She walked out on you when you were a little girl who needed her to braid your hair because Daddy didn’t know how to do it. She didn’t mean to walk out, but the bottle made her do it, and once she did, she couldn’t look herself in the eye, so she avoided mirrors and drank more bottles. And now you’re grown and you can braid your own hair and you survived in spite of her and you’re pregnant, and she’s gonna be a grandmother, and you want her to know you turned out pretty dang good, if you do say so yourself. So you write the letter and open your heart and you tell her how it hurt when she walked away and left your little girl heart cracked wide open with no instructions for repairing it. You tell her how many times you’ve dreamed of having her rock you in her arms, even now, and how many times you’ve cried because other people got mothers who baked them cookies and kissed their boo-boos. You tell her you understand, that you’re not mad anymore, that you forgive her – really, you do. And that all you want now is for her to know how much you love her, maybe even to see her again, just for coffee or even for your baby shower. And then you wait. And wait. And wait. And it’s been weeks and she hasn’t called or written back. And your quivering open heart, exposed and vulnerable, remembers what it felt like when you were seven and you watched her go out that door, not realizing you’d never see her again. You cry like a child, and the sobs wrack you. Your heart aches so much you want to close your heart back up, sew it up with big black rope, bar the door with chain metal and armored locks, never open that heart again.
But you don’t because life is too precious.