April 10th, 2013
I usually prepare for this day, I gear up for it like a court appearance, this one and Mother’s Day are the toughest—today was different. I woke up today knowing April 10th is significant but I couldn’t recall why. I even went through the calendar in my phone thinking I was missing someone’s birthday. I noticed Joselyn’s birthday is tomorrow and I don’t have her email, ever since we moved away from the US, email is my only line of communication with my people in the states—I don’t have hers. I emailed the chef and asked him to get Joselyn’s email for me—he did. I finished my second cup of coffee and made my shake before hailing a cab to the gym, as I locked the door behind me, it finally dawned on me: I buried my mother on this day exactly six years ago.
Sheila Jo: 09.26.55 - 04.10.2013. This is a picture of her taken in January, 1956—have you ever seen anything so perfect??
@puravidaville says you’d be proud of the man I’ve become, I hope she’s right, I have a long way to go, I wish you guys could’ve met. I’m not a big fan of this day, I think I’d rather have a sit down at the federal building in Fresno, Ca—I hate those people. Aunt Sarah just emailed me, she said “sending my love and a big hug to you today. I miss your mom every day, can you imagine how great she has felt the past six years?” That was nice of her, she’s been very nice to me ever since you left. She even talks to me now—it feels amazing, sorry you didn’t get to see it. Joshawillis said “Good! Maybe she’ll finally realize just how’fa king cool you are.” You did that, mom, all by yourself—you raised someone they think is cool.
I’m sorry it had to go down like this, I wish things were different. I think about you all of the time. Just #writing this article is difficult and my eyes keep rinsing off my cheeks. I think I’ll take a shower now and hit the pipe, you’d love the weed down here in Costa Rica, mom, it’s top shelf! It’s so good, you hardly have to smoke it, just looking at it gets you stoned. Alright, that’s what I’m going to do now, I need a shower—I’ll be back. I love you, mom!
I’m back, I’m so fresh n so clean now, remember that one? I miss you every day. I miss passing a Pendleton handle back and forth with you at the river. I won’t even drive that highway anymore. I miss the way you extended your laughs with a high-pitched exhale. I miss playing backgammon with you, man what I’d give for just one more game of backgammon—I would love that!
I wish I could talk to you again, just one more time, I won’t even talk! I’ll just listen—promise! I won’t interrupt you or try to correct you or anything, I’ll just listen and you can ‘talk my ear off,’ as you used to say it. I tell everyone about that, I tell them how you used to end our phone calls by saying, “ok, I’ll let you go now, I’ve probably talked your ear off.” I had your voice saved in the voice memos in my phone, I can’t even remember how it happened now but I don’t have your voice anymore. It’s probably for the best.
Pura Vida says she believes both you and her dad on watching over us and that’s why our lives are so easy—she says you’re my angel and you’re always watching over me. I guess if I had to have an angel, a mom is the best kind—thank you! Keep an eye out for me!! I need all the help I can get.
I’m sure you already know but that entire storage unit got stolen, they stole every.single.thing I had left of you, the only pictures I have are the few in my phone that aunt Sarah sent me. They took everything, even your baby book and your report cards from when you were in grade school—I’m sorry. All I really wanted were those five letters I found from you, addressed to me, after you left. You’re the coolest mom in the world! I don’t know anyone else who can say that, that they found five letters from their mom or parent after they left—that was so awesome. They were in a small, clear piece of plastic Tupperware with a red lid, the size of a shoe box, I wish I never left that box in the storage unit. I think about those letters all of the time and I wish I could remember what they say.
I could probably write this letter forever, you know? There’s so many things I’d like to say but I’d rather just hear you. If I had the opportunity to tell you one more thing, I’d tell you “I know how much you love me.” Look at the simplicity in that sentence, not a wOrd in it has more than one syllable and it’s something I never said until after you were gone. I hope you know that. I hope you don’t mind me writing this #letter like this, it’s the only thing I could think of doing. I keep taking breaks from writing because I don’t want to stop but I also don’t know what to say.
I asked Filipe if he’d mind going down to La Casita today, have a chicken chimichanga and a bud light, and take a picture of it for me. He said “absolutely!” I know it’s what we used to do on your birthday, not your death day, but I feel so awkward for not remembering the significance of today’s date that I’m just doing whatever I can think of to draw attention to you—he’s going to send me a picture. I’ll respond to Aunt Sarah’s email after I click the post button on this and I’ll attach a link to this article for her—she misses you all of the time, I hope she likes it. I wish I could do more.
What am I thinking?! Listen to me, acting all “poor me” again, I don’t mean to do that. You don’t care about letters and emails, you’re not concerned with anything worldly anymore—check you out! You got a free ticket when you were 57, do you have any idea how many people have to wait 80 and 90 years for that ticket? You got yours real early, too early for those of us down here who love and miss you but just in time for you—perfect timing. I’m happy for you. I hope we get to see each other again. Everyone says we will, they all say we’ll be reunited with our loved ones when we die but nobody really knows that—I wouldn’t even call it a guess. To say “you’ll see them again” is nothing more than a sentence typed in English.
What’s it like up there? Or, over there, around there, wherever the ‘there’ is, what’s it like there? Can you already see me with you? Tell grandma and grandpa I miss them and I think about them all of the time. Make Uncle Paul laugh for me one time with that raspy, coughing voice of his, I miss playing Scrabble against him. Please let Uncle Tim know I’m glad I got to see him on Thanksgiving. I’m going to stop rambling for now, mom, I just want you to know that I know how much you love me.