May 2015

Letter to My Mother

Author: Linda S. Hopkins

1 Pearly Gate Way, Heaven

You were right. The boys were only after one thing. The mean girls were jealous. My skirts were too
short, my heels too high and my bangs too long.

You were right. Sunglasses help prevent wrinkles, and night cream is essential. It’s important to wear
good quality shoes and have your hair colored at a salon; and yes, too much eyeshadow looks
cheap. (Sorry, but I’m still a fan of the smoky eye.)

You were right. Date night is important in a marriage, although the way to a man’s heart is not
through his stomach. I forgive you for misleading me on that one.

You were right. Real friends don’t care where you live or what you wear. Happiness can’t be bought. And laughter really is the best medicine.

Thanks for all the times you rocked and sang me to sleep. Thanks for washing wet sheets and not punishing or embarrassing me. I really couldn’t help it, but paying me a nickel for every dry night was certainly an incentive for trying. And thanks for cutting the cantaloupe into little balls. It tasted better that way.

Thank you for teaching me to love stray cats and for letting me observe the miracle of birth in your closet. Thank you for those pictures you drew about how babies are made. That must have been awkward, but you sure were cool about it.

Thanks for insisting that the mole on my cheek was a “beauty mark.”

Thank you for bringing home new dresses for me when you couldn’t afford one for yourself.

Thanks for the piano lessons and for all the times you listened to me bang out “The Little Speed Boat” and “The Spinning Song.” I love music and can still play a fairly decent version of “Claire de Lune.”

Thanks for the smiles you kept in your pocket. I can picture you pretending to pull one out and put it on my face. Worked magic every time, and the memory of it still does.

Thanks for wiping away my tears when I had no date to prom. Thanks for holding back yours on the day you dropped me off at college. Thanks for working and saving to pay my way. Thanks for permission to
test my wings and for believing I would fly.

Thanks for never saying, “I told you so.” I’m sure it was difficult to hold your tongue when I did things my way and they went awry. Thanks for being the safe harbor when I needed a landing place.

I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you at the end. I missed saying goodbye. I would have sung at your
funeral service, but the words were stuck in my throat.

Please know how much I appreciate the sacrifices you made for me. In spite of our differences and a few misunderstandings along the way, we loved each other, and I know you did your best. I see you in the mirror each day, in the apples of my cheeks and my big, toothy smile. I repeat your favorite jokes often, and I strive to remember the most important lesson you taught me: “Life is short. Don’t take it too seriously.”

Thank you for watching over me from above. I hope you are proud of the woman I have become.

Thanks. You were right.



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