Lady Bird

I love you to Pluto and back, my sweet girl.

The notes she wrote to me are from her personal collection of sweet stationary with the simple phrase ‘To do” printed at the top, balanced by purple flowers along the sides. I can envision these notes, though I know they are all sitting as permanent bookmarks in my copy of White Oleander that she gave to me. My Mom has always been a note writer, ever since I was very small, she would always write me a note and put it into my lunchbox (though she never packed my lunch). But these collections of notes, these are the most special to me. She wrote me a note every single day for about a month of two, during a time where really all I wanted was to disappear from this earth. I hate more than anything that I took her love for granted. I would kill to have a note written by her waiting for me, beside my lunch, as I head off to work each morning.

Greta Gerwig got it all right. Every ounce of this film felt like a slideshow of my life. I know everyone says that, as that is what makes this film so magical. It is just so eerie how similar this was to aspects of my life. The non catholic girl attending a catholic school, having one very close friend, having a saint for a Father, clashing with my Mother, being very bad at math and very good at writing but just never realizing it, a cynical girl with dreams of New York City.

Have a wonderful day! I love you. You can do this! Love, Mommy

Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks has always been our formative bond. I was riding with her in her car once with our favorite Stevie cd playing (2001 Trouble in Shangri-La) and the track Love Is started playing, my favorite solo Stevie song, and she said “This is my favorite song of hers. I think it always will be.” Out of all of Stevie’s songs, of course we share a favorite. That very song came on today on my way to see Lady Bird tonight, it always makes me think of her. She gave me Stevie. She gave me everything I cherish about myself.

Good Morning sweet Whitney! Boy …. I need to go to bed earlier. Hard to get up when its chilly outside. Look for positive things in your day and remember you get to come home to Simba and ME! I love you very much and I am most proud of you. Love, Mommy

I was a bit older than Lady Bird when I moved to New York City. I was 22. I had one week to move there and decided to revisit my roots and take up residence in a convent on the upper east side. My parents dropped me off, we were standing in Central Park and they each hugged me, but my Mom…she hugged me the longest and said my name that certain special way she says it, I can still hear it bouncing off the beeping horns of the cabs, and I watched them walk away as my Dad put his arm around her. All of their love surrounding me, but her love holding me together.

Happy hump day! Just so you know, several people said you could be a model last night. So beautiful. Inside and out. Thanks for coming to my party. I love you to Pluto and back. Love, Mommy

She was the first person to tell me I should be writer. She encouraged it all along. But I never listened. She taught me to vulnerable. She taught me. She doesn’t even realize that. The scariest thing of all was the very fact that she said these exact words “I just don’t want you to judge my writing, because you are so very good.” Sometimes I think it was her notes and tiny messages that made me write the way I do. With such care, just as she does.

Two more days. Have a wonderful day. So thankful for you. Love, Mommy

I couldn’t stand her when I was growing up, little did I know it was because we were essentially the same person, I was just arguing with the adult version of me. My Dad knew, my Sister knew, but we were just too stubborn and too proud to even consider that, and now, and now I just ache to be near her, always. She is the first person I want to tell everything to; she is the only person I want to tell everything to.

Every note different, but the way she signs it has never changed.

I love you to Pluto and back. Love, Mommy.

Coming back from New York City was the smartest thing I have ever done. I am now at the crossroads of considering moving across the country in July to make a better life for myself and not sit and rot in my hometown in North Carolina. She wants me to be the best version of myself that I can be, but she keeps me here. I just don’t know if I can leave her. I don’t know if I can see her walk away again. I can love her from far away, I know I can. But I sure will miss her notes.

I couldn’t leave the house without leaving you a note.

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