Mom, Things I Should Be Able to Ask You But Can’t

Amanda Bussman
7 min readDec 14, 2023
Picture Credit: Myself.

10.5 years ago started the endless string of questions that will never be answered. As I lay here physically tired but mentally wide awake the stupid red light on the tv keeps me up. It’s not actually keeping me up, it’s for some reason, triggering my brain.

The red light is staring at me. Reminding me of the past.

I asked you once, why don’t lights shut completely off when you turn them off.

The cable box started it.

The cable box in your room used to keep me up at night. I hated the stupid glow of the numbers.

I couldn’t handle the lights when I went to sleep.

Those nights in your room feel like they were part of a life that belonged to someone else. Someone who was fortunate enough to have a mom.

20 years wasn’t fair.

I know I shouldn’t be complaining. At least I got that. There are so many kids who don’t even get 1.

That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still hurt.

I have an endless number of questions I wish I could ask you. Things that keep me staring at the walls for hours if I let them.

  • Would you be proud of me? I went to school.

It probably wasn’t the most sensible choice. You were the one that always told me to follow my dreams. I did that. I went to school for something that I love. I have my bachelors. I went the furthest in school (so far) out of all of us.

You weren’t there.

You didn’t get to see me walk across the stage.

Do you remember how afraid I was for high school graduation? I was so scared that I was going to trip and fall on the stage. I practiced walking in my heels (even though they hurt) around the kitchen for hours.

I didn’t trip then, and I didn’t trip 5 years ago.

My heels were higher.



Amanda Bussman

If you're looking for a writing coach and someone who is working through generational trauma, you've come to the right place. OH! I hope you like Taylor Swift!