Dear Mom,


Dear Mom,

When I lost you, there was a hole in my heart that would never be filled. I tried for years to fill it, but nothing came close. Our small community surrounded me with love and support in my grief, but those warm hearts that extended their condolences quickly put me and every one of my choices under the microscope of their judgment. My friends didn’t know what to say to me. My grief was the elephant in the room. I felt an incredible pressure to fill your shoes. It took me years to realize that was an impossibility. I eventually left to test out my wings…and I did it. I flew! I met a part of me I had not met yet, discovered strength I never knew I had, and learned to love without limitations. AND I met some pretty wonderful humans along the way. 

Here I am 33 years later and oh how I wish we could sit and have a margarita together. My motherhood journey has been a wild ride, but what a beautiful ride it has been. It has been terrifying and oftentimes all consuming. It has been filled with so much doubt and uncertainty…and in so many ways it still is.

Being a mom is the only thing I knew I wanted to do in life, but my fear in becoming one came from not having you there to help me navigate all the things and only having 14 short years and an incomplete roadmap to use as a reference. 

We didn’t find out the gender of our first baby, so when they placed my precious Savannah in my arms, I was overwhelmed with God’s generosity to give me a daughter so that I could revive the mother/daughter connection I had so deeply missed. I am not sure I have ever missed you more than I did in those early days of being a new mom. Family members came and went from our house without a thought to actually help or encourage, there were many critics, but very few who came alongside me in an effort of support. Breastfeeding was so much harder than the books told me it would be, I was exhausted, and I had things leaking out of every possible orifice of my body! So 5 days after she was born, I dissolved into a pile of tears at her first doctor’s appointment when her pediatrician put his arm around me and said, “Oh Mama, you are doing such a great job!” – I just simply lost it. I felt as if I was holding my breath waiting to hear I was doing ok for this little human who fully depended on me to survive. God and I had many many sacred middle of the night conversations while I rocked and walked my newborn. The prayers I prayed during that vulnerable time of my life are so very precious to me still. And through all of the uncertainty and late night prayer sessions…guess what…? God showed up. I found a beautiful group of Mamas that all lived within a few blocks of me. I often say that these incredible women ‘taught me how to be a mom’. We traveled this journey together. Learning from each other, supporting each other, praying for each other, cleaning each other’s houses, trading babysitting for date nights, sharing recipes, playdates at the park, story time at the library…all of it. We did it. And it was a beautiful season of life. 

Our little firecracker, Randi Jo came along 5 years later and she has added so much color to our lives from Day 1. Oh how you would love your granddaughters! They have the coolest relationship with each other. They are tenacious, spunky, and so incredibly smart. The injustice fighter that lived in you is alive and well in me and they have definitely inherited that gene as well in their own unique way. They both love Jesus and their Daddy, who is truly the best decision I ever made. Savannah is happily married and building a life she loves. Randi is about to fly the nest and she is doing it with so much strength and grace. 

This all paints a beautiful picture and it is, but it didn’t come easy. I struggled as a new mom, as a mom of pre-teens, a mom of teenagers, and oh dear Lord…parenting an adult child has been the hardest of all the seasons yet. I have had days where I could hardly get out of bed. I have cried rivers of tears and made so so many mistakes along the way. I have a long list of many regrets for things I didn’t do, couldn’t do, or should’ve done differently. Thank God, my therapist, my amazing girlfriends, and maybe a little help from Breckenridge Brewery, I am in the final weeks of this bird launching season of motherhood and so far I am still standing.

I often wonder what our relationship would look like in this season. Would we be close? Would we have fought terribly? Would we be friends today? Oh how I have watched my friends with their moms through the years with such tenderness and envy. I wish so badly you could have been there for so many moments in my life, witnessing, guiding, and cheering me on. I wish I knew you better as a woman, wife, and friend. Your best friend just recently told me you were a foosball champion…who knew? Such fun information to learn about you. 

I have parented through the lens of what I would have hoped our relationship would have been like and what I needed growing up. Sometimes this perspective has worked in my favor, sometimes it backfired, but it is the reality of my journey. From what my memory recollects, you were a wonderful mother and our short journey together as mother/daughter was a beautiful one. So I took what you planted and did my best to grow my garden, not only in myself, but with my 2 beautiful daughters. I think you would be proud of the legacy I have carried on and the love that grows here.

I truly pray that God pulls back the curtain of heaven from time to time to let you take a peak at us and when you do I hope you see the love you left here in me. 

I love you Mom!

Love ~


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