Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 24- A Letter to My Parents

Note:  My mom passed away on March 17, 1999.  My dad remarried three years later.  This is an interesting assignment because there are things that I can still say to my dad but there are many things I would love to tell my mom.  I'm just going to go for it and see what we end up with here.  Enough putting it off.  I'm afraid, though, that because of the different situations here, I will write two different letters one directed to each parent.

Dear Dad,

Thank you for all of your efforts to be close to us since Mom has been gone.  I know it's not been easy because Mom was always so good at keeping us all connected.  Thank you for being there as much as you have.  It will be great to see you on Saturday and have you take part in A's baptism.  I love that we live close enough to you that we can still be part of your life.

I know that someday you won't be here any more, and I dread that.  I feel like we haven't been as close as we were when Mom was so sick and right after her death, and I'm sad about that.  But, I'm grateful for the time we did have and do have now when we see each other.

I appreciate the time you took for me as I was growing up.  I remember the times you would bring home things from work.  I remember a pink dress you bought for me and surprised me with one evening.  I recall you bringing home prizes at various times and would reward "Mom's biggest helper for the week."  It was always very clear how much you loved Mom.  I loved that you would call her before you left work.  The care you took of her when she was sick was such an example to me of true love and devotion.  How I admire you for that.  There was never a moment growing up that I doubted how much you loved Mom and how much she loved you right back.  As I look around me now and see how many families lack that kind of love, I have come to value that even more.  What a great home to be raised in!

I want you to know, Dad, how much I love you.  I thank you for the time you took me out to ice cream, just the two of us because you were worried about the path I was headed down when I was sixteen.  Thank you for the times we sat in the middle seat of the station wagon on family trips and you shared your knowledge of the scriptures with me.  You are the smartest man I have ever known.

More than anything, I know how concerned you've been about us thinking you've forgotten Mom.  I know that's just not true.  I know she means as much to you now as she did when she was alive.  I understand how lonely you were when she left us.  That was hard to deal with.  I know all of our visits couldn't take that loneliness away, and I'm glad that you have someone to share your life with now.  She is a good companion and brings out a lot of things in you that I don't think you would have experienced otherwise.  I know Heavenly Father helped you find a new companion so you wouldn't be lonely.  She's a good lady and good for you.

I just want you to be happy.  Thank you for providing all that we had growing up.  Thank you for helping me fulfill so many goals and dreams--my mission, college, and just plain surviving my teen years.  I love you Dad.  Thank you for everything.


Dear Mom,

Oh how I miss you!  What I wouldn't give for just five minutes with you, but I know that would be trouble because I know I'd beg for five more and would never be satisfied no matter how long I was given.

As time goes on, I have so many questions to ask you.  How did you do it all?  How did you know how to deal with us kids?  I want to know your feelings about so many things.  You always went around with a smile on your face, but sometimes I wonder if you just kept that smile on so we wouldn't worry about things or know that things bothered you.

I used to, until about last year, go to the phone and pick it up to call you.  Weird, huh?  I don't really have anyone now that gives me advice so I don't have to make so many mistakes and guides me through things.  So I'm barreling through it all, Mom, and you'd better believe I'm making mistakes left and right.  Wish I wasn't, and I know if you were here, if I didn't have your advice, I'd at least have your oositive words and your encouragement to "say a little prayer."  I miss that.

When you left, I understood that you had to go.  I knew you had things you had to do that you couldn't do here.  I felt so brave and knew that we could all go on and that we would all miss you, but that we could do it because of how you'd taught us.  But, to be honest, I'm not very good at any of it.  I'm not brave.  I'm trying my best to be like you.  I'm trying to remember how you did things.  I'm trying to keep a smile on my face.

Mom, I have no doubt that I was meant to be your daughter.  I don't think anyone else on this earth could have been my mom.  I love that we clicked.  I loved sitting in the kitchen with you and just talking.  I loved that you were just the right size to hug.  Thank you for being my best friend.  I miss you more than anything!



Julia Shinkle said...

I bet that was hard Julie. But both such nice letters. I hope you know that I visit your blog each time you post. I don't always comment but you have actually taught me some things and wish we lived closer because you just seem like someone I could talk to easily. I think you are doing an amazing job.

Alyson said...

I never knew your mom, but your letter to her made me teary.

Jen said...

Ok Jules, I had to break out the Kleenex on this post. Wow! Very powerful. Moms are great at pulling everyone together, aren't they? Your letter to your mom just brought on the tears. I put myself in your place and I felt how difficult it must be and how hard it is to fill that void loved ones leave behind when they pass away. Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman. I loved how you described her in just a few short paragraphs. I came to get a little glimpse of her greatness. Thank you!

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