My 28th birthday is one I will never forget. I had a phenomenal evening out with some of my closest friends, but once I was home for the night a bit of sadness set in.
You see, my father had been battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma for over a year, and at this point he was too weak to call me for my birthday. Every year, on Nov. 14th, he made me feel like the most special person in the world, but this time was different. This time he was fighting for his life.
I know you saw the letter I wrote to Alexandra, and now here’s one for you. I didn’t plan on going on a letter-writing campaign this week, lol, but I finally saw a writing challenge I couldn’t resist. I’m supposed to be telling you something I’ve never been able to, but considering our excellent communication, I wasn’t quite sure what that might be. 🙂 My immediate thought was to tell you again how much I love you, and that I’m truly beginning to understand your loving intent behind so many of your mommy ways. This is nothing I haven’t said to you before, but in light of today’s tragedy, I wanted to be sure you knew it. As I think of all the hearts that were left broken after such a senseless act, I thank God that I’ve had 31 wonderful years with you. We’ve certainly bumped heads and worked each others nerves, but as this picture shows, we are much more alike than either one of us might care to admit. 😉 I KNOW I am blessed to have a mother like you, but that’s not all I really wanted to say.
Years ago, you and my dad divorced. No one was more shocked than Chris and I to discover that our “perfect” family wasn’t so wonderfully happy, and drama-free after all. We all faced pain, struggles, and hard times, but even in the midst of turmoil you both truly kept us first. I don’t just mean with the material things, but in keeping watch over the delicate minds of your children. I never heard you curse my father out or make him the villain. You never told me horror stories of how he ruined your life, and you never filled our heads with lies. Thank you, thank you, and thank you for that. I know that despite your Wonder Woman façade, it was very hard on you, but you refused to let it tear our family apart. I remember adults questioning me, because they couldn’t understand how you and Dad could still get along so well. Thinking about it now I realize how innappropriate some people were, but what mattered is that your continued friendship gave your kids the confidence to know that we always had both our parents in our corner.
A little over 3 years ago you took that friendship to another level. You became thecaregiver for my cancer-strickendaddy, and invited him to live with you and Kenny in his final weeks. This, your ex-husband, was now the man whose doctors appointments you attended, and whose bandages you changed. When he was at his weakest, you and D2 (please let him know that my love and appreciation for him is fully included in this letter too) did all that you could to make him comfortable. Your home was now his once again, and in his final days I never worried about him being lonely or afraid.
Ok, now I’m crying, but it’s important for you to know that you and my stepdad showed me one of the greatest examples of unconditional love I have ever witnessed. Maybe everyone didn’t understand. Maybe their own pettiness in handling such circumstances wouldn’t allow them to see the brilliance of what God was doing, and you know what? That’s fine with me. I got the message loud and clear. Mommy, you’re one-of-a-kind. I joke about yourVulcantendencies, but the strength I’ve witnessed in you has shaped me in many ways.
I could go on and on, but I guess I’ve said all this for one very important reason. Thank you for taking such great care of your long-time friend, and the man that meant the most to me in the whole world. I want you to know that this girl’s heart will never, ever forget.
” Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite. Sweet dreams, I love you.”
For as long as I can remember, my father would tuck me into my bed at night and whisper these words in my ear. When I was too old to be tucked in he stood in my doorway and made sure I heard this sweet expression before drifting off to dreamland. Every night he wanted to be certain I knew that his princess was on his mind before he went to sleep. In the mornings he would burst into my room like a cheesy-grinning ray of sunshine and belt out ” RISE AND SHINE AND GREET THE MORNING! RISE AND SHINE AND GREET THE MORNING!!!” I, unlike my father, am not a morning person, so I would twist up my face and feign disgust over this joyous morning display. I would get out of bed only to make him stop, lol, but deep down I knew that my mornings wouldn’t be this wonderful without his production.