My mother died on February 23, 1973. Mother’s Day has always been very hard because I was so close to her and loved her deeply. When I found out that she had cancer and was going to die, I died inside and spent many years in deep depression, alone and without a close family. She was the one who had kept us all together.
Recently I was going through some boxes and found a letter that she wrote to me in on March 5, 1972 when I went to Paris to marry Steve. I wrote two blogs on this, Paris bound to marry Steve and No love in the city of love.
She also gives advice about Rich, who became my second husband, discussed in Walking on eggs.
As I read the letter, with tears flowing down my face, I realized how right she had been. I should have followed her loving advice.
Here are some excerpts from the letter, regarding my trip to Paris and about Rich, the man I married on the rebound from Steve.
“Dearest Sandra, We were so happy to receive your letter! It sounds like you are having a lovely time and Steve sounds very nice and happy. I love the part about the whistling.” (I had told her that Steve, who never showed much emotion, had said that he was so happy, that he “caught himself whistling on the way home from work!”)
“I’m glad you went – the situation here was wonderful, only in that we had you close to us.” (She, my father and sister had returned from Brazil for Mom’s treatment for cancer.)
“But I could never be happy even with you living next door with someone putting you down in front of friends and acquaintances, considering you stupid because you didn’t peal vegetables fast, picking fights with men who looked at you in parking lots, yelling at women drivers. and leaving you in a restaurant because he thought the waiter was flirting with you and any number of things which are completely unreasonable.
There is no way to assume things would grow better. And these things were not because of the threat of Steve, because Rich grew worse as the possibilities for him in your relationship improved. This is just his personality and I’m sorry for him for losing you, but on the other hand it would be equally hard or harder for Steve to lose you now, so you must think of your happiness. You and Steve have mutual friends in St. Louis whom you both enjoy, and you naturally can be proud of one another.
I’m sure the symphony could grow boring now and then, but not as much as spending weekends with Rich and his friends! This sounds like I’m all for Steve. which I can’t say is exactly true, since I don’t know him well, but since I do know Rich well, all the reports on Steve sound like a much gayer and healthier life… (Gay had a different connotation then.)…and much more possibilities for lasting happiness. Obviously Steve is in love with you.”
“Love is more than being attracted to someone. It’s mutual respect also. Rich doesn’t have this for you, and you couldn’t have it for him. Even if you don’t marry Steve I think it would be a real sad mistake to marry Rich. He did come over the other day, crying, and admitted that it was all his fault and that he couldn’t bear losing you. Dad felt sorry for him and gave him your address in Paris. Just remember everything that has happened in case he does write to you!
We saw Paris on the news last night (in connection with the Peace Talks, ) and every one was all bundled up in over coats, and it looked like perhaps snow was on the ground!?… so I’m glad for your good warm coat and boots. It’s nice to know the exact time difference because I can think about you better. I go to bed around 10:30 or 11 and am sure you are in bed asleep (4:30 or 5 a.m. there!) When I get up, I know it’s already mid afternoon there and when we are having lunch, Steve has probably just gotten home. We are so anxious to hear more, hoping a letter will come tomorrow.
We love you dearly, Mother.”
Another Mother’s Day will come and go without you. I’ve missed you terribly all these years, but having a mother like you has made up for the time we lost. I know that Dad is now with you. Sheila gave me your violin after Dad died. I cherish having it, and can still hear the beautiful sounds of your playing.
All my love, Sandra