For 30 years, I have fought you about as successfully as one side of Velcro can fight its other half. I scream with every pull as though it hurts to prove us apart, when maybe that’s not meant to be.

Each year I try to find the me that’s not you, and the you that’s not me; which has brought me here. You are now longer gone than you were in my life, and I am older than you were when you died…and still I can’t get the fucking Velcro apart!

The more I find, the more I learn, you were only trying to be the person I have unknowingly become –

The in your face decolonizing, educated, traveler; the queer poet, the mother who did the right thing, even though it was the hardest, the rough and tumble smart girl in the room. The one one who got out. The surprise.

It’s taken me 30 years of searching, 15 of interviews, buckets of tears, loads of sheets and laundry, binders and journals, crushed hearts hanging from the sleeves of every shirt I’ve ever worn, and a consciousness that has carried me through it all to survive without your body, only to realize I never should have tried to rip you apart from me to begin with.

Thank you for carrying me inside myself even when I didn’t know you were there. Thank you for being the spirit inside of me, guiding me, my choices, my travels, my poetry. Thank you. 

And for every day you will never have, I will live the rest of mine for you, for me, for us…see the world for both of us, stitch the Velcro back together and never mind when someone asks, “How’s your mom?”

She’s here…inside me, locked deep inside my heart, living the life she always wanted, but could never give herself.