Letter to Mama

Column Post by Lisa Easterling

Dear Mama,

These are days I really could use being able to talk to you.

I think we would be spending a lot of time together, you and I. I wish I had made more time for you when you were still here. I know you would say it’s okay, that I did my best, but I would give almost anything to have those days back.

My kids are almost all grown up, Mama. How did this happen so fast? I wonder, did you feel like someone had sucked all the air out of the room the afternoon I told you at 16 that I was pregnant and by the end of the day I was a bride and three weeks later I was a wife? Because I have a daughter on the edge of 17 and thank God she has so much more sense than I did and already in her young life is wiser than I was at twice her age, but she’s growing up so quickly and I already miss her and she isn’t even gone yet.

How did you do it, Mama? How did you watch your kids grow up and move on in their lives without running after them and begging them to slow down and let you hold them just a little bit longer? Because sometimes that’s how I feel.

Life seems to be speeding up and I want it to slow down so I can breathe and squeeze the essence out of each little moment and why aren’t you here so I can ask you all these things?

The grief books lied. They told me it would get easier, the missing you. It isn’t easier.

I don’t miss you less like they said. I miss you bigger and deeper and more gut-crushingly than anything I could ever have thought grieving could be.

You’re gone too soon and I can’t make you come back and I am mad. Oh, I am so mad, Mama, and not at you and not at God but just mad because you should be here. We should be spending this time together, these hours that are coming so lonely, should be talking over coffee and joking silly like we used to and starting cookie dough fights and stirring chicken and dressing with our hands and playing UpWords and plotting pranks.

It’s been six years, and still sometimes in the night I cry for you. Well, sometimes in the day, too. Sometimes the only way I can get through this is to just not think about you, but that empty is worse. I would rather feel the pain than to not feel you.

I miss you, Mama. And I love you now even more than I did, and I wish I could I could hug you and tell you how these days I’m living through right now make me long for you more than I could ever have imagined.

The tears I shed for you, though, I consider a gift because they mean you are still part of me, still nestled deep in my heart where you will always remain. I see you a little more clearly each year in my bathroom mirror staring back at me. Rosie has your smile, and sometimes when she turns a certain way I draw in my breath at the resemblance. How I wanted her to know you longer, you to watch her grow up.

Your littlest granddaughter Rosabelle is soon to be two, but she “so fresh from Heaven” holds in her tiny heart an odd connection to you, almost as though she remembers you from a place and time before. She asks nearly every day to see your picture in the hallway, and talks in her baby-like way as though she knows you well. Something in me imagines you holding her close while our gracious God knit her together to join us here. I don’t know if the story fits with truth, but I do know that she gently traces your face through the glass with a familiarity only God could explain.

I take these things to God, and I ask Him to heal the hurt so I can keep going, keep trying to mother my children as they are so swiftly taking flight, with the fierceness and courage of the woman who mothered me.

If I can’t make you come back, at least I can make you proud.

 . . . . . . . . . .

Share your heart, too? We would love it if you would take a moment to leave a comment and connect with us.

Lisa Easterling is a lifelong resident of the Tampa Bay area alongside her husband Steve, five children, and two grandchildren. A pioneer for home education in Florida, she has served in various areas of Christian ministry for the past 32 years. Lisa is a lifelong writer, editor, creative writing coach, and Site Director for Write Where It Hurts. Her favorite place to write is near the ocean, and she particularly loves helping others to fall in love with words. Lisa blogs at www.lisaeasterling.com and can be reached by emailing blue@lisaeasterling.com.


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6 thoughts on “Letter to Mama

  1. Lisa I feel the same way. My mama should be here too! It will be two years in September but I was so looking forward to shopping trips, cooking together and making things together and she and I teaching my daughter how to sew. I miss her like crazy. It’s so amazing how much my
    soon to be six year old still talks about her. We even sang happy birthday to her on her birthday as I told him we could as she’s in Heaven watching over us. She was an amazing woman and touched many people with the way she lived her life every day.

    • Your mama sounds like a sweetheart, Renee. I’m sorry you have to walk this path of grief. I had always heard there is no pain for a woman like the pain of losing her mother. I have found that to be more true than I ever could have imagined before I lived it. It is a physical ache. Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing a moment with me, dear friend. Might we hold one another up in prayer in our sorrow? I wish you lovely blessings as you mother your sweet daughter and create beautiful memories with her that she will carry always.

  2. I can hardly see through my tears. I held my Daddy’s hand yesterday as he struggled to breathe. He is transitioning into his last days here on earth. I have no words to describe the pain though I’m sure you already understand. Both of my parents are dying. I’m sure my daddy will go first, then my mom will be quickly behind him.

    I’m sorry about the loss of your mom. :o( (((hugs))) Thank you for sharing your heart.


    • Oh, dear Beth, my heart breaks for you. I can’t imagine having lost both of my parents within a short time frame. Please know I will be lifting you and your family up to our Lord, for strength and courage and comfort in the days ahead. I am wishing you love as our Father hides you in the shadow of His wing.

    • She adored you. I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t already been so crazy about you she would’ve made me marry you. Good to know I was certain to marry you one way or another. I will always bless God for that. I love you.

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