“Letters from Mom”
Mom wrote me hundreds of letters and would often send me greeting cards with snipped comics or articles from newspapers or magazines she thought I'd enjoy.
This is probably one of the most heartfelt letters mom ever wrote me. She sent it to me just after I left for college.
August 23, 1991
Well, it’s Saturday, and, as you can easily see, I have invested in some official stationery. Next time, if this works out well, I’ll probably go for the Garfield. The Victorian flowers were pretty, but not quite me. Ok, maybe.
So, how did your spaghetti with clam sauce come out? Actually, by the time you get this, I’ll probably have already asked you. Then again, maybe I’ll refrain.
I keep thinking I should be able to come up with something of wisdom for you. After all, the written word is so much more potent than the spoken word. Maybe that’s because we employ our own inflection. That sounds good; maybe I should write it down. Actually, I already did.
So much for words of wisdom. Although you’ll have to admit this is not bad for a first try. Get yourself a special box to keep these in; you don’t want to lose them.
Funny, I still have the letters Nana and Papa wrote to me at Seton Hill. When I got them, I used to sit on my bed, lean against the wall and cry, especially over Papa’s. They were so unbearably poignant, so full of love. I think that was the first time I ever saw Papa’s heart, had any idea of how he really felt about me. I used to read them over and over again. And every few years after that. I haven’t been able to read them since he died.
I don’t mean to be morbid. I guess the connection – you know, letter to my own son at college.
I really can’t believe it, you know, sweetheart. My baby, my child, on the threshold of life, ready to go.
I know I’ve told you a hundred times, but I should commit it to pen and paper for posterity. (Alliteration has always been my forté.)
Being pregnant was great! I loved every minute of it (well, not labor so much and I did get a little impatient the last couple of weeks). But the feeling of nourishing my child inside me was incredible. And when you began to kick and to be real to me, I was awestruck. I couldn’t believe what I was a part of, the creation of life. When I saw other babies, I got so warm and felt so good.
And then you were here. One of my deepest regrets was not being able to be fully awake when you were born. I remember struggling against the anesthetic and then waking up on a gurney in a hallway / recovery room. They brought you to me and laid you in my arms. Your face was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. (The rest of you was pretty well covered.)
Here comes the deep part.
I felt so alone, and could have almost sworn I heard a very loving, comforting voice speaking very difficult words in my heart. “You must let him go a little more each day.”
I let you go a little when the nurse took you away. A little bit more when Daddy and I went out for the first time and left you with a sitter. A little more when we came to Florida and you stayed overnight with Nana & Papa. (You should have seen yourself, a year old, ringing the doorbell for Papa wile Daddy & I hid, a big loving smile on your face.) It was tough leaving you that first day at kindergarten when we lived on 10th Street; Daddy was divorcing me, and you & Jenny were what was keeping me going. It never got any easier. First field trip, first time driving alone, first time on a date, first overnight campout. Not to mention every time you went to Dad’s.
Now, you’re off on your own. Ok, not quite. I’m letting you go again. It may not feel like it – you may actually think this is your doing. But, in my own way, I’ve been getting you ready for this for eighteen years. I figure, even with my faults and failings, I had pretty good material to work with and a lot of love to offer. I’m proud of how you are turning out. Life would probably be easier if you had managed to assimilate all of my values and experiences, but, and you can quote me on this, I think you’ll be okay.
Feel free to call me at this point to let me know that you have, in fact, embraced everything I have ever tried to teach you.
Lots of people see you as special (especially lots of women). Who you are is incredible. Now what you are or what you do, although I figure those things will be special, too. I just think that, with my enlightened perception, and the closeness we have shared, I am in the best position to see – even if you think I don’t – even if you think ***** or ******** knows you better. I think you’re going to be okay. Better than okay.
Actually, the previous paragraph sounds a little pompous (there goes that alliteration again). Mostly ignore it if you like.
David, I love you soooo much! Please know that, as long as I am able, I’ll be here for you. You are special to me, more in every way than I ever expected in an offspring. You’re more fun and more interesting than anyone I have ever met (except Jenny).
So, what’s new around here? Nothing much. We’re okay. But we miss you. I rented “L.A. Story” and we’ve got it in the V.C.R. And I’m ready to go to sleep. I’ll call you if we win the lottery. Heck, if we win, I’ll be there to take you to breakfast.
I love you,