I know now she knew

Grief is a funny thing. You think you’ve given it enough time. You’ve rested, you’ve blubbered until your eyes burn and your nose hurts to touch it. You’ve sat ever so still and let everything wash over you until you become sick of your own sadness. Finally, the urge to get up and start moving forward pushes you and, when you do, it feels good. Good cheer slips into your life again.


The brain, the good old prehistoric monkey brain, finds an unhappy bone to knaw on and fills your head with miserable questions you figure you’ll never know the answer to. Questions like—did Mom, under the weight of her dementia, understand how much she meant to me? Or what about the times, when, no matter how hard I tried not to show my frustrations, they were in my face and then in hers—did she know I loved her to pieces? Did she?

I found my answer while sorting through papers in her wallet. I came across a small clear plastic envelope with the words for Cathie only written on it. Tucked inside was a letter I’d written to her thirty-five years ago on Mother’s Day.

I choose to believe that letter was her way of telling me she always knew.

A belief I’m going to hang onto . . . along with the letter.

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