Kayla Mason

blogging to save my sanity | creating to save my soul


mother and daughter on grass

On the morning of my mother’s funeral, I stand in front of my mirror in my bathroom and contemplate ignoring my obligations and going back to bed. My family has never been supportive of my mother and me. Ever since she relapsed a few years ago, every one of her siblings had abandoned her while, at the same time, abandoning me. Now, I have to face them all at the worst event I will ever have to attend.  

Looking in the mirror, I see all of my mother’s best features. My round brown eyes reflect the sunlight just like hers. The waves of my hair bring me back to a point in time where I held onto it with one hand while chugging a milk bottle in the other. This thought makes me smile, highlighting my pearly white yet crooked teeth that require fixing. I let out a big sigh and think to myself, How will I survive this? 

 I am unsure how I will survive this day, but I know how to get through it. I have thirty minutes until I need to leave my house, which is plenty of time to grab a beer out of my mini fridge. After I chug the beer, I take a fireball shot for good measure. I walk back to the bathroom mirror again. What would mom think of me getting drunk before her funeral? Would she be disappointed, or would she give me a high five?  

I can recall the first time that I saw my mother do drugs. I was around four or five and was playing with my Hunchback of Notre Dame plastic toys in the bubble bath while she stood at the sink, putting on her makeup before her date with some guy named Paul. Esmerelda was about to marry Quasimodo when I saw my mom sniff something up her nostrils, which I thought looked like snow reflected off a mirror. At that moment, I was not aware of what was going on.  

I come back to the present and look in the mirror again. You look good! I imagine my mother saying. She always praised me for my outer appearance and when I appeared to have it together. As I start to flatten the wrinkles out of my skirt, I hear a startling knock at the door. BAM! BAM! BAM! As I go to look outside, I see no one. I slowly open the door.  

“Hello?” My voice cracks from my dry throat. In front of me is a small package, wrapped in the most luxurious looking, and honestly elaborate, wrapping paper with a big purple bow on top. Confused and curious, I open the package without hesitation. Inside is a tiny envelope with my name printed in cursive. Who in the hell puts such a small envelope inside a box?   

I unfold the paper dated a few days before my mother died, and I start to read:  

My dear sweet Georgia,  

By this time, I am long gone. Knowing what a shit mother I currently am, I want to leave you with something that helps you remember me. Because I can’t leave you money or material things, I will leave you with these words.   

I love you and have loved you for eternity long before you were first in my belly; I dreamed about having a daughter I could connect with and shoot the shit with. You know grandma and how her anxiety affected me growing up. I never wanted to do that to you…and I did.  

This letter is always to remind you that you are the epitome of strength, and you have gotten there with little help from me. Yes, I tried my best with you, but I failed. I fell for my drug of choice once again, and I am so sorry.  

This letter constantly reminds you that you are stronger than this. You cannot let your life be taken over by a substance. Please, I beg you, if you ever need help, reach out. Reach out to grandma, reach out to Aunt Deb, reach out to MY sponsor, reach out to anyone. Remember that even if you are struggling, you are not failing; you can always change.  

I am sure you are curious as to why this is being delivered right before the funeral. I planned my funeral when I had my first O.D. at twenty-four when you were four years old. You were in the bathtub, playing away, while I enjoyed my drug of choice, regardless of your presence. I sniffed more lines than I ever had, and this stuff was pure. I was self-medicating. I knew I didn’t have the rent that was due the following day and I was hoping my date would help me out after our night together.   

I got you ready for bed, tucked you in, and read your favorite Little Bear book. As I was going back to the bathroom to do another line, I started to feel anxious, and I noticed I was sweating profusely. I shut the bathroom door and turned on the fan for some cool air. The next thing I remember is feeling nauseous, and I vomited into the toilet. The rest is a blur, and the next thing I know, I woke up in the hospital. I awoke in St. Anne’s, where you were born. Grandma was sitting in the corner of the room, shaking her head at me and then looking away.  

All I wanted to do was get home to you. I am so sorry, Georgia. I am sorry that I could never give you what you needed, and you needed and still need a real mom.   

I got sober right after this happened. I could not think about or risk losing you to this drug. Up until a few months ago, I had been sober for twenty years. Twenty! 

The monster is catching up to me, Georgia, and I am sorry. I am so thankful for the twenty beautiful years that I was able to be your mom, through and through.  

I will always love you, my little girl. Do big things, and always remember that you deserve more than any substance will ever give you.  



P.S. My sponsor delivered the package. Give her a call sometime. She can share some delightful stories with you.  

At this point, I was in tears and unable to stand. I sat on my couch and sobbed into my hands. My mascara had run from my eyes onto my arm. My mother never talked to me like she did in this letter. We had a codependent relationship and bonded over drinking and drugs. We hardly had a day go by when we were not fighting. I did not know she was capable of this.  

I look up at the clock. I have ten minutes until I must leave. I walk over to the fridge, open the door, and grab another Budweiser. 

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About Me

Kayla is currently the Virtual Communications Manager at Tamar’s Shelter, a nonprofit focusing on building safe shelters in India for women who have been exploited. She created and manages the website and works with the head of the nonprofit on any marketing tasks. Kayla has also taken on the copywriter role at Families for Depression Awareness, located in Massachusetts. The non-profit focuses on spreading mental health awareness to families of those who struggle with mental illnesses, such as depression and bipolar disorder.

This blog was prepared by Kayla Mason in her personal capacity. The opinions expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of any organizations Kayla associates with.


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