October 29, 2010

OMG, What a TMM.

Dear Mom,

College kids, for the most part, have it made... or at least I did: Classes two days a week; weekends that start on Thursday; living in a house with 25 of my sorority sisters (therefore never running out of things to wear and friends to procrastinate with... jackpot!); having a fantastic cook at my disposal Monday-Friday; school vacations that totaled to be about 6 months a year. I could go on all day. College students even have their own special, shortened lingo. Having a bad day? A simple ‘FML’ when you walk through the door will inform your roommates. Can you be excused? No, but you can certainly BRB. Accidentally insult someone? Don't worry, she totally knew you were JK.

I graduated less than 6 months ago, and unfortunately there was no slow transition from college girl to working adult. I work 5 days a week with an occasional Saturday shift; my weekends consist of cleaning, doing laundry, and trying my hardest to stay awake past 9PM; Fridays are even more exciting now because I get to wear jeans to work; and vacation? What’s that again? I get zero days off until I work here for a year. ZERO. Count ‘em. Oh that’s right, you can’t.

And lastly, I became a true member of the adult world when I could no longer keep up with the lingo used by my younger friends and had to ask for clarification. I recently learned that ‘TFM’ stands for ‘Total Frat Move’ and is used to describe something that only someone in a fraternity would do. For example, “I spend money like it’s not mine... because it’s not. Thanks Dad. TFM.” And that was the only one appropriate enough to share with you. Ugh. Way to go people. Nothing like giving Greek Life even more of a bad reputation! Fortunately, I do not have any TFMs or TSMs (Total Sorority Moves, of course) of my own to add. What I do now on a daily basis is more likely labeled a TMM...

A ‘Total Mom Move’.

One of my more major TMMs was just a few weeks ago. I wrote a letter to an old friend of mine that was extremely heartfelt and sincere. I cried through the whole thing. I wanted her to know that even though we drifted over time, I will never forget all she did for me and all she got me through during the most difficult years of my life. She was to me, how Gisele was to you. She was the friend I never had to say ‘but don’t tell anyone!’ to because I just knew she never would. She was the one college friend of mine who got to meet you. And she was the only friend who provided me support after the funeral when everyone else must've assumed grieving couldn’t possibly last more than a few weeks or something. I hope with all my heart that someday I will have a friend my age as wonderful as her again. She is the definition of a true ‘best friend’, and I am lucky just to have had her in my life for a short time. I learned from you that it’s not the number of years you spend together, but the quality of the moments that matter and are most impactful.

Weeks went by, and I hadn’t heard from her. I was trying not to feel hurt or take her lack of response as a loud and clear message that she didn’t feel the same. Bottom line, I told her how much I care about and appreciate her, and that was what was important to me. What a TMM. But at least now she knew, right? No harm done.

I check my e-mail every day out of habit. Eventually I stopped opening it with hopes of seeing her name in my inbox. That’s when the message appeared. At first glance, I could tell she spent a lot of time on it. It was fairly lengthy, and, from our many unproductive trips to the library where we got dirty looks and the occasional “SHHH!” after our frequent outbursts of laughter, I knew that she hated to sit down and write. It was also grammatically correct with capital letters, punctuation, paragraphs, indentations-- the whole shebang! This was huge (this observation? Obviously another TMM). After actually reading it, I was in no way disappointed by her.

She felt the exact same. She recalled funny memories from our past and sentimental moments she shared with you that she had never told me about. Again, I cried. I don’t think people understand just how much it means to me when they tell me stories about you. It brings you to life all over again. She described dark times in her life when I returned the favor of being a true best friend. She felt lucky to have had me in her life too.

One time when we went to the mall, there was a fortune teller there. We obviously just HAD to get our fortunes told. I went over after she was done with hers, so the lady had no way of knowing we were there together. She first hit the nail on the head when she mentioned that I lost someone recently. She said, “she wants you to know that she is not in pain anymore, not to worry about her, and that she loves you so much.” That was pretty generic, but I was so fragile at the time that I ate it right up (and I know all those things are true anyway). She also mentioned that I recently ended a relationship with a boyfriend that I felt was always burdened by my situation. Ding ding ding! I was convinced I had just met the 21st century version of Nostradamus after that comment. She went on to talk about my future career path and some other mumbo jumbo before telling me that she was feeling a strong connection between me and someone she had just spoken with. She said we were “meant to be sisters, but were just born to different families.”

Although neither of us mentioned the desire to be close again in our letters, we both acknowledged that we will always be a part of each other lives and a support system for one another. I think we both know how different we have grown to be, and that having a friendship like we did two years ago is impossible right now. We would both end up being disappointed. Maybe things will be different down the road, but we still have a long way to travel.

My little TMM paid off this time, but if I get carried away and trade my heels for tennis shoes and my bikini for a one-piece, you better send me a little sign from above that I’ve gone too far!

Your favorite/only daughter,
Sami :-)


  1. Samantha, may you find peace in your treasured memories. I pray that your letters help the healing process.
    Your thoughts are precious and I believe your Mum knows just how much you love her. You have had to grow up far too early. Bless you.
    “Love is stronger than death even though it can't stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can't separate people from love. It can't take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death.”...author unknown

  2. Samatha, in response to your comment on my post re: Dad born and died in the same month the following
    You have been truly blessed to find that your relationship with you Dad changed with your Mom's passing. As tragic as the circumstances are, it would have been so much harder for you not to be able to share your grief.
    My heart goes out to you in your grief. I simply do not have the words other than to say you remain in my thoughts and prayers and I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to share, in some small way, your journey.

  3. Chez, being able to share my grief with my dad and be so open with him was the greatest gift during such a terrible time. We helped (and continue to help) each other every day to move forward from our tremendous loss.

    Thanks for your support too.