A while ago I found a message Shea had written to me about 2 weeks before she died.
Thank you for everything! I know I am not the best daughter in the world. I am really messed up.
I wish you the best. I miss you already. I have for many years! I can’t be a baby again, but I will TRY to be a young lady.
I am very lucky to have you as a mother who loves and cares for me. I hope this will be for the best. Both of us deserve to be free to grow. You are my turtle dove. We will fly away together one day and never look back. It will be everything we have dreamed of.
I love you, Mother, and will write often and make you proud! I will also be with MiMi and Aunt Iris. I need them as much as they need me. Uncle Mark, Aunt Mary and Matthew too.
I am blessed! Tell Pete I love him and he is in my prayers.
In Feb. 2011, she had moved from AL to LA to live with my brother, Mark. My mother and aunt lived right next door so Shea helped them out a lot when she could. She wanted to start a new life in LA but became very sick shortly after she moved there. When she mentions the turtle doves, it is because we had given each other a small ceramic turtle dove 15 yrs. earlier and had both kept them as a symbol of our love for each other and that we would be together forever. I still have mine beside the candle I keep lighted in her memory.
I read this note she wrote so close to her death and wonder if she knew somehow she was leaving me. It brings up so many questions about her state of mind at that time. I wonder if she was saying goodbye or was it just a sign of her struggle to hang on a little while longer.
I have stacks and stacks of letters she wrote to me. All of them expressing how much she loved me. I can’t help but cry when I read them. God help me, I still miss her with every breath I take.