Momma called me one night and asked, “Are you sure you’re alright?” My face pressed to the phone. Sitting on the couch all alone. My bottom lip held tight as my teeth firmly bite. I knew when she asked that question she actually meant it. I could hear her concern. I’m holding back a river of tears and my eyes begin to burn.
As usual I’m feeling dull. And after a short conversational lull, I reply, “Yeah, I’m okay I'm just a little tired.” Tears start to roll down my face one by one but I keep my cry silent. I need her to think my attitude’s still vibrant. Like it was when I was little. When my hair was short and blonde. When my smile was carefree. When I laughed and loved each day for the whole world to see. Damn, I miss that version of me.
“Okay..” A pause in her voice. I start to think my words didn’t convince. “Just know that I’ll always love you no matter what.” My heart sliced open in two inside my chest as I wince. It hurts knowing she loves me a thousand times more than I’ve ever loved anything. Especially the face I see in the mirror. I fear that face. The face I’d give anything to erase. The space between my mom and I is a few hundred miles right now. But the words she said struck something deep in my soul and in my head. It feels like my whole body shakes each time my heart pounds.
“I love you too.” I say it but that doesn’t make it true. Because when you’re lost in this thick paste of feeling blue, the only thing on your mind is you. Self-obsessing over the same sadness is the one thing you know how to do.
Other people tried to help me when I was lost but my mom’s the only person who was consistent. Her phone calls were the only ones persistent. She never stopped sending me all her love even though I was resistant.
A thank you isn’t close to enough to skew the scale of emotional debts overdue. Mom, I wouldn’t have had the strength to walk a mile in your shoes. But know each day when I say, “I love you” those three words are being spoken with one hundred percent truth. All my dreams and aspirations are right in view. When I’ll actually get there, I have no clue. But when I finally get to sit back and look at the sunset’s hue, I’ll smile looking back at what I made it through. I’ll smile knowing I owe this all to you.