We would visit my mom almost every weekend the last year she was in prison. She would say, “If any of you ever end up in prison, I will get back in so you’re not alone in here.”

And now I realize something about those words and that promise.

I (more than usual) allow myself to think of my mom and the hole I have inside me because of her death. Her promise was about more than physical prison.

I spent so much time without my mom growing up, even hating her at times and refusing to speak to her for months, years. Having her back let me feel the true depth of happiness that I’d forgotten from childhood.

And she was always there to listen to me and support me even when she knew I was wrong; she always backed me up, she always stayed with me, on my side.

And I realize now that I am just like my mother and when she was gone, I was alone again. I hold my awareness she gave me through experiencing her behavior like the blade of a knife. I am just like her but instead of running and leaving things or people behind that I may cause pain, I turn it on myself. I deal with it alone because my mom was my fellow prisoner, because the bottomless pits inside of were never going to be filled but it was better to have a partner when trying the impossible.

I think it’s somewhat of a selfish reason to miss someone but she wouldn’t think so. I don’t even remember the dark parts of her anymore, just the light. And for that I am grateful because being alone is worse with too many dark memories.



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