Do you remember my Letters to Mom series I started for this past Mother’s Day? I invited you all to share your letters to your mom on this blog and I am so thrilled to have had an amazing response to it.
Here is the first letter I received from someone. Everyone has their own journey with their mom, whether it be fabulous and un-flawed to painful to non-existent. Thank you Debi F. for being brave and courageous to share your story with us! We can learn lessons in each of our stories and walk forward in grace, forgiveness, and healing.
Where do I begin? What do I say? Why am I even doing this?
I inch right to the edge of the emotional cliff as I begin to write you a letter, but I’m overwhelmed by the physical sensations that I have no control over. My heart is pounding out of my chest, my hands are shaking and I have chills up and down my body as though a cold breeze just blew through the room.
I want to be complete in our relationship, but how do I accomplish that when we have NO relationship. The sad part is that I’m really ok with it the way it is! There has been a sense of freedom not having to worry about every word I say (or don’t say) and every action I take (or don’t take), knowing that you always misinterpreted my intentions. There is freedom in not having to please you, not having to do it your way, not having to explain myself to you. There is FREEDOM!
I’m no longer angry, for I believe you did the best you could. But there is sadness, because your best wasn’t good enough. It left me robbed of the opportunity to experience what a mother-daughter relationship should be or could be in its purest form.
I don’t say this to hurt you, but I want you to know that I’m OK in spite of our relationship. Over the years I have established relationships with many women that helped to fill the void of not having you in my life. Women that have supported me, laughed with me, shopped with me, talked about raising children with me, encouraged me, drank wine with me, cried with me, shared authentically with me…..and loved me unconditionally – like a mom should!
I am most grateful for the fact that my boys are OK in spite of your & my relationship with each other! Being your daughter, I learned all the ways I didn’t want to be and all the things I didn’t want to say in relationship to my children. My proudest accomplishment in life is the depth of relationship I have with both Ben & Peter! We have mutual respect, we talk when we disagree, we laugh together, we apologize when we hurt each other – even when that’s not our intention, , and they know without question how special they are – exactly as they are, and how much they are loved!
I needed to dump all that baggage so I could clear the way to share what I really want to say. I want you to know that there are happy memories too – life lessons, family traditions and joyful moments that I have been able to hold onto and incorporate in my adult life.
1. Your love of the beach; the ocean and sand, was ingrained in me. When I sit at the beach, mesmerized by the repetition of the waves crashing on the shore, I feel peace in my heart knowing how much you would love to be there too.
2. I think of you when I see PURPLE. I still have the amethyst jewelry you gave me – although I can’t remember the last time I wore it? I feel the urge to dig through my jewelry box in search of your purple! I must also acknowledge the fact that for the first time in my life I am wearing purple toe nail polish!
3. I used to think you were so strange for eating apples with natural peanut butter – and now it is one of mine and Peter’s favorite snacks.
4. Birthdays are so special to you! You would wake me up at 12:01 am to be the very first person to wish me a happy birthday! You taught me to fully celebrate the meaning of someone’s birthday and to allow it to last longer than just the 24 hours of the actual birthday.
5. You gave the longest ‘mommy’ hugs! I didn’t really enjoy it as a child, but when I embrace Ben & Peter in a hug, I am never the one to initiate the ending of the hug! I will stay there with my arms wrapped around them as long as they will allow me!
6. You made the most amazing chocolate mousse that I have ever in my entire life tasted! It was rich in taste, but oh so light in its texture! I remember it was a multi step process that had to be followed meticulously in order to ensure the desired outcome….and I was never able to master it myself. After I find the amethyst jewelry I’ll go in search of the chocolate mousse recipe!
7. I remember watching the comedian Howie Mandel together. We laughed so hard we snorted, which made us laugh even harder, which made us snort some more….until tears of joy rolled down our faces.
I find myself judging the fact that I could only come up with 7 positive memories? But I guess seven is better than none! Our relationship was flawed to a point that it couldn’t continue, but in the midst of that – you left a positive mark and made a difference.