“Letters from Mom”

Mom wrote me hundreds of letters and would often send me greeting cards with snipped comics or articles from newspapers or magazines she thought I'd enjoy.

Mom was always exasperated by how much time my little sister and I spent on our hair every morning.

Oct. 19, 1991
Dearest David,

It was good talking with you this afternoon. I loved hearing about all the things you did this weekend – honest. It sounded as if you had fun doing “neat” things, things I would have liked to do. And you even said you didn’t get drunk — please, please, please let that part be true, too. Anyway, I felt sort of proud…

And I’m really proud of you for writing to Jenny and Nana and especially Kay. I don’t think Kay is doing too well. I’ve had a monster cold (green goobers and all) since we got back from Gainesville, so I haven’t seen her. But she went to the hosp. for a bunch of tests and the doctor told her her heart was much worse. And Nana says her stomach is all swollen from the cirohsis (I haven’t got the foggiest idea of how to spell that and I’m too lazy to look it up). I feel really badly about how little contact she has with her kids. Then, once in a while, she tells Nana that, if she has no choice, she’ll go to live with Jack. And then I feel bad for Nana.

Nana says she’s moving back home if the house isn’t sold by November 8. She’s said it before, but I think she’s lonely without Kay there. Maybe she really will move back.

Listen, there’s something I’ve been wanting to talk to you about. I want to apologize for the things I said to you the last time you were here. You were on medication and in some pain and unhappy about being home and I yelled and screamed and said those awful words. I can’t believe I said I hated you; it hurts just to think about it. No excuses – I was hurt, but I was being stupid and self-centered and unloving, and I’m really ashamed of myself and sorry if I hurt you. I know you said you ignore me, but those are awful words, and I can never take them back, not ever. Nor can I erase the look on your face when I said it. Please, forgive me. And, please, know that I love you more than life. Please tell me you know that.

I also wanted to tell you I’m proud of you looking out for Lanie while she’s sick. And I’m glad you’re making some new friends. You usually pick out pretty good ones. Maybe their morals and standards aren’t the same as mine, but, for the most part they have good hearts.

U     D   just called. He asked me to drive him to Leo’s tomorrow to pick up a check. (That’s the place he’s been doing all the tile work.) He says he just got off the phone with Lanie and that he’s coming up there with Kim tomorrow. I’m pretty sure he’s the one who gave her your address. I asked him to keep you two apart. If you don’t want to see her, that’s your business and I could scream at him for getting in the middle. He assures me she doesn’t want to see you. I hope that’s true, but I don’t believe it; she acted very badly, very unwisely in the past (not that you can’t drive people to freak out). Anyway, I hope you don’t have a mess on your hands, you know, a woman scorned and all. You don’t nee that, and don’t be afraid to tell U     D   if you don’t want him to come up with her again.

It’s Sunday; the Series is on. As you probably know, no one won the lottery so it’ll be 70 million next weekend. Mr. W. is behind the plate.

It’s Monday morning. I figured I’d get to work a little early because I have a lot to do today. Anyway, I want to write you long, newsy, philosophical epistles, the kind of things people will find in two hundred years and be impressed by. But, I suppose a Garfield writing tablet precludes being taken too seriously anyway. My goal is to cheer you up and encourage you, to let you know how very much you’re loved and missed without making you feel homesick or guilty. If you think that’s easy. I never do too good a job at this kind of stuff anyway.

Jenny and I have been arguing about being late. Her whole life depends on what kind of “hair day” she is having. It’s almost funny; I can actually remember feeling that way when I was sixteen, as if my hair not looking perfect was the absolute end of the world. Yes, now, I can’t relate to it — I want to tell her (and do) that she has to get things in perspective. The funny thing is that Jen’s hair is so beautiful it almost always looks great. She’s the only one who doesn’t know that.

I’m worried about money again. I still have a little left from Anne, but it’s going fast and I’m concerned about you having enough. When I got the money, I thought Jen and I would both have part-time jobs soon. But, believe it or not, there aren’t any out there. It’s almost as if you have to know someone just to get a part-time job. I think I’ll ask C      D    if Sam needs help at the toy store. Something’s gotta give.

Ah, well, I guess I should go. I love this card.

But I’m glad you’re there. I love you so much,


  • She wrote that last line underneath Garfield the cat’s thought balloon that reads “WISH YOU WERE HERE!”
  • This letter must have been enclosed in a greeting card, but she didn’t date most of those and I’m not sure which one it was. My guess is it’s the one with a cartoon of a guy in a little boat being dragged through the water by a giant fish he’s hooked with a note inside that reads, “Get whale soon.” Below that she wrote, “I’ve been dying to use this card! I love you, Mom”
  • Kim was an ex-girlfriend of mine from high school who inexplicably maintained a relationship with my uncle after we broke up – I think she cheated on me? – and after I went away to college.
  • Mr. W. was the father of a girl in my little sister’s high school class; he was a major league umpire and mom always got excited when she saw him working games on TV.
  • I guess she got the loan from Anne.