I remember the day you left, I remember the sinking feeling, the hole that suddenly was there. I remember knowing nothing would ever be the same. I remember seeing the tears of Daddy, Uncle Ram and even Jason, yet I could shed none of my own. I remember wondering what was going to happen now, where would I go, what would become of me, without you. I remember hoping it was a lie, that somehow you would return.

I remember the first time I cried, I could no longer hold it in. It was Christmas and everyone was so happy and I was still hurting. I was in pain, this wasn’t the I miss you I had when I was 5 or 6. I still heard your voice then, I knew you would return. This was the you are gone, never to return. This was my heart being torn out each morning I realised you weren’t there. This was knowing I would never see you or hear your voice again pain.

I remember the first time I saw you in my dreams. I made you a superhero in a way, you were a CIA agent who faked your death to protect your kids. In my dream, you said nothing to me, you ignored me but sent me notes telling me why. You were being hunted by some drug lord and we mattered too much to chance. You wrote me a letter telling me everything, yet still, I woke up barely breathing and in tears.

I remember dialing your number just to hear your voicemail, I still remember the number 999-4459. I called it so often for so long and then the inevitable happened. The number got recycled. I remember the man that answered. It freaked me out. There was no longer a way to hear your voice, just about the same time I began to forget your face even though your portrait hangs in my room.

I remember the day you would have turned 45, and the day you would have turned 50, and even 55. The first Anniversary without you. The first time i visited your grave. There was no headstone there, but I knew exactly where it was anyway. I haven’t been back since. Too scared to go by myself and no one to go with me, so no Calla Lillies or Pastel Roses laid down in memory of you.

Today, I no longer have firsts when it comes to you. I just have memories of what I have lost. Memories of when I felt more, hurt more, was less numb. It’s not that you matter less or I miss you less, I just have learned to ignore the pain. My own emotional morphine, numbing my heart and head. But like the medication, it sometimes isn’t enough, it can’t always cover the moments I miss you most. I doesn’t cover how empty life feels without you or stop the tears that fall when I’m alone. It doesn’t cover times like this week or days like today. It doesn’t cover my fears or silent destruction. It doesn’t prevent my moments of “what if” that become melancholy days.

So 18 years later, the wounds aren’t as fresh. I still wish I had my Mommy, I still have keeepsakes of you. I wish you never had to go, and some songs remind me too much of you. This is my note to let you

know, and to remind myself, that I love you and I miss you in ways that even these words are unable to detail. You were an amazing woman, a force of nature that God has yet to repeat. I honour the woman you were, I have learned the lessons you taught me, and I hope you would have been proud of who I have become.