Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Letter

This is a piece I wrote awhile back....but thought I would share here.

A writer I know and who’s work I have come to respect (Amy Wood)….wrote a similar piece as this a few days ago...and bravely placed it for the world to see.  She said it took her 40 years to write it but she finally did it....and I got the feeling that it gave her a sort of peace and relief all at the same time. I felt inwardly challenged to do the same.  So here is mine…almost 47 years in the making. Thanks Amy!

Dear Little Girl in the Pink Dress,
I see you standing there with your brand new white doll carriage. I am not sure why you are going to remember this day and even this year for the rest of your life….but you will. Most don’t remember their second birthday but you will. You will remember your mommy telling you to blow out the two glowing candles on your cake and you will remember the excitement of the doll carriage. You will also remember your babysitter of that year, her foul smell and her ugly boys. You will remember being coerced into eating things that weren’t really food, being stuck in hot water, and sadly……being touched by those ugly boys in ways that no two year old should have to experience. Try to always remember that you did nothing to deserve this and you were never a “bad girl” because it happened.
When you are six, please don’t fight your mother when she wants to brush your long, thick hair. This is only going to cause her frustration and you are going to end up going from having long, beautiful hair….to the ever popular and not so attractive pixie cut. This is going to set you up for a lot of teasing and some very negative feelings about yourself….that will last for years to come.
Six is not going t be a great year for you…so try to take it in stride. On that day when you just can’t hold it anymore…..PLEASE don’t be afraid of the teacher.  Just get up and go to the bathroom….otherwise you are going to be teased mercilessly and that wicked witch of a teacher is going to be the one leading the charge.
Finally that year….try hard to understand that mommy’s and daddy’s fight and it doesn’t matter how good you are or how bad you are….your actions have nothing to do with their problems. Don’t take what is going to be their life time of issues on your little shoulders. They are simply not meant to hold such weighty problems as infidelity and adult immaturity.
When your brother is born, your mom is sick and your dad is gone….don’t take your mothers short temper as a sign you are bad. She really has no intention of sending you to boarding school…she is just sick, tired, and at her wits end. She never signed on to raise two kids on her own.
When you are in jr. high, don’t believe it when your dad tells you “you will never amount to anything.” Believe it or not….in many ways….you are already a better person than he is.
Please don’t fall in love in the 7th grade. That is going to come back to haunt you time and time again….and believe me when I say….it will end badly.
Don’t let your dad play you and your brother against each other. He is setting you up for years of resentment towards each other and causing a rift of distrust that may never be healed.
When you get to take the magical trip to Mexico with the Spanish class…enjoy every second, take in every site, and appreciate every detail for you will most likely never get to go on such a trip again...
When you get to high school…you need to pay close attention. These are actually going to be some of the best years of your life. Cherish the friends you make and especially hug that tall red headed boy as much as possible. He isn’t going to be around forever.
Appreciate every minute you spend with your mom. You will learn as time goes on that you never really learn everything there is to know about her…..and not everyone’s mom stays up all night talking to them whenever teenage crisis’ hit.  Hug her whenever possible and never tire of hearing her tell you she loves you.
In your senior year….think twice before you take that first drink of alcohol. It may loosen you up and make you more social then….but it is going to be the root of many bad choices in the future.
When you are chosen as a sr. prom queen candidate….enjoy it.  Don’t let it be lessened because some boy tells you “they had to choose the girls they did……….because they were at the bottom of the barrel.”
On graduation night….try to keep your emotions under control, because if you don’t….you will drink way beyond your ability to function…and you are going to end up passing out. When you come to…you are going to find yourself in the process of having your innocence stolen while two others watch and then you are going to be dropped off at your house…..humiliated, bruised, and scarred for years to come.
In the late summer before you go to college….don’t let your heart lead. Just because you hear the word’s “I love you,” doesn’t mean you should give in. If you do…it will end badly.
Don’t go to college away from home just because your parents think you should…otherwise you are going to major in partying, carry your secret shame with you, and end up with more issues than before you even left.
When at college….don’t fall for that boy who is so different from all the guys you have ever known. When you find out that you are pregnant and were pregnant when you came to school….you are going to cause problems for both you and him and get caught up in a situation that once again…..does not end well.
Think long and hard before you put that baby up for adoption. She is going to be a regret you never let go of….and when she dies without being adopted and you have to bury her…..you are going to go through pain you never knew you could feel.
Please don’t go back to college in the summer of ’83. Yes you are in love….but after what you have been through…..regardless of what you two think, it is just never going to work out. By Christmas of ’83 you are going to have your heart broken and you are going to end up back at home.
Please, please when you are out dragging Douglas….don’t talk to the hot guy in the car. This is going to be the start of something that leads to a very dark period in your life. You may just be talking to pure evil.
When he hits you the first time and you actually see stars…..run, don’t walk to the door. This is not going to be the last time this happens and in the end….you will be lucky to get out with your life.
Cherish the life that comes from this dark time in your life. Don’t let your parents make you feel that you are too stupid and too inept to raise this child. You’re not….you just need a chance.
You are going to have some guys come in and out of your life in the next few years. Don’t discard the good ones and navigate towards the bad ones. You really do deserve a good guy.
When you meet the really hot guy at the bar who looks good and even smells good….be cautious. While you are going to spend the next few years having adventures and having some wonderful times….he is going to have even more issues than you and there will never be a long term future. Enjoy the good times though….and hang on to the happy memories….for he won’t be in this world forever.
That night when you begrudgingly go to the bar…..do go with your instinct on this unusual guy you meet. He is a keeper!
Live, love and laugh as hard as possible in the next few years. It will be over….way too soon.
When your youngest lies between life and death….draw your strength from the man beside you. Keep your faith….your son will live to bring joy to your life that you never dreamed possible.
On that particular morning….kiss your husband good-bye with all your heart. Tell him you love him and give him that extra hug before you leave. This will be your last time to do this….but he will know he is loved before he takes his last breath.
Take every moment you can on those trips to radiation and chemo with your mom. Talk about her and get to know her. Her life is slipping away and soon you won’t have those special moments anymore. Open your eyes to the truth…..and tell her what she has meant to your life.
When you are left alone with your kids and you are doing it all on your own…..don’t let your heart drop out of you when your 16 year old tells you…”I wish you had died instead of dad,” he is just a mixed up confused child, trying to deal with his loss.
Know that all the nights you stay up worrying where he is, what he is doing, and if you are going to get a call from a hospital, the police, or worse yet the morgue….you and him both survive. You do get a call or two….but again….you DO survive.
In the end….you will survive his teen years, children being sick, children having seizures, your dad still telling you that you will never survive when he is gone or amount to anything, your brother telling you and your kids what a lousy mother you are, health issues, and doing it all on your own.
You will grow, you will forgive, you will learn, and most of all….you will have no regrets…for you will know that each and every one of these experiences….made you who you are today….and you are just pretty okay with that!


Marni said...

I have no words. This is amazing. I always knew that you were a. Woman of courage.....but never really knew to what depths.
I actually started of these letters years ago...through this you have encouraged me to work on it again
Again....you truly amaze me

PaulainOK said...

Bless you Lisa. Thanks for sharing. I have always liked you and now I know why. You are a woman of courage! Your confessions will probably help alot of young ladies make better decisions. Use what God has taught you through all this to help other girls in crisis.

Matt K Cassens said...

Beautifully written and wonderfully cathartic!