today is your birthday and you would have been turning 94. Every year since you died I have written about you and told my friends what a wonderful woman you were and how much you will always live on in my heart. Yet every year since you died I have not been able to speak clearly of my own life because I have known that you would have been worried for me and perhaps disappointed.
When I went back to the US after your death I seemed to draw some strength from you and I found my spine and almost immediately extricated myself from the terrible relationship I was in at that time. I just knew that you would never have wanted me to be abused and manipulated as I had been.
Finally, three years after your death, I have things happening in my life that I know would make you happy. I've been living in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, in your old stomping ground, and the memories of you, my aunts and uncles and my cousins, are very strong nearly every day. You are omnipresent in my mind.
I know you often thought my partners didn't treat me well enough. I always knew the bias of your love and the way you so selflessly cared for the boys and me. I knew that your standard was virtually unobtainable. But Mum, I think I've found the one you would have loved. She is everything the others lacked, soft and good humoured, ready to laugh, kind, caring and oh so very loving.
I sometimes wonder if you would perhaps remember her, or at least remember my speaking of her. She doesn't recall ever meeting you but your steel trap of a mind would remember her if you had met when she and I were at school. I wish you were here to see how she loves me, I think you would approve. It's a bit like the one really good relationship I had, only better. I'm more ready now, Mum. I couldn't stay still before; I was stagnating.
All of my life you only ever wanted to see me happy and yet the last ten years of your life you saw me in almost every condition but happy. I'm happy now. Mum. For once I really think I am with someone you would have loved.
I'm sorry the boys and I have not stuck together, I know that was your dying wish, I will try – I will see them both at Christmas and I will forgive and be open to closeness with them. The Boy will see his cousins and I will take it all in for you.
Happy Birthday. I love you.