“Dear Mom, As I write this letter to you I have reached the age that you were when you pa…”

Dear Mom, As I write this letter to you I have reached the age that you were when you passed. I hope you somehow know that I am writing this. I have reflected long and hard on trying to understand you leaving me and my sisters at such a young time in our lives. I now have a better perspective and I can understand your pain. Fifteen years old, pregnant with me, dropping out of school, and marrying a man (actually an immature 18-year-old boy) was just more than you were equipped to handle. Oh, I know you tried. You hung in there for a while. I have a better understanding of your own childhood and lack of love offered to you. No mistake about it, you did make bad choices. But I am better able to empathize with your inability to cope as a "forced" adult. After having suffered my own painful experiences in marriage and parenthood I just imagine the pain you felt in rejection. I know you probably felt you deserved it as you never insisted on any attention. You put yourself out there occasionally but quietly retreated as you felt the rejection. I am sometimes saddened to tears when I now recognize your probable heartache. I struggled so hard as a young adult not to be like you. But, I find I am in some respects very much like you. I now embrace your good qualities as a blessing to me. You showed such spiritual dedication and humbleness in your older years. I proudly strive to continue to emulate you in that respect. My biggest lesson learned from you and your experiences (later mostly told to me by others) was to not to judge those who on the surface seem to be hard and self-centered. Often they are hurt and have no feeling of self-worth, I try to show kindness and concern for those who sometimes disregard or shun. I now say thank you, I forgive you, and I pray you had long ago forgiven me. Love, Your Eldest Child

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