I haven’t thought about her “good times” in years. I’d been too busy dissecting her faults-there were many. The years of addiction wore heavy on her now. She had grown much older in the last several years. Everything about her said she had grown tired. I wanted her to dress nicer, spend more time on her hair… lose the “twang” that I hated because to me, it sounded uneducated. I wanted her to want nice things-not to be content with a simple life. I shut her out because I felt like she never put forth the effort. She hadn’t hurt me in years- I shut myself off to her, “just in case”. She wasn’t hurting anyone anymore- she was just living her life, the best that she could. Probably hoping that sooner or later I would come around. And I would have, you know. I had thought about it often. I had considered therapy and even religion… something to help me forgive her. I acknowledged to myself that I needed to try. It had weighed heavily on my heart for quite some time. But I put it off…like I always seem to do. Waiting for a better and more convenient time than now. And she died- probably thinking that I didn’t love her. All she ever wanted was for me accept her imperfections. All I ever wanted was for her to be what I considered “normal”. Normal doesn’t die at forty-seven. I remember now the happy moments from when I was younger, before I thought I knew everything… When just her being there was enough… When I still allowed her to be there. Now it’s too late to tell her that I’m sorry for being so selfish- for thinking that if she were more like me we could have been closer. I’m sorry for not being able to tell her that it was okay for her to just be herself-that I could, would, and did love her, in spite of all the “stuff” I’d been holding on to for years. I’m sorry that I was so hard on her- that I made her feel like my love was so conditional- I only wanted the best for her. I just always thought we’d have more time.