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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dorthy S

To my beloved daughter,

Child of mine, you do not belong to me, you belong to yourself. Just as you have trusted me to guide you, to lead you through troubled moments, to protect you when I could, now you must trust yourself. There will be times when you will want my support, times when you will need to share your fears with me, and times our tears will mingle though we cry for different reasons. At times, perhaps, we will communicate without speaking; sharing a special understanding with a look, a wink, a nod, or a smile that locks the world outside the two of us.

But child of mine, you belong to yourself. Let no one own you, no one stop your dreams, no one shut you off from yourself. Never let pain substitute for joy, failure overwhelm success, or allow curiosity to be replaced with knowing or believing you have nothing left to learn. We learn from our mistakes, but never let them rule your life. Learn from the past, because it belonged to you, just as today is yours, and tomorrow is but a breath away. I have not lived my life for you, do not live your life for me or others..

Own your own disappointments and guard jealously the secrets you tell to no one: they are yours to keep under lock and key, let no one use them against you---they are as much a part of you as you are a part of me. Life will deal harsh blows and treat you most unfairly at times, and you must choose to be your own protector. Remember your strength, for it is your best defense.

I cannot promise you forever. I will not always be there for you, but child of mine, you belong to yourself. Remember this, for it is your right and the heritage I leave with you. I make no promise that love will bring you happiness because love can be painful. Any risk you take has consequences, both gain and loss, and I caution you only not to risk all that you are for anyone.

You owe no explanation for the choices you make, and I owe no apology for who I am or whatever decisions I make regarding my own life. If I have shielded you from harsh realities, I knew would cause you pain, forgive me. Try to remember that I sheltered and cared for you until such time as you were free to try your wings. If I had expectations of you or for you that seemed unfair, if I challenged you beyond your capabilities, it was because I love you and dreamed bigger dreams for you than I had for myself.

And in all this, I choose to take away whatever pain I've caused you and replace it with all the love you have known from me, and all the joy you have given me these many years. I have one last thought to share with you before I go to sleep this night: You've grown up well, my child, and I am proud of you. You are no longer the child of my dreams for you have dreams of your own, but I
will always keep a special place in my heart, a space that is yours alone.

Child of mine, I have loved you well and known much joy in loving you and in your loving me.

With much love,

mother

3 comments:

Iman Woods Creative said...

Every mother and daughter should read this. New moms, moms of teens, and moms of adults. This is a beautiful and honest tribute to what a mother should strive to be.

Laurel said...

Dorthy,
I read your letter over and over again, i love the honesty that you molded into this amazing letter. Thank You
Laurel

Anonymous said...

This is amazing. I have boys and I will take some of these words with me when guiding them through life. Thank you.

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