The early ones are full of grief, rage and uncertainty. How was I going to do this without her? About how she had grown up in extreme poverty in the Appalachian Mountains and become the first in her family to go to college. I told her how I thought my chest would burst from pride the first time he rolled over and about how his tiny fingers rested against my chest when I fed him at night. I felt as if all of the help and support I had counted on to be a good mother had been suddenly and unexpectedly ripped away. I would take the dog for a walk in the park, and instinctively begin to dial her. Becoming a mother — the thing that scared me most after she passed — ended up being the only thing that could bring me a sense of peace. My mother and I had always been close, but the writing process had brought us closer. Sometimes, the letters were nothing more than a stream-of-consciousness scream onto a blank page.
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