"Real happiness is found in the struggles we undergo to realise our goals, in our efforts to move forward." Daisaku Ikeda
Todays letter is for my parents. I am considering writing just one letter to them both, which I guess most people could do. But it feels weird to include them in the same post. I never grew up with my mum and dad together, they separated when I was about two years of age. So addressing my parents in one letter feels strange. But I am going to address them both in this post, one section for each. It might be a long one, so grab a cuppa and Enjoy.
A Letter to…my parents
Dear Dad – Johnny boi
Since moving to this big little city I’ve seen less and less of you. All part of growing up I guess. I’ve moved out of family sight, and have started living and following my dreams. That’s what you have always wanted for me. To let go of the past and all the pain that comes with it, and instead deciding to create a new life. One of hope, strength and inspiration.
I guess I never really know what to say to you. There are so many things. I love you? Wish I spent more time with you; the times we do spend together it always seems so fleetingly. You have always been a man of few words, and I have always been someone with too many words.
Since moving to this city, I have become much more aware and in touch with your side of the family. It has been really interesting, but more often than not – quite challenging to face the scores of family drama and dynamic. A dynamic I don’t really fit into. I’ve always been the ‘black sheep’. On the outskirts of this family looking in as an only child between you and my mother. It’s weird. Feeling so much love and connection to you personally, but yet knowing that your other children feel completely different. Both my sisters are doing their best to reconcile, but Brother Carl is a lost cause I’m afraid. I wish you had a better relationship with him… but it’s not my place.
I’ve been starting to understand that you are not perfect and over the years have made many human errors, haven’t we all?. You are perfect to me and that is all that matters really. It doesn’t matter what my other siblings have to say about you, that is their journey not mine. At the end of the day, you have been a truly great father to me. Without you, I’d hate to think where I could be now..
You were there before my mother! Scraping me off the sidewalk after blowouts. You were the one to visit me EVERY Wednesday during the time mum left and I was living rough. Although I didn’t want you to look after me in my rebellious phase I truly appreciated that I could rely on you to come to me just to check in. You never held expectations of me, only hopes…
No matter what state I was in, my drug induced self vividly remembers your presence, and your love. Your hugs, and firm but kind slaps on the back encouraging me with these firm words “don’t do too many drugs”. Sometimes you’d turn up with food… even though I’d never eat it unless it was takeaway. Sometimes you would be brave enough to just leave me a twenty dollar note…My first thought being, “Yes, more money to feed the habit” not feed the belly as you intended it to be so. Tears well up in my eyes just thinking about this… It’s not something I cast my mind to, too often.
Those are my biggest regrets in life. This scenario… of you finding me in such a state. Never the less you kept coming back and you NEVER EVER yelled or got angry at me. If anything I could feel your heart breaking every time you saw me. I am so sorry that you saw me that way. I am so sorry that the things that have happened in my life have caused you such grief and sadness. It’s hard not to feel guilty, but at the end of the day the fact that you continued to love me, you moved closer so that you were there if I was in trouble is worth more than gold to my heart. The complete opposite of mum… but no comparison.
This letter could turn into an essay, but i’ll wrap it up. I just want to say Thank You! I will always live my life knowing how much love and care you gave and continue to give me. I hope that as time goes on I can return the favor for you. Care for you, and look after you as the aging process takes it’s hold. Dad I love you.. So much 🙂 and will always want to say more… Please stay healthy. I hate to think of my life without you…
Dear Mum – Jen Jen
I always get to a standstill when I am faced with writing to you. A part of me just wishes I still had the letter I wrote to you at the end of last year, but fortunately I’m just going to run with this one and see where it takes me.
To be honest, I truly want to avoid any ill feelings towards you. You are my mother after-all, and I should just be thankful and love you unconditionally for giving me life. Unfortunately I wasn’t brought up really knowing about unconditional love…
I do love you! but for some reason every time I think of you my entire body just physically feels stressed. I feel sad, hurt, anger, frustration… and most of all I worry.
No doubt some genetic rub off there. You have always been such a highly strung person. Always dedicated to your job, and doing all that you can to help other people – often forgetting to look after yourself…
But let me remind you that, in order to truly care and fulfill the needs of others we must first take care of ourselves. In what ever shape or form , this part of life is SO essential. Your role modeling has taught me what not to be in life. Maybe a really valuable way to learn these things.
You haven’t always been the best role model. In fact, the more I grow into myself and my twenties I can start to identify the bits of me that have been built up through examples of you. Our lack of interest in feeding ourselves food our bodies need. The quality of putting people first, going the extra mile to do all that you can. Financial stresses, Being exhausted, being sick…. Emotional…A flimsy sense of self esteem and basic happiness with just ‘who we are’.
There are good things too… but they don’t pour out so naturally.
Like your resilience, that I’ve inherited. Your amazing cooking skills which I like to think I’ve inherited also! The creative side of you, which runs so thick through my own blood – you’ve always been a writer so naturally I’ve always followed trying to match your typing speed… its impossible.
So I walk and type, run and laugh at my own pace. Realizing that we are so similar yet so foreign to each other. I am from your being, and see you in me… but never see me in you. I’ve never really been the ‘daughter’ you wanted. So it’s hard not to try and fit into that mold just to please you. Instead I’ve had to create more tension breaking out of the binary box you know only of.
We had some fun times during my childhood, but mostly there is just sadness. I shouldn’t be ungrateful. We had nice houses, pools, food, movies, Tv , cars…. Stuff. But probably not enough open and safe love.
I don’t even really want to write about it, because the past is the past and words cannot change it, and only highlight the indifference and suffering we have endured together.
I guess I am struggling to write this today, because over the last week or so I have been in contact with you several times. Sending lovely text messages, and phone calls just to see how you are going. Things are really tough for you at the moment, with work and your boss having been seriously ill. But I just feel that If i am there to support you, and can still call and say how are you? I wonder why I never receive the same? It makes me a bit angry knowing that in truth… you are quite a self focussed person. but then again, history tells you that I haven’t always been the most welcoming daughter when advice or suggestions come from you. I am trying to change. And Invite you to check in on me preferably with conversations more than just surface level.
I have given up, having expectations of you. But yet… they are still there. Crying out from my childhood bedroom. Lost in the past…
It’s amazing to realize how much impact your parents have over you, throughout the formative years. You are human too. Living your own life, with parents who have built you… And here I am, looking at you – a product of you. Having complete compassion for the life and lessons that make your common sense. Trying not to blame you for anything…
But it’s hard.
I really hope that one day I can get rid of the hang-ups and sadness that consumes me when I think of you. I hope that one day I can write a letter to you, with just absolute happiness and gratitude for our life together.
Instead I am still wading through the past, in order to live in the present….
Hoping one day we will be best of friends again.
I love you. Please stay warm and stop getting sick… It stresses me out, and what I need most form you is a healthy, happy and supportive mum. Be the best person you can be – For me. For yourself… Is that too much to ask?
“If wishes were fishes we’d all cast nets in the sea”
Thanks for reading, Shake it off… let it go and stay tuned for tomorrows A Letter to…my closest sibling/relative.
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