much we miss you.
I won’t be there today, mom
To wish you a happy Mother’s Day
Or serve you breakfast in bed
Or help bake and decorate a cake
Or make a card and give you hugs
I know you want me there
More than any other wish
But life here is beyond compare
So here I’d rather stay
I’ve whispered to my Lord
My endless thanks for giving me
A mom who always put me first
And made my life on earth complete
Countless nights awake with me
Snuggling me close to your heart
Band-Aids on my boo boos
Lotion on my rough red cheeks
Fruits and veggies every day
And lots of exercise and play
Don’t forget these memories
Bury them deep within your soul
For what you sacrificed for me
Can never be repaid
Don’t dwell on what you saw
For my pain was very brief
It wasn’t from my aching
Rather knowing I’d be leaving you
So today I’ll send my love
And all my thoughts and wishes
In every bird you hear chirping
Every star you see blinking
Every flower blooming
Every child laughing
And every tear shed for me
Oh, Fiona, so many tears shed for you. Your dad can write some good poems, can’t he? His heart is sure broken from your leaving. He loves you so.
Maisie and I went to Target this afternoon. I missed you as we looked at clothes and Maisie chose some new bedding in a tropical print for her room. You loved shopping at Target. You would have liked the bedding she picked out. We went on a family bike ride after shopping. I know you were afraid to ride your bike in the street, and may not have wanted to come with us if you were still here. I remember it used to frustrate me that we couldn’t go on family bike rides together. So now we can, and that feels bad, because I feel guilty and sad. Your trailer bike we bought to encourage you to ride with us hangs unused in the garage. Is there bike riding in heaven? I hope you can enjoy the fun and thrill of a bike ride without the fear. We said hi to a kind family from our church who were also out riding bikes, their three young children all along. We ride with two now, and they are so far apart in age that our family looks unnatural, even curious I suppose. Maisie swerved into the street at one point, and I got upset and raised my voice to her to move over. I just can’t lose another child. I wonder if driver’s ed this summer is a good idea. But I can’t live my life chained by fear.
I know your Nanny missed you tonight at dinner at her house. We’ve had so many countless family dinners there, and now we have to continue on without you. We don’t have quite so many now, because they are also painful reminders of your absence. We treat each other more tenderly, as we are all a bit fragile now. Poppy has taken over your favorite task of helping Nanny make the whipped cream. I think it made them both a bit sad that you were no longer here to help. But they are thankful for each other, I can tell.
Poppy made us all play duck duck goose in the backyard after dinner; you would have enjoyed that as it was pretty silly. I won an online auction for 6 nights in Maui tonight. You always wanted to go to Hawaii. Now we are going there without you, because we all know life is short and should be enjoyed while we are able. I already anticipate the trip there will hold both joy and sorrow, as all things do now, even today, this second Mother’s Day without you.
Love you forever,