September 9, 2012: I finally managed to get into my mom’s Yahoo! mail account. I had tried to get into it a few days after she died, but I got a message telling me that because she hadn’t authenticated in over four months, her account had been purged. I tried again tonight just for the hell of it and all of her mail — and sent items — are still there.

My mom attempted to send me this message, but she addressed it incorrectly and I never received it. There are several others like this. So now I am … I don’t even know where to begin thinking that she may have been under the impression that I was simply ignoring her emails …

Dear David,

Shortly after you got off the phone with me this morning, I got a call from Terry who works at Waverly. She wanted to know whether I wanted to renew my lease for six more months.

I told her I would call her back, and I have ten days to do so.

I really don’t want to move. I just want a place where I can, maybe, for the first time, have a roommate.

I am truly sorry for all the trouble I have caused you. I can’t tell you how much I love you and [my sister].

I tried to support you both when you were kids, and I loved you with all my heart.

I will always remember how proud I am of you, and, with help, I hope to become a much better person in your lives.

I know that you will probably not understand, but, I grew up into someone I don’t like very much. I never felt love from Nana, except when I intiaited a hug. I never had father or mother to help me grow. Nana was always working for other people, raising money and working. When we moved into the house next door, I thought it might be better. Nana never taught me how to relate to men, so I took refuge in the copious amounts of food that Nana cooked. I suppose I could have not eaten the way Nana and Papa and [her brother] ate, but there was always ice cream, and cakes and cookies.

I knew that I needed help, and Dr. Shoemaker directed me to Anne Bicknese. She really helped, but, by that time. Anne Bicknese had gone through hell in WW2. She had a different focus, and, for as long as I continued to see her, I felt better. I never wore pretty dresses except for church. I went to my senior prom with a distant cousin I barely knew.

I did get involved in theater in middle school, but I had no friends. One time, I bought a cheap boy’s ring and wore it around my neck, telling my classmates that my boyfriend went to another school.

Papa mostly scared me. He and Nana fought almost constantly, and I can’t tell you how many books I wrote shorthand in my room with the door closed. I always wished I could lose weight, but I never could. Nana would go on Weight Watchers, and, one time, I went with her and lost 80 pounds. I felt really great for a few months, and then it was all back on. I have probably lost about 300 pounds in my life.

I don’t know if you could call me terrified all the time, but arguments happened over who got the last donuts, or who said a word wrong, or if Papa thought he heard Nana talking to a man on the phone. I hid. I hid all the time.

Now, when it’s too late, I wish I had looked for a roommate at some point.. It might have made all the difference. I know this is all old news.

But, there were good times, too. I remember one time when I only had ten dollars left. We called our little adventures, like going to Ron Johns, and each of you had a dollar to spend. That left me with about six dollars. Maybe I did some things right.

You both turned out great! And I love you both with all my heart.