I thank you, Mom by Tracy Diane Miller

May 10, 2005 was the worst day of my life. That was the day that you left me & went to live in Heaven. I’m sorry that I was initially angry with you for leaving. It was my irrational, pain filled anger. I know that you would have never left us, if you had the choice.

I thank you, Mom. I thank you for loving me the moment that I was born. Even in those moments in these last 26 years when I struggled to love me, to try to capture that elusive feeling of happiness that I remembered from my childhood or in my marvelous days of the 1980s before depression, I thank you for never giving up on me.

I thank you, Mom. Even when cancer ate away at your body, your sole concern was about us. You did chemotherapy when you didn’t want to, just to give us a little more time together as a family.

I thank you, Mom. I thank you for the letter that you wrote for us & told us not to be sad when you passed away. You said that when the time came, you would be ready to go knowing that Stacy & I would take care of each other. You said that you were tired & that you needed the rest. I hope that you have rested well these past 11 years.

I thank you, Mom. I thank you for taking the very limited financial resources that you had & for creating a wealth of childhood memories for us that was built exclusively on love. We never went to Disney World or had family vacations like other people, but again, you created moments of love from the simplest of things. You made sharing books, television shows or music, trips to the library, the park or the zoo as something magical. My love of Judy Garland & classic movies stemmed from you. Just as Rochelle Hudson sang of the appreciation for the simple things of life in the movie “Curly Top” , you fostered that same appreciation. I understand now how to hold on to a good memory & to allow it to sustain me during the difficult times. I remember when you talked about your youth in Atlantic City in the 1940s & how they were the happiest times of your life. My 1980s are akin to your 1940s. Now that I’m 51, I finally understand what you meant.

I thank you, Mom. I thank you for teaching us the gratitude prayer. Even on that horrible day when death took you from us, I thank you that the gratitude prayer that I was able to say was that I had you for 39 years as my mother. You never lived to see us turn 40 or 50, but we have made sure to have you present at every one of our birthdays since 2005. We set 3 places at our table when we celebrate our birthday (as we do on August 24th when your birthday comes). We leave a slice of birthday cake for you. I know what you would have said on August 24, 2016 (your 92nd birthday): “Wow…I’m getting old!” Your humor was marvelous. I miss it.

I thank you, Mom. I thank you for believing in me, for believing that I could become a published author. Well, we did it, Mom. We have published my books. It took me 44 years, but we did it! I’m just very sorry that you never lived to see me publish these books.

I thank you, Mom. I thank you mom for always finding a way to come to me in my dreams. You promised that you would & you have on so many occasions. I love knowing that when I go to sleep, there is a possibility that I can see you or touch you again. Particularly since November 11, 2016 when I have been hurt & broken by people & events that have happened over many months. I still feel broken inside, but I will keep taking it one day at a time & I will keep finding at least one moment in each day to remind myself to be grateful. I will use 2017 to try not to repeat the same mistakes. You would be proud to see how I already started to set things right. I’m even proud of me in some of the decisions I made since November 11, 2016. To preserve one’s peace of mind isn’t selfish. I’m sure that I forgot that along the way. I’m learning it now.


Arlene Miller was born August 24, 1924. Here is a birthday poem that I wrote for my mother:

I awoke this morning to the sound of your voice, a birthday poem in memory of my mother by Tracy Diane Miller
I awoke this morning
To the sound of your voice
As I so often do
For you may live in Heaven
But there is not a day when I don’t hear you
I hear you
When I feel doubtful
You encourage me
As you always will
I think that you give my Muse the words
As I explore my writing skill
I hear you
When I hurt
From the acts of those who betray
You tell me how toxic they are to my life
And applaud because I refuse to let them poison my day
I hear you
In my memories
Of the person I was in my past
I hear your laughter
I’m desperate to make it last
I hear you
As my guiding sound
Through the chaos I need to survive
I hear you
As you help me through my fears
Because of you
I continue to thrive
I awoke this morning
To the sound of your voice
Like chiseled perfection in every way
I awoke this morning
To the sound of your voice
I celebrate you this August 24th your birthday