Letter to Heaven

Dear Mom,

Usually my correspondence with you is a quick, fleeting thought about how much I miss you, or yes, sometimes cursing you for leaving us with so many memories of you.

Today I wanted to sit and let you and my little blog world know what happened this weekend.

It’s November. While you were alive November and December were the months I saw you the most and was closest to you. The craft fairs, the Cookie Exchange, Christmas and all the planning in between- we saw and talked to each other often. We did the St. Thomas fair together and then the St. Andrew’s fair right afterwards. I guess it was a good idea I didn’t do the St. Thomas fair (shame on you, Catholic church and St. Thomas PTA- you know what I’m talking about…) because the St. Andrew’s fair was hard. Very hard.

Dad had given me the rest of your crafts to sell and donated your Christmas earrings to the soccer girls to sell for their fundraising. They worked so hard on their crafts- many of the materials came from you (the angel pins and the bead and lace ornaments.) One of the things I heard over and over from the kids as I taught them how to make these things was “how do you know how to do this?” And I told them honestly that Zombiegirl’s grandma taught me how.

You’ve taught me so much, Mom.

Their table was packed full of things to sell! And the girls were polite in dealing with the public even if they couldn’t figure out how to make change. But not your granddaughter. She made change like a pro. She’s been tagging along to so many craft sales that she ran my whole table for me, leaving me time to catch up with my church friends (Joni- black? Really? I don’t understand…) and to watch over the soccer girls. My table was full of tutus and MR’s carvings and your crafts.

You sold the rest of your beautifully soft scarves. I love these scarves. The gray and white one you made me got me through all the tears from last year. Haley and Kendal fought over that bright blue one, and Kendal finally ended up with it. And she wore it the next night at the soccer awards. It made me so proud! Almost all of your earrings went as well as your two string mooses! You’ve had those guys for years! Always turning up at the bottom of the bag, never to be sold. Now they’re finally in a good home. Everything was going well at the fair until I opened this one little plastic bag tucked under some paper.

Your birthstone angels.

You worked so hard on your angels. You fretted about the colors of each bead, trying to get them to match the birthstone exactly. You spent hours at the fair untangling the string to hang them on the display case in month order. Every year you had four or five of each month to sell.

There were about 12 left in the bag. You never had the time to make more.

My first impulse was to hang them up and put them out to sell. But I couldn’t. They were too special to me. I didn’t want to keep all of them, either, so I offered one to each of the soccer girls that were there and to their little siblings. They marveled at them- they were so beautiful! Thank you, Soo! One of the moms questioned why I was giving them out and I told them they were yours and I wanted the girls to have a piece of you. She started getting all choked up and then I lost it.

I had been fine all day. Seeing those angels though made me realize how much I miss your awesomeness. My loss made me cry, right there, at the craft table. You would have hated that…

Mom, how often did I tell you that I thought you were talented? How often did I tell you how much I admired you? How often did I tell you how much I loved you?

Probably not enough.

You infuriated me to no end. Your stubbornness and personality continuously clashed with mine. I had to “learn” how to deal with you. But your creativity and talent was always admired- I know sitting with you as a kid taught me how to craft, bake, decorate cakes and sew. I should have told you more how much you were appreciated. Your ego could have used a little more stroking. You were truly talented and very generous. I could only hope to be like you in that respect.

So now we come to the holidays. Christmas was your holiday. Every year you had everyone over at your house- it was the only time of the year I saw my cousins- and you always decorated, using your collection of Three Wise Men and all the elves. I turned to your countless times on advice on baking and relied on you for the games for the Cookie Party. How to cook a ham. To sew manager costumes for the girls. To remember the name of a certain hymn.

How will I get through December without you?

I know now what you felt like when Robbie died a week before Christmas 20 years ago. How you resented the holidays for years afterwards. But you bounced back for the girls and made Christmas your own again. I know I have to stay strong for the girls and Daddy and make Christmas special. But I’m not sure I can make it through the preparations without your guiding hand and advice readily available on the other end of the phone. I’m not sure how to deal with the other loss in my life this Christmas. I’m really not ready for this…

So I just wanted to say thanks, Mom. For the beads, lace, stuffing, earrings, scarves and angels. But mostly for being the creative inspiration in my life. I owe that all to you. And as for celebrating Christmas, we’ll muddle through the best we can and see you in all the sparkly and twinkly stuff.

Because we know how much you liked the sparkly stuff.

Happy Thanksgiving, Mom. I miss you.

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