Mom's Brain, Uncategorized

I’m Never Going Home

“I’m never going home”.

Those words were the last to ever touch my ears from my mother’s lips.

Hitting my heart like a ton of bricks, I never could have believed it would the last time I would look into her pale blue eyes or see that broken body that used to store the strongest and most generous soul I’ve ever known. In that one fleeting moment of lucidity, she conveyed more truth than she’d been capable of in longer than I can remember.

Her words weren’t just true (she died 3 days later), they’ve also served as my vitality killing kryptonite for nearly twenty years. Racked with guilt, shame, and sadness, I’ve barely lived. Blaming myself for crimes I didn’t commit and searching painfully for things that don’t exist to fill the massive hole in my heart I thought she left.

The perfect body.

The perfect career.

The perfect relationship.

The perfect home.

The perfect words…

No matter how many times beautiful, loving people said “Your mom wouldn’t want this for you”, and my head bobbed up and down in rote acknowledgement, my heart locked down as if filled with fresh cement, preserving the hurt inside me like a crypt.

I’ll never know what I’ve missed.

It doesn’t matter now.

Somehow, and believe me I wish I had some brilliant little nugget of wisdom to convey rather than “I just woke up one day”, her words are now my mantra.

I’m never going home.

I’m never going home to that place where worry and regret are my roommates.

I’m never going home to that place where my success and self worth are measured by a full plate.

I’m never going home to that place where my head and my heart avoid play dates.

I’m never going home to that place where I believe it’s too late.

I’m already home.


Her Gift

me-and-janWhat gift can I possibly give someone who helped lift me out of the darkness?

What gift could ever convey “thank you for lending me your eyes to find my way and your heart to believe that tomorrow is always a new day”?

As I rack my mind to find that perfect thing, that perfect symbol to represent how grateful I am that you were born, tears fill my eyes and I realize the answer lies inside.


Words that for many years I feared.

Scared of failing.

Scared of succeeding.

Scared of even being.

A writer wasn’t who I was seeing when I looked in the mirror.

Over these last few months that image has finally become clearer.

When that darkness was about to win, there you were again like you’ve always been.

Thank you.

Thank you for finding me when you were just 17 and I was a ripe old 18.

Thank you for overwhelming them with your incredible power in game 1, making it possible for me to shine in game 2.

Thank you for playing along as I tell a story for the umpteenth time.

Thank you for making me laugh harder than anyone else can.

Thank you for all the times you’ve picked me up off the floor both literally and figuratively.

Thank you for believing in me even when I couldn’t bear the pain of opening my eyes to a new day.

Thank you for our first 30 years of friendship. I hope to be even half the friend you are in our next 30.

Cheers to my dearest friend and one of the kindest, most generous, selfless people I know.

Happy Birthday! Xoxo

P.S You’ll get a real gift too ­čśâ


What She Taught Me

My adult brain was only about  half-baked when she left. To be honest, most of the time it feels only about half-baked now. If I was any good at math I could probably calculate the true fraction of understanding I had of the world when the person I relied upon for almost every answer was cruelly and without warning ripped from my life, but I’m not, so I’ll just round up and say “one tenth of not much”.

It wasn’t until she was gone that I realized how much she had taught me in our short time together. Even though I can’t pick up the phone and call her anymore, which makes my heart twist like spounge  any time I think about it, I still talk to her and she still reminds me that there are a few equations that solve almost all of life’s problems. 

  • People are always more important than things so give whatever you can
  • Smiling and laughing, even if you don’t feel like it, cures a bad mood
  • You can never earn more time so spend it like you know that

The detailed memories of our time together may fade with each year removed, but every Mother’s Day they burn brightly again and take up their rightful place in my over occupied mind.  Mom even calls me sometimes, like she did today, and gives another important lesson-

Always show your work