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Dearest Mom, by Marilyn Wong

Dearest Mom,

I am sorry I had been such a terrible daughter all these years. You have never minded spending all your hard-earned money on me, but I have not been grateful, only resentful that you buy me expensive, beautiful clothes to wear, always thinking that because I did not inherit your beauty, you had been mocking me, and trying to cover up my ugliness and make me look more worthy of you. But that had never been the case. I know that now. You love me. You simply love me with all your might. You never saw me as ugly: you, the beautiful woman who has a daughter with plain looks never saw that I am not as good as you are. You always saw me as a princess. You saw my heart and knew that deep down I am good and beauty shines through.

You have had so many disappointments in life, and I had been the only truly good thing you were sure about: that I am your daughter, for you to hold, love and pamper, without worries of my betraying you, as so many had done. I am sorry I never realized any of it. (more…)

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Words Unspoken, by Linda St.Cyr

Dear Mom,

Mother’s Day is coming up soon and it got me thinking about our relationship over the years. There are so many things we say and don’t say to each other in almost every conversation we have. And we talk everyday so it is weird that there are things we don’t say to each other. We have always had an amazing relationship even when we were at odds when I was a teenager wanting to be a grown up. You always had my best interests at heart. Maybe it is because I am a mother now that I can completely see where you were coming from on those occasions that I heartily disagreed with your judgment. I’m sure my kids are going to disagree with my judgments too already they are starting and they aren’t teenagers yet.

Why is it that there are things we don’t say to each other? Is it because it makes us sound sappy? Is it because we are scared? I know that every day when we talk to each other that we say “I love you” but what else is behind those words? (more…)

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Please Be Happy, at Peace and Full of Joy, Mama, by Karen Curley

Hi Mama,

It’s strange that I’ve never written to you before because I think about you all the time.  When you passed away on that dreadful day over fifteen years ago, I thought I would never get over it.  I never did.

I sat with you as you lie in the hospital bed, gently moving the wisps of hair off your forehead.  I knew what was ahead and I dreaded the moment that you would leave me.   I knew you were ready to meet Jesus, just like you always wanted.

I hope heaven is everything you ever dreamed of.  I hope you are with Daddy and all the family and friends you loved so much in your life.  If ever a person deserved to be in heaven, it is you, Mama.  You sacrificed everything for your five children and your husband.  You gave us everything you had to give even when we didn’t seem to appreciate it. (more…)

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To My Husband's Mother, Cathy Crenshaw Doheny

To My Husband’s Mother:

The night before Kevin left to travel to see you, he finally confided in me the real reason he had been so upset lately. He told me that you had proclaimed that I was never again invited to step foot into your home. Apparently, this was in response to the email I had sent to you, asking that you give us some space for a while and not visit during Kevin’s remaining chemo rounds.

I know that you had good intentions and just wanted to be by your son’s side while he endured his cancer treatment, and I fully supported that. But then, the last time you visited, Kevin informed me that you had spent a solid hour screaming at him about our parenting choices WHILE he was receiving his chemo in his hospital room!

Given his weakened state, this sort of conflict was simply not appropriate. My husband and I both agreed that it would be best for you not to visit again while he was receiving chemo.

When Kevin returned from his trip to see you, he told me that you had finally admitted that it was not just that email that caused you to banish me from your family and home. In fact, he confirmed a belief that I have had since before Kevin and I married: You do not like or approve of me.

For years now, I would point out to Kevin specific ways I felt that you had slighted me, but he seemed unable to believe that his parents would react that way to the woman he loved most in the world.

Sensing that I was not your idea of the “perfect daughter-in-law”, I would try even harder to reach out to you, including you in holidays and urging Kevin to call and check in with you often. Then when we were preparing to adopt Jade, I tried to be fair and include you in as many of the plans as possible. When we brought her home, I updated the blog often, knowing that you must cherish photos of your only grandchild.

I made so many efforts to involve you in her life. But, sadly, those efforts were often met only with resistance. I feel that you never made any effort to get to know Jade or me at all. In fact, much of the time, I have felt that you treat me as a secretary. Looking back, though, I can honestly say that I made every effort to be a good daughter-in-law to you.

Even more importantly, I believe that I have been a devoted wife to your son. He has a home of his own, stability, and a child to love because of me. He has a woman who loves and cherishes him – a wife who has stood beside him and cared for him throughout his treatment for a deadly cancer, even in the face of her own illness and being a new mother.

Yet, despite all of these things, I feel that you have chosen to focus on the little ways you have not approved of me. Yes, I was very upset when you arrived an hour late to our wedding rehearsal dinner. We were working on a very specific time frame, and all of the other guests arrived on time. I was quite embarrassed to have to continue to make excuses as to why we couldn’t begin the dinner. I felt hurt that this special occasion was not important enough for you to arrive on time.

No, of course I did not want a Catholic priest to preside over my wedding. Neither Kevin nor I are Catholic or even religious, so we did not feel that it was the appropriate choice for our wedding. But you had insisted that it must be that way because it was what YOU wanted.

And, for the record, when I was told just minutes before MY wedding that a Catholic priest would be giving a blessing during the ceremony, I responded with grace, still trying to gain your approval.

On goes the list of petty reasons why you have stated that you don’t like me. I don’t suppose I have enough time or energy to address them all. And what would be the point now? No matter what I do, it appears that you won’t be changing your mind.

It hurts me tremendously to have to write this letter to you, as I very much wanted to be a part of your family. I always wanted you to approve of me, as you have been such an important part of my husband’s life. I wanted you to know me, understand me, and have meaningful discussions about life and love with me. And I had such wonderful plans for you to be a part of Jade’s life – to take her to the zoo, show her your beautiful garden, teach her to bake cookies and make pasta in your warm Italian kitchen.

I am sad that those dreams of mine have come to an end. I guess they should have ended long ago, but I always thought that, if I just tried a little harder… But, I am too tired to try anymore. I have more on my plate now than any one person should have at one time. And so, I am letting this go. In honor of Mother’s Day, I am finally letting you go.

Sincerely,
Your Son’s Wife

~~~
Cathy Crenshaw Doheny is an award-winning freelance writer, specializing in creative nonfiction. Her works have been featured in various online and print publications in the US, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. She is the winner of the Kaixin Inaugural Writing Competition, as well as a multi-award winner on the Notes and Grace Notes site. You can read more about her writing at http://cathydoheny.blogspot.com.

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A Mother's Day Letter to My Son, By Suzanne Alicie

Dear Alex,

I remember the first Mother’s Day after you were born. I was so proud to be able to stand up in church and be given a corsage. I felt like I had joined the world of real women; I was a Mom.

Now keep in mind that at that time you were about 6 months old and it had been a really rough 6 months. You were one of those babies who got your days and nights mixed up, so the two of us, a scared girl and a crying baby spent many nights together in a rocking chair over those months. During that time I began talking to you.

Other women keep journals. I talked to my baby. I told you all my hopes and dreams and all of the things I wanted out of life. Then I started telling you all the things that a man needs to know and learn from his mother. Of course you don’t remember all of those conversations and considering the lack of sleep they were probably incomprehensible anyway.  You had finally started sleeping at night right before Mother’s Day. So it was a triumphant day for me. I had met the challenges that being a young new mother had thrown at me and we had both survived.

So now you are 15 years old and I am still so proud to be your Mom. You have grown into such a handsome young man, but that is just on the outside. You are a talented musician, but that is just something you do.  You are fun and funny with a great sense of humor, but that is just your personality. What counts is what is on the inside. You are kind hearted and gentle. You choose the homeliest looking animals as the ones you love the most, and you donate your time to help those who are less fortunate. You set goals and strive for them with a single-minded intensity. I have no doubts you will achieve whatever you decide to achieve in your life.

I am shocked and amazed that a scared and confused girl like me could raise a son as wonderful as you. I hope that the lessons that I have taught you will stay with you through your life and you will always keep that sweet smile and easy laugh. And remember always that your Mommy loves you very much and while I was teaching you, I was learning myself. Being your mother has taught me the true meaning of unconditional love and the thrill of crying tears of joy.

This Mother’s Day, I am the proud mother of two wonderful boys but no Mothers Day will ever compare to my first one.

Love,

Mom

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