This I Believe

Elizabeth - Briarcliff, New York
Entered on June 6, 2006
Age Group: Under 18


I believe that we don’t know what we have until it is gone.

Ever since the sixth grade, I’ve felt as I’ve been living in a tragedy. I’m just waiting to see my life on the big screen, the audience with tears and tissues. How do you explain to a sixth grader what death is? Do you tell them that their loved one is in a better place or that they are just resting for a while? I knew my mom was never coming back, but I didn’t know that it would feel like this. I didn’t know that I would feel so hurt and alone all of the time. I didn’t know that I would have no one to talk to. I didn’t know how much I loved her until she wasn’t there to love me back.

My mother and I fought constantly. She didn’t always give me what I wanted and I responded by telling her to die. Instead of being able to look back on the shopping sprees and manicures, the things I miss the most when I see my friends with their moms, I can only remember how mean I was to her. Of course I loved her and if you asked me why I said those things, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I know I took her for granted. Our morning gopher games and television shows that we watched religiously together didn’t mean anything to me because I assumed that she would always be there.

It wasn’t the morning that I woke up and had no one to lay with that I realized she was gone. It wasn’t when I couldn’t watch “Charmed” with anyone or was transferred to an automatic message machine when I called her office. It was when I had had my heart broken and realized that the only person who could give me their honest opinion and love me for me wasn’t here. It hit me, “You’re never going to see her again. No matter how many times you walk through that front door or call her office, she’s not going to be there.” I didn’t realize who she was to me until she wasn’t anyone. I didn’t know the type of bonds that daughters developed with their mothers until I didn’t have a mom to develop one with. I didn’t know that in life you had an unconditional best friend, until I was the only kid in school waiting to get picked up without one.

I believe that we don’t know what we have until it is gone because I didn’t realize how truly amazing my mom was until she was no longer here to amaze me. It hurts to know that I can’t tell her face to face how I feel. I can’t tell her how much I miss her and love her. I didn’t know what I had until she was gone and that is something that I will regret for the rest of my life.