“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.

Mom was terribly worried during my first few years of college that I was going to turn into a raging alcoholic. I partied quite a bit, but I don’t think dramatically more so than the average college kid away from home for the first time. Either way, now that I’m a parent I can certainly understand her fears. And I’ll admit I did a lot of stupid things back then.

Sept. 10, 1991
Dearest David,

Good morning.

Listen, I know I sound like a broken record and that, when it comes to certain issues, the natural tendency would be to turn me off. But, please, try to be open.

After I spoke to you from work yesterday, I felt a sort of sweet sadness. We’ve been missing you a lot (Jenny has been really down — she says all her classes remind her of you and your stories). It sounded like you missed us a little too.

On our way home from the K     , we were talking about it. I mentioned that you said you had nothing to do. We thought about sports, about how you wanted to participate in high school but couldn’t because of work. I’m surprised you’re not working out at all. Maybe you should fine someone who would like to do that with you. But, what I’m really thinking is, why not get involved in intramurals? There are probably at least a dozen things you could try that don’t require years of preparation and experience. It’s your perfect chance; you don’t have to worry about a job or money, you have the time. Why not go for it? (Avoid high-diving, archery – if you’re the target, etc. – keep it safe – how about chess?)

Based on the second call last night, I’d say you really need to find constructive ways to use your time. Remember that service fraternity? What was the guy’s name, Mike?

Please, David, don’t become a person who thinks they can’t have fun if they’re not drinking. There’s so much more to life than Miller time. I know I’m not a good example — I’ve been down a lot, always worried about money and the “things” we don’t have. Well, we’ve had a lot. We’ve had a shitload of love and good times and health and, etc. – I gotta get to work.

It’s tomorrow. I wanted to get this in the mail yesterday so you’d get something, but it didn’t quite work out. I’m at work and I only have a couple of minutes.

There was a note on the front door when I opened it this morning telling me about the enclosed article.           is pretty proud of you.

I was thinking, you know, as much as I hate his lifestyle and what he does to Nana and me, etc., he’s always there in a crisis. I was driving down Clyde Morris and remembering when your car broke down. He came without hesitating. And, when Dad was divorcing me and I felt like I would die,           was the only one who held me in his arms while I cried. (I cried a lot of times, but he was there that once).

I gotta go – I love you, Mom