Mamma Mia! Here I go again!
Date posted: March 1, 2006
This is the most difficult letter I have ever written in my 31 years; more difficult than the letters I wrote in the name of love or pride; for work or for pleasure; to hide shame or to defend honor; addressing God All Mighty or secretly courting Santa Claus. Writing has always been my second best communication tool and, by time, I managed to tame words, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, clauses, phrases, and verbs to my favor. The alphabet became my eternal playground and "Literati" is now my favorite board game. Still, this letter is the most difficult.
I wrote you many letters in my mind, and in my unsent letters, I wanted to tell you that I was hurting; that I made a mistake; that I let you down. At other times I wanted to share with you my conquests; to ask for advice; to beg you to be proud of your very different little girl. But I chose to leave you wondering what was going on in that weird head of mine and I enjoyed that perplexed look on your face. Now I have decided to come forward, summon my courage, and write you a well-earned well-deserved letter. I will not send it to you in private; I will publish it for the whole world to read.
You have been the subject of my anger, rebellion, and twisted mind for many years. Let me start now by saying "I am sorry … I am very sorry". Growing up, I thought you did not love me; I craved for warmth and tenderness. I never looked beyond the cool well composed fa?ade; I successfully alienated myself from you. Then I began judging you; cold, distant, stubborn, materialistic, temperamental, undiplomatic, isolated, and harsh. To me, you were not the mother I needed or the wife my father deserved. I blamed you when my dad left and every time my heart got broken. Then my masterpiece was choosing to move out, four years ago, on Mother's Day!
Now that I have a life, and a house, of my own, I began seeing things differently. The first mega revelation is: I am you! Now I understand the kind of responsibilities that can derail a woman from her nature; how the icon of femininity can collapse under the pressures that most men cannot endure; how a hard outer shell is needed to protect a mellow mushy core; how betrayal hurts; how unmet expectations ache; how a heart bleeds when stabbed by a loved one; how a cold shoulder replaces the warm nook when love, respect, and honesty are replaced by lies, abuse, and lethargy. I have had to deal with all the situations that fate handed you, and to my surprise, I was you … I still am you … just like you in every aspect.
A few months ago, a friend of mine lost her mother and I went to comfort her. I still remember her words and the grieving look in her eyes. She wanted one last chance to apologize; one last chance to say "I love you". She wanted to bring back every fight and erase it; needed to take back all the bad things she said or did; wished she spent more time with her. She already missed her voice when only yesterday she did not want to talk to her. To her, the house felt so empty; it is not the house it is her life. She wanted to hold on to every memory, every scent, and every piece of crappy cloth … that is all she had left of her mother.
I could only think of you my dear mother. I saw your face, your lovely smile, your kind eyes, and the warmth that I never recognized as a kid, as a teenager, or as the rebellious young woman that I am. Oh my lovely mother, I wronged you so much and you forgave it all; challenged you many times and you helped me win every time; said that you were never there for me, but looking at things now, you were always there one way or the other; accused you of being cold and distant when it was me who never tried to reach out to you; out of my own stubbornness, I insisted that you were stubborn; criticized your choice to be lonely, and then I learned the difference between being lonely and alone; questioned your tact and diplomacy, now who am I to talk? – Me? The machine gun without a safety valve?
For the past 4 years, since I moved out, I have been trapped between the blades of regret, and anger. We would have a bad chat, you would send a potential husband to my office, or you would wonder what you did in life to deserve a daughter like me, and I would dart my angry looks and words at you. The tigress that you wounded with your disapproval lashes back at you with her teeth and claws trying to defend her individuality and existence; she is fighting the sharp pain of being unaccepted. Then I take my sore wounds home and wallow in regret and guilt. As I attempt to pick up the phone and apologize, I feel the pangs of rejection, and I give in to my worst self. Days pass, you forgive, I pretend to forget, we have another encounter, and then anger strikes, followed by regret, then anger, then regret … I am so consumed!
Dear mother, it hurts me when I feel that you do not like who I have become. I am what you made me, so please forget about people and society; we owe them nothing. Do not compare me to the image of the girl you would have preferred me to be; look at who I really am. Yes, I am independent! True, I am successful! Believe it, I am talented! Right, I am single and I might stay single for a long time! Indeed, I am picky! Correct, I am not perfect! When I moved out I gave my back to a very unhappy time in my life, now I am happy and I want you to be happy too. I want us to be the best friends we never were and I want you to know that I finally understood. I love you mommy and happy Mother's Day!
Love … always and forever,