At the Children’s Grief Center there is an activity that involves writing a letter to your loved one who has died. I had shared a letter I wrote to my father, and I thought today, on the anniversary of my mother’s death, I would share one I wrote to her:
I remember when I fell off a horse the first time I took a riding lesson. Even though the instructor said I should get right back on immediately, you let me take my time, cry it out, and wait until I was ready.
It would have been nice if we’d had more time, if you’d had more time. I wonder who I would be had you lived longer. Would I be more lady-like? Would I be less like my father? Would I be more outgoing?
I’m really sorry for being a stubborn, eye-rolling adolescent, for arguing with you about silly things like making my bed. “Just close the door if you don’t like it,” I’d say. You’d be happy to know that now I make my bed every morning.
If you were here right now I would probably complain about you. It’s what daughters do. But I’d also invite you to all my parties and ask you to bring a dish to share because you were an awesome cook.
Thank you for teaching me to cook and how to host a party. While those aren’t skills I can necessarily make a living with, they are good for creating and maintaining community, for sharing with friends, and showing my appreciation to the people in my life I care about. And every time I open the Joy of Cooking looking for one of “your” recipes, I think of you.