Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Letter

My mom showed me a letter a few months before she died that I had written her when I twelve. She told me that it broke her heart.
Dear Mom,

I'm glad I finally sat down to write a letter, but at least I'm writing one now.

My mom just had a baby, Sept. 15, 1977 at 5:15, named Adessa Marie. She's about as cute as they come and that's real cute.

I've already seen the movie 3 times (Star Wars) because I really like it. My Step brother Brenner and I have seen it together every time. Everytime I went, I said I was eleven, so I could get in for a dollar, but the last time I went, I slipped, and I had to pay $2.50.

I'm doing fine in my new family, but I much rather prefer that dad never got divorced. Brenner's not too bad of a brother, but he's too sensitive, and scared of lots of things because of movies, and he's 11 years old. But otherwise, he's a good brother. I like Cynthia, and I love her, but I'd rather live in my past families. It's not that she's a bad person, and she's not, I just don't enjoy this family.

I hope that one day that you and I can come visit one day, because that's what I truly wish.

Tell Jean and Lorrie that I said, "Hi!" and I'm sorry that their father and (or) husband died, unless it would hurt their feelings.

I love you very much, and I'm glad I wrote you a note. And I hope you like my picture.

Your Son,


P.S. Tell Mike that you two better get married, and also that I said Hi.
I enclosed a blue ink-pen drawing of R2-D2, labeled R2-D2's father. I really should hook up my scanner, to illustrate the meticulous yet childlike cursive script that our schools so meticulously taught us throughout our early education. I can't even write cursive anymore, except to sign my name.

I don't even know where to begin with this letter. At first I am touched by this glimpse into my earlier world, when life was about how many times I had seen Star Wars. But other parts bite. I refer early on to my step-mother as mom, with no regard for my own mother's feelings; over time I would come to know just how she felt about that moniker being assigned to another woman, when she decided that I should call her husband Scotty dad.

"No way, mom, he is not my dad."

"But you call other women mom!"

"That's because I was too young to think on my own, and my father forced me to do it."

Her lower lip jutted in an exaggerated pout.

"Mom, I promise you, I was too young, but you are my mom, my only mom, and all the others have an empty title, one that no other woman will have from now on. I can't change the past, and neither can you."

The letter illustrates a point that I had completely forgotten. The hallmark of my childhood was my summer visits with my mother, but in this letter, I am lamenting that I haven't seen her; and I realize now that, at twelve years old, I hadn't seen her since I was six, when she sent me away, from the back seat of my grandmothers car.


Beth said...

I keep my children's letters as well. We're together, but I still think someday it will be a big look into their past selves.

Tee said...

Wow. This entry is heartbreaking in so many ways. As a mother, I can feel her pain, but then at the end you say she pretty much abanonded you so I'm having trouble sympathizing with her. You were young and you needed a female figure. I can feel your pain even in your simple 12 year old words.

jenbeauty said...

So heartbreaking.

Our generation certainly comes from broken homes. It is amazing how many of my friends have step brothers/sisters and/or half brothers/sisters. They also refer to step parents as mom and dad so it can get confusing.

It is amazing at 12 that you could feel a bond with all those people. I would think you would have started getting a little jaded. But then again, innocence of youth can be a good thing.

Scott said...

Knitter - Yeah, it is a look into the past, but I think a welcomed one. Hold onto everything.

Tee - Abandoned is a strong word that may or may not fit. I needed her growing up and she wasn't there, even when she was around.

Jen - You said it, and more than anything I don't want my children to ever have to face that confusion. I was a little jaded, but my soft nature was most prominent until my dad's fourth wife, and then, finally, I had had enough.

mr. schprock said...

I read this post and the linked post. It's a shame a child has to write a letter describing a situation like that with all its implications.

Possible stupid question: did surviving this make you a stronger, maybe even better person, do you think? is it possible you're a better parent and husband for it?

Scott said...

Mr. Shprock - I got nothing but good from it. It has taught me to forgive, and has kept me close to my inner child, and I would never in a million years let my children experience a tenth of what I went through. My answer is a resounding YES!

trinamick said...

Parents get so wrapped up in their own troubles that they often forget that every change makes their children suffer even more so. Glad to see you came out of it a better person!

Scott said...

So many people go the other direction. Thanks Trin.

Mr. T said...

I like watching how life/fate/God? molds us.. how something at one moment seems so tragic but then when looked upon in hindsight its realized to be so life changing for the better that we wonder who we'd be without it.

Thank you Scott for another glimpse into you.

Shesawriter said...


Very moving entry. We carry our childhood with us to the grave. It took me a while to understand my mom. I can't say I understand her 100%, but I do somewhat. It helps me put things into perspective. Strangely enough, it also dulls some of the painful memories.


magnetbabe said...

Touching story. Did you have to call all the wives "mom"? Sometimes I refer to my stepfather as "dad" when it makes a story much less complicated. And even 13 years after he and my mom got together, I still feel terribly guilty about it.

Scott said...

T - Always a pleasure.

Tanya - I agree, writing this down really helps to put it where it belongs, kind of like therapy, where simply talking about it reduces it's impact.

MB - I stopped after his third wife, so only two others besides my real mom. I didn't mind the second, but the third was a stretch, and after that I just brought it up within the first couple days, a preemptive strike if you will. Guilt. Boy do I know what you mean with that. Glad you understand.