Have I ever told you of the time
When my mother told me she loved me,
And I last truest believed it?
It was so long ago,
I couldn’t tell you how old I was
When I heard those words.
Over the years of therapy
The surroundings have faded just enough
That I can see my childhood home
But none of the details.
Which is probably for the better, after all.
I see her sitting up in bed,
Kind of drifting but it’s still her.
I wonder now if she was really there,
Or if something was turned off inside.
Now I’m unsure.
But there she is,
And she turns to me and says the sentence
That everyone desires to hear.
“I love you”
I don’t even recall if she said my name.
Then she smiled at me.
That’s where the memory ends,
Nothing before or after.
Just a vision I have
Through a younger me, alone,
Standing in the hallway
With her usually shut door wide open.
I wish I could say I ran to her.
I wish I could say she turned to me
With open welcoming arms.
That she hugged me and held me
For a second longer than I needed,
But just the second longer that I wanted.
I can almost smell her natural scent
Sweet but slightly musky.
It’s odd to think back to this
Knowing that many years came after,
Without a single moment of tenderness.
But I just wanted to share that with you,
So that you understand, why I say it so often.
To know why I want you
To always mean it, when it’s said.
Because I can tell the difference,
And I can’t be the only one.
Its also why I have to be
Undoubtedly sure before I say it,
What if one day, someone thought back
To a moment with me and questioned
If I meant what I said?
I never would want anyone to feel that,
The emptiness that chills over your soul.
That’s why, right now,
I need you to hear these words.
I Love You
And know, I mean it.
Mother, I don’t know if I’ll ever miss you.