Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Your Children

Dear Mom,

I never realized how hard it is for you in all of this. A friend of mine helped me realize that you are still grieving over the loss of so much. What must it be like to be in your shoes? I have been so selfish these past couple of years focusing on trying to come to grips with who I am and wanting you to see this that I forgot what you are going through. I am a terrible for this.

I have never been able to fully comprehend the loss that you have felt and continue to feel since Grandma and Grandpa passed away nearly eight years ago. My relationship to them was never really wonderful and I was most definitely not close to them. I preferred to love Grandma and Grandpa with as much distance as possible between us. Grandma always seemed to know exactly what to say to make me want to yell at her and Grandpa was as warm as a stone in northern Alaska would be to me. But they were your parents and provided you with decades of support, advice, and love. You could always turn to your mom whenever something was going wrong. I remember countless times that you would call Grandma and I remember how she would do her mother-daughter bonding time (which was usually shopping). Grandpa was the fountain of advice that never seemed to cease. Whenever any of us kids were sick, you knew that you could always turn to him for advice. He, the only doctor in town, knew all the ways to cure our childhood illnesses. 

You have done everything you can to live up to the model that Grandma and Grandpa have shown by example. You have raised us with all the love that a mother could give. For each and every injury I had as a boy from running through the fields and forests to riding bikes and doing all the things that a boy can do to hurt himself, you were there with the patience and love to get me back on my feet. You let me play make believe and helped me realize that I could build cities, star ships, castles, forests, forts, and hundreds of other worlds in the family room. I love you, Mom. You have been such a powerful influence in my life. Yet I have smashed practically everything of value that you have ever tried to instill in me. Love. God. Politics.

But I am not the one that makes you cry at night, right? That will perhaps forever belong to my sister. She is the one that became a mother, to your chagrin and eventual joy, only to turn and throw it all in your face. It was she that cruelly destroyed all that you had hoped for her. Mother of two, and she decided to throw it all away and turn into chaos the lives of so many. I know that she wrenched out your heart and did so with such anger and fury that you are still stunned by it. Now she has come back into your life in an attempt to set things right. But your daughter of yesteryear is gone. She is full of such unyielding stubbornness (a family trait, I've noticed). What could you have possibly done more to help her be a good mother? Now your grandchildren's future is uncertain and that has to break your heart. Do you wonder if you have somehow failed Grandma's legacy? I know you haven't and believe that you have ultimately succeeded. But what do you think and believe?

Your oldest son divorced his first wife, left the Church and is seems bitter about it, and is now married to a non-religious and beautiful Japanese girl. He has come a long way but he was the first of your children to hurt you. Have you recovered from that at last?

Now what of your youngest son, my little brother? He should have done everything you ever wanted. But that didn't happen did it? And now what? Now he is married, having never served a mission, and you know that he will regret it. None of us could ever convince him to serve a mission first. He knew what he wanted and now he has it. What now? 

We have all not lived up to your hopes. Such is the nature of kids, right? It is my hope that you realize that you are not a failure to any degree. All four of your children are strongly independent. For the problems that we have inflicted upon each other, we have worked to amend and solve. Your daughter is trying to build a better life for her children. Your youngest and oldest sons are working hard to be good husbands to their wives and to work hard to build their careers and education. I am working hard to finish my degree and have high hopes that I will find someone that will be good and kind that I can love with all my heart and expect the same in return. 

I love you, Mom. You are truly amazing. I hope one day that you will see that with your grief you also have much to delight and rejoice in. 

Your son always,