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  • Writer's pictureSarah Gibbs Underhill

Letter to Mama

Updated: Apr 28, 2020

Dear Mom-

I wanted to thank you for being such a fierce, loving Mama Lion to me all of my life. For showing me how to be strong; how to be loving and nurturing and joyful; how to express anger when I was feeling angry [including how to swear]; how to be self reliant; how to split wood with an ax, to watch my step when in rattlesnake territory, to skin a deer, cook, drive like an Indy 500 driver, work and study hard, charm people, breastfeed my babies, and how to be creative and make art and poetry and music. You always encouraged me. You taught me how to sing, Mama.

I always knew that when you left, you would leave an unimaginably huge hole in my world. And that will be true. But through the beautiful record you have left of your existence- in your art, your writings, your beautiful home which is a haven for us all, you will always be with us keeping track of our lives and loving us.

Mom, you were a western ranch woman, daughter of a cowgirl who laughed as she rounded up horses on horseback in a thunderstorm. Transplanted to the east coast ["It takes ten years to get used to it", you would tell recent emigres from the west], you taught me how to laugh loudly for joy or defiantly in the face of challenges. And although I know you had moments of fear and doubt, you taught me courage and raised me in the sunshine and safety of unconditional love.

I want to be like you, Mom.



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