Dear Mom – on Mother’s Day

Dear Mom – on Mother’s Day
My mother in the late 1950s.  She passed away when I was 6 years old.

Dear Mom,

Just wanted to say I’m thinking of you on your day. Even though it’s been 41 years since we saw each other, you’re on my mind every Mother’s Day.

Growing up without you I had so many people say to me “it must have been rough not having a mom” – but they didn’t know you had a plan for me the whole time.

I’m always thankful you sent so many fantastic women to be a part of my life along the way. We all definitely need great women around us and I’ve been so blessed to have them in my life the whole way; whether it was our neighbor across the street Beverly Hardin, my god mother Lee Sullivan, “big Diane” Roberts and “Ma Bell” John Bell’s mom in high school or Carlye’s mom Jackie, I always felt surrounded by that ‘mom energy.’ I never felt like a motherless child.

I always knew you were there every step. The day I discovered I had a gift for moving and dancing, I knew where it came from, and I never took credit for that. Your gift opened more doors than imaginable. I lived the dream because of you.

Speaking of ‘the dream’, thank you for Donna McKechnie who calls me “the son she never had.” I never dreamed I would work with my inspiration; and it’s always a high to work, talk, and just spend time with her. Sometimes when she laughs, I see you and I know you’re here.

And while she wasn’t a mother figure to me, more than any other woman in my life, thank you for sending Carlye to me. While my early childhood was kind of splintered, practically my whole life has been grounded in knowing I have family wherever Carlye is. To quote a famous country song: “she’s half the man I am.”

All these things assured me that I belonged. Somewhere. Wherever I was.

Although time and space may separate us, that’s what I’ve learned about family – there may be distance, but not disconnect.

By the way, that other gift that connects me to you – the cancer journey – thanks for that. I thought of you the whole way. It was a rough ride for both of us, and even though it may look like I came out of it a little better than you in the end, I hope I got the message. Even from the age of six, I remember your courage. And I tried to emulate that every day along the way. Cancer is not just something I see on TV anymore. Having lived it through you and now personally myself, I stop and talk to every child, every woman, every man that’s taking that journey. Even if all I have to offer is just a smile and a touch on their shoulder, I let them know we go on. And at the end of all of it we can come out a bit improved, if we pay attention. Thanks for that.

I know where you are today the weather is amazing. I know you and Dad will go dancing on a cloud tonight. That’s what you two do.

Tell him I love and miss him. As you know, he did a great job on his own with Gary and me for a long, long time. I smile when I think about you two being together again.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

I love you.

p.s. last one – thanks for the blond hair. Michael likes it. Who knows if I’d be married for 17 years without it? One more gift. xoxo

Dear Mom – on Mother’s Day
Me and Jackie Hughes – Carlye’s mom – the woman I have called Mother for over 30 years.