Family

Mom, I know you read my work, so I'm writing you this letter here to say many things I have said before, but probably not all at once, and perhaps a few I have never said. It all basically boils down to this: you were, and are, a good mother, and although I am not what you expected, you didn't let that stop you. I think sometimes you have trouble believing that. You were born and grew up in a different time, in a different world. The world of the last fifteen years must seem very strange and very complicated to someone raised as a little girl in the 1950s and grew to womanhood in the 1960s, entering the workforce in the 1970s. Although you never mentioned it to me when I was a child—you were far too busy—you have since told me how much you truly desired what society told you was your...
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Dear Friends and Family, By now, you have probably noticed that there is something different about me. I’m conspicuously absent from family get-togethers, tailgating, happy hour, and sadly enough – even some of my kids’ school or sports events. If I haven’t seen you for awhile and we start talking, my mind probably drifts off into somewhere else, only to zone back in 20 seconds later as I nod and I try to fake like I know what you just said. Forgive me, it’s not intentional – it’s really not. If I had my choice, the two of us could sit down for coffee and chat for hours on end and you would have my complete undivided attention. You see, I am trying to accomplish something for my career and my future that is extremely draining on just about every level – emotionally, financially,...
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Dear David, I think it is such a shame that things worked out the way they did between us. It was so stressful to spend that month or two with you. I kept hoping you would somehow awaken from the darkness in your soul to let some light in, to let the truth in. I still can’t quite believe that you threatened to slit my throat. But you did. I feel sorry for you that you insist on believing that I didn’t respect you or your work. I feel sorry for you that you believe that being abusive is a sign of manliness. I feel sorry for you that you have not fulfilled the potential you had. What a waste. You were so beautiful. So talented. How is it that you ended up so mentally misguided? I remember that as a child you used to pull the feathers off the parakeets and they died. I remember...
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My dearest darling child. I am writing this letter to you as a permanent reminder of how wonderful you are, and to tell you that no matter what happens, you will always shine. I say this not just as your mom, but because of how much you have enriched all our lives and how you will go on to enrich the lives of others you are yet to meet. Things you have struggled with have become my struggles, while all the wonderful things you accomplished in your short life so far have brought me more joy than anything I could have ever imagined. When I look into your eyes, I see such hope for humanity, and for the type of world we should all live in. A world filled with kindness for everything and everyone, whether it is a smile, a simple gesture or simply being there. This is what you bring to...
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Dear Parents, My baby girl never heard me tell her I loved her the first two years of her life. It wasn't that I didn't love her, or that I didn't tell her every day, but rather that she had a hearing loss that went undetected for those two years, and was unable to hear any speech. There was no newborn hearing screening process in the hospital where she was born. You may now be home from the hospital with your new baby, up to your EARS in diapers and midnight feedings, and enjoying the new life that has joined your family. If your baby was screened for hearing loss and you were referred for a second screening/ or diagnostics, now that you are home, your inclination may be to just let it go, and wait. Please don't. Go back for the second screening, and if advised, on to an...
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Dear Parents-to-Be, You have no idea -- NO IDEA -- what you are getting into. I am thrilled to be a mother. Really, I am. My three darling children cause me -- in addition to the rare headache and occasional string of obscenities -- boundless degrees of happiness and immense pride. I love being "mommy." I can't get enough hugs and kisses, despite the excessive mucus that sometimes accompanies them. I adore the idea of molding these little beings into contributing members of society. It's a challenge I relish. Despite being madly in love with motherhood, I can't help waxing poetic on occasion about my pre-child days. If anyone tries to tell you that your life will be the same after children as it was before, they are lying to you, plain and simple. Honestly, everything changes...
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The thoughts of this woman have visited me many times and today I get to talk about it. I get to say it how I have seen it for the past two years. Since you never said it before, I suggest you buckle up and listen up. She is a slave, but a free slave. She is not your typical woman, not by a long shot. The things she does can seldom be quantified. She has lost the last dignity she’s been holding onto since she was young because the society expects….err…. demands so much from her, 10 times more than they demand from her companion – the man. Despite showing a happy face, catering to her husband, to her children and to the society; she cries, but her crying is never heard. Every time she comes home, Uganda’s unpaid woman is worried because she knows that she is coming home to double...
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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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