Self-Love.
Just Effin' Do It.

Dear Mom...

Dear Mom, 

It's been six years since you passed, that's 2190 days without hearing your voice, the way you said my name, Rah- (pause) Naw-Lin in your ever so cheery melody as if it's a jingle you made since I was born. Lord knows, that same cheerfulness lost its tone in the days leading to your passing. Somedays, you tried to sound like your cheery self, but I knew by the hesitancy in the syllables that we've lost all hope of good news and that sheer reality of your illness was gonna take your life, a little too soon for me and all of us. 

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(2012, Visiting Mom's Grave)

Some days I look in the mirror and in a swift glance, I'll see a little bit of you in me. I'll look down at my hands, my thumb (out of all things, looks just like yours). But for the most part, since I'm not back home, there's nothing here that takes me back to you. Somedays I'm afraid that I don't think of you enough, that the only time I stop what I'm doing are during holidays or birthdays or when I come across your photo. I'll sit and watch movies like "Coco" and think, hmm.. is she really up there with dad, grandma and grandpa laughing and reminiscing? 

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(2008, Mom & I in my photo studio)

Six years without you hasn't been easy, I've been lost at times and other times I've used my memories of you to help me figure things out.

Some days the feeling of missing you succumbs me and I can't stop crying, wishing you were still here so you could see how far I've come. Did you know I finally graduated from college mom?! I have an awesome job and living in my dream home! (But don't look at all the dust bunnies in the corners or the laundry that hasn't been folded yet!)  How I wish you could see your not so little grandchildren now.  Caelan and Ethan are practically adults and our little Izzy, my mini-me, she's just as tall as me now! She is quite the "balasang" and you would be so proud of how Rudy and I have raised them. But most of all, I wish you could see me. I've grown so much and I've learned to appreciate this one very beautiful life. I wish you were here to see the kind of woman I am today because of you. 

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(2008 Mom & Izzy, first time mom has seen snow!)

Six years without you has been so scary at times.

Some days I feel like I try to remember everything you taught me about being a Mom and other days I feel like I was robbed of so much with you. The further I get away from the day you left the easier it gets but the scarier it becomes. I find myself closer to the age you were when I lost you. I feel older and not sure how to navigate this whole thing without you by my side, without you on the other end of the phone, without you in my corner.

I try and remember all the good times, the sweet memories from the time we shared and not just the one bad day you left us. My regrets from those final days are many and sometimes they weigh me down.

Losing you I lost some of me.

I took a different path when you left me. I like to smile and think that I am where I am today because of your guidance and because I lost you.

I'm here today because of you, Mom.

Six years and forever to go of missing you but every now and then, I'll dream about you and in that little moment between the dreams and reality, I get to see you and hear you. 

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Your Annako, 
Ronalyn

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