There are so many things I will never get to ask you and so many conversations that we were never able to have. It’s Mother’s Day, May 13, 2018. It’s been almost 6 months since you passed away. We aren’t sure what happened, maybe a heart attack or stroke, or maybe you were on too much depakote from the psychiatric hospital. My heart stings every time I want to call you to tell you something good. Even though I know exactly how you would respond, I feel a bit like I’m lost at sea. I’ve felt more depressed lately than usual, I feel like, but I’ve been doing relatively okay at taking care of myself. I’m trying my best to eat consistently and to not isolate into my room with my cat. I have a community of support whenever I work myself up to asking for it. I went swimming at the GSU pool about a month ago! You would have been so proud of me for conquering my fear of the men’s locker room and bearing through the dysphoria. You wouldn’t have really understood what I meant by all that, of course, but it wouldn’t have mattered. I went by your grave site on my trip to Tennessee for my friend’s wedding. It was pouring rain, and I was just standing out there with my umbrella wondering exactly where you were, since we haven’t been able to afford you a grave plaque yet. I love that you’re in the Garden of Life, right as you come into the cemetery. It’s very suiting. I also got that $250 typewriter you ordered from a catalogue on a credit card while you were manic four days before you passed. I’m glad you did that. It’s been a funny thing to remember you by. It’s really nice, too! I’m gonna learn how to use it and mail everyone letters.
Anyway, I’ve got a million things to do, as usual. I’m moving to an apartment with alithia in less than two weeks! I finished up my teaching class and will be teaching Introduction to Sociology starting in June! There are 12 students signed up so far. I’m nervous but getting excited about it. I know you would be excited for me, too. I know your mom was a schoolteacher. She taught English, right? I imagine my “style” will be very different, though. I’ve got one class left to take in the Fall, and I’m planning to defend my dissertation proposal around November. Then I’ve got my comprehensive exams over Spring Break in March. If all goes as planned, I’ve just got two years left to go! I remember your voicemail saying, “Well, hello DOCTOR Miller! I guess that makes me a mother OF a DOCTOR Miller!” I told you not to call me that until I graduated, but I’m glad you did. I also remember how you would work yourself up to telling me a joke for days. You’d say, “You know what BS stands for, don’t you? Bull shit. MS? More shit. PhD? Piled higher and deeper!! Hahaha. But you aren’t like that!” You thought you were so funny. I love and miss you so very much. While you aren’t here physically, you live within me always.
Your love and pure joy baby,