Mom, I wrote you a letter.

It is your birthday,

-and as much as I think of you everyday, I spend more time with you today than any of the other days. We had a tradition with birthdays in our family; they were special because it is day we came to be. So we celebrated. Except you did not really like the day you were born, because you were convinced you were not wanted. You spent your life making up for it, being angry about it, and suffering from it. I watched, I tried and I got angry too. I saw you though, even though I was just a teen, I could see the pain, but I also knew it was not mine to fix. Even when you made me responsible for it, I refused. That is when we really did not get along.

We had some hard times you and I. And you know what… I appreciate all of them. I always knew you loved me, even when you made it conditional on my good behavior. I can see it all so much better now of course. That is the healing isn’t it…to create a new relationship with our past, with our relationship.

It is very loving now, except you are no longer here. We did not get to resolve before you left. It took me a long time to come to terms with not saying goodbye. It has been 15 years now. I have had the opportunity to twist and turn our relationship in my head so many times, but that is all good too because it has opened up my heart.

It has helped me know you more, it has helped me know myself more and it has helped me be who I am today and why I do what I do. It is how I can help people find themselves through the darkness. We all have that darkness I think, but we also all have that golden heart that you always had in there, deep inside the darkness. The darkness, that swallowed you up for most of your life, as I knew you. The depression, the emotional rollercoaster but also your big heart, that always tried so hard to be loved back.

You always thought you were not wanted and you always felt rejected, not good enough, not loved. Sad part is we wanted you, we loved you, we thought you were good enough, but you could not receive that. The even more sad part is that I talked to your mom after you were gone and she had a completely different story of your birthday.

See you were so angry with her for not having a biological dad that you never asked her about him. I did. He and she loved each other, but her dad (my great grandfather the blacksmith) did not think he was good enough for her. They wanted each other and they wanted you. Yes you. You were a love child and she was forced to give you away!

The wounds inflicted on you became the way you lived your life and it has become my wounds too, but also my teaching, and for that I am grateful. Not really grateful for the wounds, that is not fair to say, but grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn from them. Teachers have guided me to find myself in the midst of it all. Our relationship and our love is the core of all of that. So thank you mom, for all of it, the good and the bad. I will always love you!

P.S. I should add that my grandmother fell in love with her little child after birth and begged to keep her. My mom ended up growing up at my great grandfather’s house with my grandmother coming to visit on weekends until the grandfather I grew up with entered the picture and want to adopt the little one (my mom). My mom loved him very much and never knew how much it pained my grandmother to only be allowed to see her on weekends. It was a story I only learned after my mother’s death and I am grateful that I got to talk to my grandmother about it, because she had spent her life feeling guilty about it.

The things we don’t talk about become greater pains than the difficult truths we sometimes have to speak.