Dear Mama:
Sometimes I find it hard to believe you’ve been gone almost 11 years.  Harder yet to believe, I miss you.  I never thought I’d miss you.  That sounds harsh but surely you knew that I didn’t like you.

Oh, it wasn’t that I didn’t love you because I did — you were and are my mother.  I just didn’t like you the person.

I suppose you wonder what I mean.  Well, it’s hard to put into words.  You did things to us, my brothers and me.  Things that hurt deep down inside.  Left scars that no one can see but us.  And when you did those things, I intentionally moved myself as far from you as possible.

I would have liked to have talked to you about these things but children don’t really have a voice in early childhood.  Even as an adolescent and a teen, you were never open to sharing our feelings unless in a fit of anger.  And then you dominated with screaming and yelling.

This is hard to read, I know.  I wish it had all been said sooner but the time was just never right.

I am thankful for the peace and grace you and I found the last ten months of your life in Oregon.  God gifted us with a very special experience in those few months.  And I think I know why.  But more about that in another letter.

I’ll write again soon and I’ll try to explain the purpose of my letters now, instead of then.

Just know for now that not only do I love you — I honor and respect you far more than I ever thought imaginable.  I want to share with you how I got to that point.

With love,