A letter to my mom (that I can’t send)

Dear Mom,

I love you.  You are one of the smartest, strongest women I know.  You raised four amazing children, and I wish you could see us all through my eyes. 

Please don’t worry so much about me, and my kids, and the fact that we are poor, and our life is hard.  This too, will pass, as all things do.  I know that you worked so hard to make my life easy, but it’s not supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to be painful and joyful, and it is.

Many people and circumstances have made my life hard and good.  You are one of those people, and so is my husband.  My upbringing was one of those circumstances.  It taught me many things- good, bad, and indifferent.

The good: You taught me that there is more than one way to get there, and that my path is mine to walk.  You didn’t judge me when I embraced the teachings of Buddha.  You lead by example in teaching me to put my family first, and that’s why I’m such a good mom, too.  

The bad: My upbringing taught me to question and judge every thought and feeling I had.  This led me to not trust my instincts.  I had no understanding of people’s motivations for many years.  This led to me being a grifters mark, and, subsequently, destroyed my relationship with you.  I was not properly prepared for the world, and all the predators therein.  Also, I was spoiled with the material, and deprived of acceptance and understanding.  This made my work ethic pretty iffy for a number of years.  I received mixed messages:  Be honest, but not too honest.  Be yourself, but not if yourself is weird.  Be proud of your intelligence, but don’t correct people.

The indifferent: could never talk to you about anything real.  When I was very young, and asked about rape and abortion, you clammed up, and refused to give a real answer.  I learned to see in black & white, because you did not help me navigate the gray areas.  Also, when you asked me what I knew about sex, why I wanted to be dead, and other uncomfortable topics, I clammed up because that’s what we do.

Please understand that this is not about blame.  I am grateful for every lesson you taught me, and understanding about the things you just couldn’t.  How could you prepare me for life, when life didn’t prepare you for me?  You were not prepared for a child and an old soul, crammed into the same body, just trying to figure it all out.  I am an anomaly, but, like everything else, happened for a reason.

Many people would be proud to have me for a daughter, and you should be, too.  I am kind, tough, funny, sincere, and enlightened.

I hope God grants you the serenity to accept the things you cannot change.  This is something I have struggled with, as well.

You will always have my love, gratitude, and admiration.

Love, 

Jen

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2 thoughts on “A letter to my mom (that I can’t send)

  1. Wow, what a post… You are obviously an amazingly intelligent and thoughtful person who any mother should be proud of. I know what it’s like to have a parent that you are at a distance from, and it’s very hard to get passed. I hope that you and your mother can make amends and build a relationship built on mutual love and understanding. Keep up the great writing! I hope others find their way here.

    Regards,

    James

    • Thank you so much! That is one of the nicest things I’ve ever heard. This is the post I had really hoped to receive feedback on. Writing it was very cathartic. I feel that my mother loves me the best way she knows how. She was brought up in a different dysfunction, and developed different priorities. All I can do now is set boundaries, let her know I love her, and hope one day she understands. I hope people find their way here, too.

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