This is probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but it needs to be done in order to heal my wounds and move on. You know Mom I didn't understand so much about you until you passed away, and I'm even learning now 10 years later. I'm so sorry that I judged you for so many years and stayed away just because I didn't want to go on a beer run for you. I was afraid of being judged as I sat there and judged you. How ashamed I am for that behavior. I remember the week before you passed away I was in town at K-mart and I thought geee I should go see Mom, but then I didn't. I didn't because I told myself I was too busy, I didn't because I didn't want to see the beer cans, I didn't because I didn't want to go buy beer yet again... so many reasons why I didn't - but I should have.
All that time I was judging you for who you weren't while I should have been celebrating who you were. I understand that now. I also understand that the beer was a way to self medicate yourself when the doctors wouldn't help or didn't understand. I know you tricked a ton of doctors but I do wish that you hadn't done that because there was other ways to get help. I know you had Lupus and that is a horrible disease, but I also know that you were bi-polar. You never admited it, you never wanted help - but I understand. I understand why we moved, because you had to move on to somewhere else. Not because anything was wrong, you just had to move, see new things, feel new feelings. I understand your angry days when you just couldn't take our bullshit anymore. I understand why the coffee cup was thrown, I understand why plates were broken. I so wish I understood back then.
I was lucky also you know - you were at everyone of my sporting events, supporting me and shouting at the ref no matter what the sport. You always had meals cooked for us even when they had to be cooked in the bathroom because we were remodeling. You were always there for me when I needed a safe place to escape from my world to. You were there when we drove from WI to CA on our road trip; even though I was still angry. You were amazing and went white water rafting with me when we got to the Colorado River; just because we both needed a break and neither of us had ever done anything like that.
I was angry for years after you moved to Yap right after I graduated from high school because I felt abandoned (spell that word) when you left. I was angry when you left Guam before I could leave because I felt abandoned. I was angry when you decided to pass over because once again it was about me and how I felt. I never really stopped to think about you and how you felt. I saw you crawl down the hall in so much pain just to get to the couch... and I didn't understand.
How I wish I could take back all those judgements and ask for your forgiveness. Today I have to forgive myself and I can only hope that you would understand that it has taken me a real, real long time to grow up... but maybe, just maybe I'm a bit closer than I was 10 years ago.
I remember our last Fourth of July together and what fun that was. It has always been both of our favorite holiday. I remember not understanding when you couldn't make it to the bathroom just one more time... and me thinking - Gosh what a drunk... it was really never about the drinking - it was about you trying your hardest to control the pain, both physical and emotional - I get it now mama.
I love you can't even begin to express the feelings I have for you and what you have meant to me... and I wish you could see now how much you have molded me into the person I am. For that I say thank you...hopefully now with peace.