I feel the need to pause just a tick.
This second part of the story is hard for me to write. I have loved three men in my life: one loved me badly, one loved me the best that he could, and one didn’t love me enough. It makes me sad to relive some of these parts, because…well. I made mistakes. He made mistakes. It wasn’t the right cosmic alignment, or aureal conjunction, or (more probably) we just didn’t try hard enough.
This part of the story hurts. But it is all part of the story.
In the beginning, my intent in writing this for you was to share with you the kind of person I was before I was just “Mom”. My entire life I have struggled for individuality, for that one thing that says, “This is me, and nobody else. This is a unique and special person who is different from anyone you’ve ever known.”
I rebel against stereotypes. I resist being categorized. I reject the idea that everyone is the same. I refuse to accept that you, or I, are cast from the same mold as the dude standing next to you in the grocery line.
Can you understand?
Can I explain to you what it means to me that you be allowed to realize your full potential? How abhorrent it is to me that someone, somewhere, may try to change you or deter you from being the one person that you were meant to be? Can I tell you how my heart swells with pride, thinking that I had some small part of what you turned out to be? Can I ever show you how much it means to me that you read this, and understand, and see what I am trying to do?
What I meant it for was special. What this has turned into, is amazing.
I picture you reading this, and being shocked, or confused, perhaps even horrified. Perhaps you didn’t know these things about me. Perhaps you never thought about it. Perhaps all I ever was to you was the “parental unit”, the one who wasn’t always there, the one who left you, the one who let you go. The one who gave up, and perhaps in your eyes, walked away.
How can I ever repair that? How can I ever make it right? How can I tell you how I am crying as I write this? That just the thought of you, and how simply special you are to me, can bring me to my knees, make me weep, make me want to save you, protect you, keep you from harm? Including the harm I caused?
So somewhere in between starting this and sharing it with some small portion of the internet population, I realized that my ultimate intent here is to make you understand, to make you see how very, very much I love you. How much it means to me when you tuck your little hand into mine. When you sing with me and the radio. When you come into my room, before I’m awake, and tuck the covers around my neck and kiss my cheek. How special it is when you turn to me, radiant, telling me something so important to you with your five-year-old mind and five-year-old voice, and twenty-year-old words, and I don’t even hear you because I just get lost in your eyes because I love you. Just that damn much.
The most important thing I will ever tell you is that you were conceived, and born, and lived in love. Your father and I never once thought twice about you, we never second guessed, we never agonized over whether to keep you. In you, I found my salvation. In you, I found forgiveness. In you, I found my heart and my soul and I learned what it was to let someone else own a little corner of who I am. In you I found the reason, the purpose, behind writing this and coming to the conclusion that there is really only one thing at all that I am trying to say.
I love you.
Next: chapter sixteen.