June 10, 2013

Tough Love for Weak Motives

Dear Mom,

I wrote the post below when I originally started my blog years ago and found it in the archives of unposted, ballsy letters. I figure, why hold back? Let's keep it real. Most likely the people it's written about have long forgotten about this by now anyway, although a piece of me hopes they have not! Everyone deserves a dose of tough love every now and then when needed. Here goes nothing...

Love you,


Dear Mom,

Since I started my blog this summer, I have been going back and forth on whether or not to put these particular feelings in writing. I keep telling myself no, that it is too risky, and yet the same thoughts cloud my mind every time I start a new post. I just need to get rid of them, for my own piece of mind, and I think this is the only way.

Sometimes the greatest blessing is the rare opportunity to see yourself through someone else's eyes. So, if anything, I hope that these people I love will realize I am doing this to show them that their actions and their words are weapons when they are used in the wrong way; that they caused pain to my family that was unnecessary and tormenting; and that I cannot move on until I explain this to them here. Even if they've forgotten about my blog and never read it... just to know that I said my piece.

For the first year without you, our little family of three was absolutely destroyed in every sense of the word. I think if it were only me that were hurting, then I could handle that, but unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Seeing Dad and Tom cry on a daily basis was one of the worst parts about losing you. It made me realize that I love them more than I love myself, and their red, swollen eyes day after day took a toll on me in ways I never thought possible. Before you died, I could hardly remember ever seeing them cry, and it was so difficult for me to accept that that will never be the case again.

I never realized it before then, but I guess a part of me was always protective and nurturing. That would explain why I started writing letters to you before your chemo appointments, and that later explained why I called Dad every single day the year you died. I think it had less to do with me needing comfort, and more to do with hoping that's what I was providing him with (which helped me heal more than I think I realize). So many nights we spent crying together on the phone, over two hours away from each other, both feeling so alone.

When Dad called me one night to tell me he had gone out to dinner with someone, I surprisingly felt relieved. She was going through a divorce, needed someone to talk to, and they became quick companions. It was never about replacing you; it's impossible. If only some other people knew that.

The things that some people said to him were inexcusable. It disgusted me. On numerous occasions I was so sick to my stomach that I contemplated calling them myself, but I didn't know how Dad would feel about that, so I didn't. They thought that they were defending you, when really they were disgracing you. I have never in my life met any adults more immature and tactless. Their words gave him more reasons to cry; and I was infuriated. It made him question everything. How long did he have to be alone to please them? Forever?

What irks me even more is that these same people, who were now judging Dad for moving forward, were the same people that moved forward while you were still in chemotherapy. Where were they when you were crying because they didn't visit you in the hospital? Or when they never called to see how your treatments were going? Of course they showed up when you called to tell them you'd be dead in a few months. Did that help them sleep better at night? Did 'defending your honor' or trying to tell me how to grieve help them justify all the times they found something better to do with their time than to spend it with you? Apparently so.

Eventually, the harassment stopped. I'm not sure if everyone came to their senses or just got bored and found someone else to torment, but it stopped. And what makes these people think they are above offering an apology for the hurt they caused, I will never understand. But we all act like this never happened; no one brings it up; no one acts like they are still hurt.

Well, I am still hurt. And before I try to put this behind me once and for all, there is one more thing left to say. My father is a great man; an incredible man. He is honest, kind, and loyal. He didn't come from the greatest place, but made sure his children did. He is strong and supportive; he stood by your side for years through the ups and downs that cancer brought into our lives. He slept beside you every night knowing that he may roll over to find you dead. Some men couldn't handle what he handled; I couldn't handle what he handled; and these people most certainly couldn't handle what he handled. And if anyone in this whole world deserves to find happiness, it is him.

No one is perfect; we have all made our share of mistakes. But the one thing I can't stand is when someone thinks they have no need to own up to them. Sticks and stones may break bones, but words break hearts. If I am able to accomplish anything from this, I hope it is that people think of the effects their words have on others, and if that's not possible... at least have the decency to help them pick up the pieces.

Miss your kind heart,

1 comment:

  1. My Dad just started dating again, and one of his friends got upset because he was "Too Happy". When I heard this I was amazed. How can this be a bad thing?