Family

Dear Mom, You've been my pen pal since before I could even write. I have saved hundreds of the letters you've written to me and read them often, even though I talk to you everyday. Reading your words is a separate experience from our daily interactions. Your notes have the power to resonate with me at any age: "Morissa, some people reach for the stars. You reach for the entire universe." "I really love you, and think you are an amazing lady. I am proud to be your Momma Bird." "Morissa, you are my princess, my angel, my life." These are the words that make me smile no matter how many times I read them. Three specialists told you that you would not be able to have a child. You were crushed. You wanted a daughter more than anything. That is why you have spent my entire life...
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Dear Charlie Grace, Welcome to our world. Some folks may ask why I am writing a letter to a three-week-old little girl. You can’t read or talk yet. But in a few years, your mom and dad can read this letter to you. And later on you will be able to read it yourself. I want to share with you all the possibilities available in the great outdoors. Sure, you may not be able to get outside much right now. But I’m sure you will as you grow older. The outdoors is a big place. It can be scary sometimes, even for a crusty old G-Daddy. But, there is more beauty and wonders outside than we can ever discover. The outdoors is not something you learn about in a day, month or even a year. It takes a lifetime to uncover all of the wonders and adventures the outdoors offers. And then sometimes in that...
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Dear Steve and Viveca, This is a very difficult letter to write. I suspect it will also not be an easy one to receive. I’m including Viveca because she needs to know this. When I last contacted you to affect a resolution to a problem we had in the past you threatened me; my guess is you are really afraid of the truth coming out. I remember a painting you did while I lived at the loft in DUMBO; it was of a hunter shooting down a bird in flight. I always felt that I was that bird and you the hunter. If it had ended there would be no issue, but it has continued for almost 30 years and I can’t function any more. I never really understood why you had such a problem with me; before we moved into that space we had been friends, I thought. Nevertheless, you started a campaign against me...
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To My Sisters and Brothers in France, My heart weeps as I read about the ghastly attack on the kosher supermarket in Paris – the tragedy of the murdered, the precarious condition of the wounded, the panic of the hostages. I remember with fondness how you, the Parisian Jewish community, welcomed me when you invited me to speak there three years ago. Your warm smiles and your enthusiastic greetings made me feel like we are indeed one family, the Jewish People. That visit seems like a lifetime ago. It was “before Toulouse,” where Rabbi Sandler and his two young sons, as well as 8-year-old Miriam Monsonego, were murdered in front of the Jewish school. It was “before the quenelle” anti-Semitic salute swept France. It was “before the attack on the Don Isaac Abravanel synagogue,” when...
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You have always exaggerated your own importance in the world – you do this with your weight, your loudness, your bullying. You have done this equally with me. FYI, the way you treat people is not a reflection on them, it is a reflection on you. You treated everyone the same way. Your actions define you. You seem to think that because you acted towards me in a certain way that it defines me, and that everyone in the world should do the same. That is just another aspect of your arrogance and self-aggrandizement. As if you have to prove you were justified in acting so horridly. As a child I endured you in silence. I suppose you interpreted that as cooperation. I will never be silent about it again. In fact, you were a very minor part of my life growing up – a negative part, but a minor part...
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Please Note: This letter has been re-published Dear social workers and detectives, I want to thank you for making me happy by giving me a new warm and safe environment. Now I have a home that is nice and I have three nice meals a day. This is Marie Rose Surprenant. When I was a baby I got hurt and you were on my case. When I was little I got hurt and I wasn’t going to walk at all. I couldn’t walk because my spinal cord was broken and couldn’t be fixed. So they asked how I got hurt in the E.R. But he lied, and said that I fell out the bed. So then that’s when you got involved and solved my case and didn’t let the bad guy hurt me or anyone else. I think that if you never helped me, my life would still be awful and lonely. Because they might not help me, not feed me or they would...
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Dear Son: I am writing you this letter now so hopefully when you’re an adult you will read this and it will have meaning. I want you to know that you are the most important thing in my life, and seeing you thrive each day makes me a proud dad. See, I realized when I was a teenager that I’m gay (as you well know by now). I didn’t know that I could have you. I always dreamed of having a family, but part of coming to terms with my sexuality meant that I might have to sacrifice that idea. I met your other dad when I was 21 and we discussed having kids within our first few dates. It still seemed surreal and unfathomable. You entered my life when I was 32, and looking back I still can’t believe it only took 11 years to make my dream come true. You are 4½ years old now, and I’m starting to...
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I know that you wouldn't want to hear this from me but it needs to be said. You are in a horrible position. To be put in the middle of your parents and having to choose is a situation that no child should have to be put in. However, i worry that you're choosing the wrong path. You know that your mum and dad don't like each other, that isn't going to be a surprise. But what you need to remember is that you're only hearing your mum's side of the story. Both of them did things that led to them splitting up. No one's fault, just one of those things that grown ups do. I know your dad was devastated to leave you. That's why for the last 5 years he has done everything he can to see you and to be a good dad. He's paid your mum a lot of money every week since he moved out, despite what your mum...
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Dear Parents, We have just concluded our first family meetings of the year with you and your teens. It is energizing for us to meet with you to get an indication from all parties of Compass’s role in the life of your family. We are left with the feeling that we are all part of a team, supporting one young person. Although we may not always know it, we sense that the family meetings are a powerful experience for the teens; their voices matter. We call them “family meetings” versus “parent meetings” very purposefully. We learn useful ways of interacting with your teen as we observe you negotiating and discussing various things with your child. We see how deeply you care. As we negotiate how teens use their time at Compass, we recognize that we are in a very different position than you...
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Dear Dad, Do you remember all the times you hit me? The times I starved? Everyday I wanted you to hug me. But we didn't hug in our house, did we? We didn't tell each other when we were proud, or that we loved each other. Infact we only spoke when I was in trouble. Then, when I got older I was just pushed to one side. I'm sure you never meant to be so cruel, I know Mom hurt you, but why did you take it out on me? As I've grown up I did everything I could to get your approval and couldn't, no matter what I did you were never proud. Today, I've sat in tears again, at 29 years old still desperate for your love. I'm almost certain now ill never get it, you seem to get more bitter and more distant with age, your body is becoming as fragile as you made my soul. I trust that little bit less, I...
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