Below is a letter I wrote to my parents a little over a year ago.
Why do I feel like sharing it tonight? Well, a few reasons. I just spent the evening with some new friends watching a movie I didn’t really like all that much based on a book I liked even less but which both contained the life lesson of change and transformation.
And I realized, again, how much we change. I say we, but perhaps that is arrogant. I have changed. I have changed since a year ago and I have changed since a year before that.
In less than 2 weeks the calendar will remember a wedding anniversary that won’t happen. In about a month my body will remember a baby that wasn’t. In a few months my brain will have to accept the age of 30.
It can be hard, it can be horribly frightening.
But ultimately, I think it is worth it.
So I want to share this letter with you because I think it marks for me a significant moment of change in me, a moment that changed my relationship with my parents, and a moment that changed my relationship with myself.
July 2, 2009
Mama and Daddy,
So I have the apartment to myself this evening and I decided to do some more cleaning. I am slowly sorting stuff into piles of “throw away” “give away” and “keep”… this goes for clothes, shoes, and such but tonight I opened a box I hadn’t opened in, well, I can’t remember and started going through a bunch of papers. I found old birthday cards, old photos, and old letters.
Letters from me to you (individually and together), cards to you, notes to you…. And then I found notes and postcards and letters from you (again, separately and together) to me.
I must admit that I gave up reading them at one point because crying isn’t very conducive to reading.
Maybe I am just overwhelmed with life (some not so good news with work, a tiff with Matthew, plans for the summer falling apart), but for some reason reading these old letters made me cry… the full on cry, with the runny nose and the headache.
I am not sure if you would know what letters I am referring to… I am not sure I could describe them in a way that would make sense.
But they are making me very sad. Because they are from a few different time periods… back when I was little and you would write to me…. Back when I was a teen and I would write to you…
And I am face to face with tangible evidence of parental love and of teenager stupidity.
I don’t know what happened. I don’t really remember a whole lot from even a few years ago let alone my childhood and teenage days, I know that I made mistakes. I know I took you both for granted. I know I acted out, acted badly, I know I hurt you.
I don’t know what I am doing in this email, I just felt the need to acknowledge that these things matter, that I wish there was a way to go back to before whatever it was that changed me from the daughter you could write silly loving letters to into the angry confused daughter who wrote you letters that were nether silly nor loving.
Although, I guess I am still the confused daughter who is writing you a letter.
But I’m not angry anymore.
I guess I want you both to know that I’m sorry.