A Letter to Altuna

July 6th / 1:43 P.M.

Dearest Mama,

On most days, during car rides I've been on, I think about your last moments, and I half-heartedly wish I was there, holding your hand. They described these moments to me, and I tried to envision them. You were peaceful, they all say. You went without struggling, only deep breaths, and then you went.

As one of your children, I couldn't help but have the same reaction whenever I close my eyes and play that part of the movie in my head, the one I dislike the most. I would die seeing you go. Me sitting there, helpless. You were always so full of life, Mama. And to see you, just lying there...

They said, another one of your last moments were that, as soon as you saw that you were home, you cried, but you were smiling. And knowing you, I knew what you were thinking.

"I'm home, Lord. I'm ready."

During those moments Mama, I wonder what your thoughts were. Were you happy, Ma? Did you feel fulfilled, cos I hope you did. You couldn't have done any more better than you have. Were you thinking about me too, Mama? I hope you were, and I wished, I wished, I wished I was there telling you the things you already knew. I love you, I'm sorry, I will miss you everyday, and that a part of me will go with you, and I will never be whole.

I know you can see how things are going on at home. I keep telling myself I have very big shoes to fill. You go to work, and when you get home, you make sure we had something to eat, you would do the laundry and iron the clothes. You'd prepare your lesson for the next day, and tutor 2-3 children in our living room. In addition to that, as soon as I get home, I'd find you in the Kitchen, asking me if I wanted anything, and then we would sit there for hours, at least until Papa got home, we would be talking about everything, you would tell me how adorable your students were, and I would endlessly rant about, well, what else. I don't know how you do it Ma. I can barely even pick up after myself, and I can't take care of Papa the way you do. I know you're probably telling me to do something about this new attitude I've developed. I was already lethargic before you went, I'm not proud to say its gotten worse.

I'm sure you're proud of Andrew. He's doing so well in adjusting to this new life he has with us. He and Papa are very well bonded. And you see how he helps around the house. Also, don't you notice how he and Gringo have become so close? Andrew can hold him for minutes, longer than we could! Did you have something to do about that?

Look at this photo of us. You are so beautiful, Ma. This is making me cry. Up to this day, I still can't believe you're gone. I think its going to be like that for awhile. As soon as I realize that you're really not here anymore, and not just off to a long vacation somewhere, I fall to pieces. Its like that movie I made you watch, remember? 50 First Dates - and I'm Drew Barrymore, only everyday I have to find out that you're gone. Everyday I have to face the same heartbreak.

Sorry this letter is so random. I'm all over the place.
I miss you everyday. Please don't leave me completely. I want to feel your presence, I want to feel you around me up until the day we finally meet.

Stay with me, Mama. I love you. Its not enough, but... I love you.

Love, Nee