My mum nagged at me to tidy my bursting letterholder and so I did last night, going through all my mails and throwing out old letters and bill statements.

I read through the cards I’ve kept over the years, soaking in the warmth of the affectionate messages addressed to me during special ocassions.

Then I found a birthday card my mother sent to me when I was studying in Cardiff. Among other things, she wrote this, “My deepest regret is not being able to offer you a complete family.” It instantly brought tears to my eyes as I read it, and I know that I must have cried buckets when I first got it.

I walked to her room and hugged her. I told her that I hope she doesn’t see my impending departure as abandonment. I wanted her to know that I am committed to caring for her and being with her, despite the distance.

She replied to say that she knows I would not “dump” her and that I need time to do what I want. “I understand how you feel, because when I was young, I didn’t get the opportunity to pursue what I want in life,” she told me. “I support and respect your decision.”

And then we hugged and blinked away tears.

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