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Reflections of my mother

Updated on May 11, 2014

Dear Mom

When I was two, my parents allowed me to live with another family because of unforeseen circumstances. I thought that this mother's and Father's Day I would write letters that reflect on how that decision affected me. I'm sharing these so that those of you who have had your parents by your side, will know what a precious gift that is and so that those of you who had parents who were less than exemplary can understand the power of forgiveness. Rest assured that I have spoken to both of my parents about this:

Dear Mom,

I don't know if you realize that you were always the most beautiful woman in the world to me. You imprinted yourself on me in the short time we lived together. I think you realize that I understand and forgive your decision to give me away. If you don't, I have.

This is just to let you know the affect that that decision had on me as a child and as a man. As a kid, though you were not there, you were the center of my universe. Through all the hardship, every time I saw you, you gave me hope that my future could, and would be better than my present.

I am not here to disparage you or the way I grew up because those circumstances made me who I am. I see now that as a kid, all of the good things I tried to do were to please you. I wanted you to see that I was good enough to be your son. There were many nights when I wrapped my arms around myself and knew that you were holding me close in your heart. It gave me the strength to say to myself and know that things were going to be better. It was your voice I heard when I did bad things telling me to be better.

As a man, it's made me strong and resilient; sometimes too strong. I feel I can walk through anything and I don't fear much. I'm not afraid to stand alone and sometimes, I prefer it. It taught me to trust myself. Somewhere along the line my spidey senses kicked in an taught me to anticipate disappointment and steel myself for it later. Later, that became expect disappointments and now it's don't expect anything; just be.

Once, you told me you thought about me every day. Well, once I called the woman who raised me mother and I never did it again. She wasn't my mother. You are and from you I got everything I needed to survive her. You once said to me that you didn't want me to be like the rest of your children. I never stopped being your child. You are and always will be part of everything I do.

It's funny but you were like an angel to me. Whenever I needed to know that the world was a better place than I where I was at that moment or I needed the courage to push forward, you were there. In the hospital. At my high school graduation. And now the circle is complete. I have mini-you whom God has given me the privilege to raise as a single-dad. She's 14 now; the same age you were when you had your first child and she has our strength. I promise you, that as long as I breathe, I will work to provide her the love and strength you never knew you gave me.

Happy Mother's Day

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