Thank you….

Dear Mom,

Today is the anniversary of the day you passed. Part of me wants to wallow in memories and pain, because I feel like I “should”. But the other part of me knows you’re probably yelling at me right now to snap out of it and so I will! It only took 37 years for me to finally listen to you. 🙂

I want to do something today, that I didn’t do much of when you were here with me. And that is to thank you.

Thank you for accepting, that as a child I hated to play outside. You understood that I did not enjoy sweating and yelling and coming home dirty. That strange neurosis as a child has produced an adult that has perfected that art of happiness through Yoga and meditation and quiet reflection through writing and now I make my living doing just that!

Thank you for nicknaming me Moosie when I was little. Your term of endearment for the thighs I was “gifted” with, no matter how tiny I got, showed me not to take my body so seriously. It is what it is. And whenever I look down and realize I can barely see my feet, I remember you telling me, “Child, God gave you a whole lotta love on those legs” and I smile and keep it moving.

Thank you for the hours we spent in the hair and nail salon together. No matter what your week was like, Saturdays were the days of beauty. You let me know that when you feel good, you do good. That no matter what trials you are facing, you show up and you show up looking FABULOUS!

Every day I choose tofu over a burger I thank you. It is because of your love of vegetarianism and cooking that I find myself sitting at home scouring cookbooks. That I actually get offended when people tell me tempeh is gross. And it is because of you that I can’t help thinking eating bags of seaweed and searching for the nearest health food store as soon as I move to a new city is something everyone does. I mean….don’t they???

When I feel the need to unleash my inner mean girl on someone who has worked my last nerve and I hear your voice reeling me back in, I thank you. You words have stuck with me, “Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?” I will be honest, sometimes I turn down the volume on you but at least 8 out of 10 times you stop me in my tracks.

When I’m having a crappy day, I turn on music and I dance. In my apartment, alone, and in my underwear. I owe that little gem to you. I miss our dance parties, but i promise to have them with your future grandchildren. They were some of my happiest memories. Thank you for showing me how to do the watootsie.

You always told me to keep my women friends close. That it would be the women in my life that would save my life more often than I realized. And they have. When you died, my girlfriends became my sisters. They became my life boat and I thank you every day for making sure I knew to never let a man disrupt my friendships.

More than anything, thank you for the intense way you loved me. For the incredible support you showed me. And for always telling me I was beautiful. You showed me true love and it is because of your love that I am able to walk away from men who can’t do the same. It is because you showed me my value and taught me to raise my standards that I have finally left toxic relationships alone. And that I now live by your words… “Iana, if you don’t love yourself right, no one else will.” And so, every day I work on loving myself right. And helping other women to do the same.

I love love love you

Always your daughter,

Iana Sundari

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