A choice no parent wants to make, ever. Nor ever should. Which one to keep, which one to let go. In order to save herself, and being the older one, her heart froze that day. The risk was that our relationship would be gone, so she put time in a bottle as I grew up on the other side of the world. Surrounded herself with pictures, each one telling a story.
Growing up without my Mom meant Mother’s Day came and went. Can’t get that time back, but what we have is now is great. It did not happen by accident; it took time, time together, forgiveness, a decision to trust, and understanding. Her life was almost taken away when I was a teenager on a night I won’t forget, and this story would have a different ending. However the best gifts are the ones not found under the Christmas tree.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I asked her if she would not mind sharing a letter she wrote me in 1997. It is a letter I keep close at all times, a letter from the heart of a Mom to her son.
By sharing it I hope it conveys the bond of a mother and a child no matter the circumstances and encourages Moms (and Dads) to share their hearts with their children, no matter what age. My Mom certainly did with me, when the time was right. She had taken the time to heal, with the courage to face and honor herself; what a gift to give.
For Moms, Happy Mothers Day and God Bless You All!
March 16, 1997
I use the name of your childhood. You and your brother are the most precious treasures of my life.
This letter speaks of and to you.
As you know, I surround myself with pictures of you at many different stages of your life. Each picture has a story to tell and I pick up the pictures and think about what we were doing when the picture was taken. My “mind” camera sees a little boy:
Tugging on Jingles
Wearing chocolate ice cream from forehead to chin
Playing trucks with Rick (best friend next door) in our tire sandbox
Hugging your first kitten, Princess, tightly to your chest
Singing the songs with Dancing Bear on Captain Kangaroo
Sitting in my lap and handing me your favorite books to read
Intently pursuing each days activities…
I shared your first eight years, I treasure every memory. After the divorce and your move to Singapore, I lived for the summers when the three of us were together and tucked my feelings under the bed covers when you left in August. Those years will not come back to us. I have written about the events surrounding the divorce, and put these issues to rest. I will share what I have written with you at anytime we are together. All you have to do is ask. However this letter is to and about you, not me…
With the unhealthy marriage over, you had two homes in which to grow, not hide. Not forced to spend your youth and young adulthood negotiating peace treaties or side stepping land mines in hostile surroundings. Laughter returned and we looked forward.
You gained self confidence, and each year when you returned to me, I noticed. It was like watching a beautiful tree growing and extending branches – the trunk was strong. Children have a way of showing adults what is to be valued. Eddie, your intelligence, love, laughter, and trusting nature were daily miracles unfolding before me.
Being a mother was and still is the most important part of my life. It is who I am before all else. The role changes, the mother-son connection does not. My love for you Eddie, is unconditional – no strings. Like breathing and heartbeats the love is and always will be there. After my breathing and heartbeats are gone, there will still be the love. I live in your heart and you in mine. Remember that I love you because I gave you up. It is the only answer I had for you when you were eight years old, feeling abandoned and hurt beyond description. It is the only answer I have for you now, and understanding why your father and I divorced. Love is the core – my center.
Eddie, there is not another person that I share laughter with like I do with you. I can hear your giggle starting as I write these words. Thinking of the many times we have rolled out of our chairs in tears over some ridiculous event is spiritual food. Laughter is a beautiful melody – you do it well. It is a gift to both give and give in to a good laugh…you have it.
I am immensely proud of your academic and professional accomplishments. However, it is the person you are that leaves me speechless…filled with tears of pride and joy. You are rare and unique. Living your beliefs, actions are your words – the metaphors.
Without even knowing it, Eddie, you have given me the gifts of healing, acceptance, and joy. I take these gifts with me and hang onto them when I come across rocky terrain. Your love has led me to a new beginning, a new church and God’s love.
Having the opportunity to write this letter has been another gift. I know you will receive it with all the love that is in my heart for you.
Praising God in gratitude and love for all that we share.
Our past, the present, and the future.
Lovingly, lots of hugs
I love you too Mom, Happy Mother’s Day!