Mothers Day Twenty-ten

MOTHERS DAY 2010  Mothers Day Twenty-ten

Dear Brad:

I am in Palm Springs alone. Alone by choice, with my writing and my thoughts on Mother’s Day. And I just “got” that I need to write the most difficult letter I needed to, and it is to you. My firstborn son. Right now Larry is trying to figure out how I can talk it to you with Skype or I-movie on my computer, so that you can see “the look on my face” that you said you wanted to see that Thanksgiving two years ago when you surprised me and walked in the door with Brian at Larry’s folks’ in San Diego.

Me on my webcamThere I did it.

It’s now Monday morning. I looked at what I said after we filmed me yesterday, but now I can only remember the essence of it: “I want to be closer, and I love you.” Here’s what I wrote by hand in a notebook yesterday. I was giving myself a computer break as my own Mother’s Day treat:

Dear Brad:

The video worked. I don’t know when or how I will send it to you but I will, and now lubricated with only three sips of the Martini I promised myself for after I communicated with you, I’ll finish the letter I promised myself I’d do this Mother’s Day – exactly eleven years from the one you didn’t make it to California. The one I call my “Mother’s Day from Hell.” The one that you stood up both me and some sweet girl you met at camp for her senior prom in San Francisco. I bring this up not to slap you in the face with those memories, but to tell you that I have come to believe that there were unseen gifts in that day, for both you and I, some of which are only beginning to be realized.

I don’t know where to begin, but I’m going to follow the thoughts in my head as I sit in a beach chair listening to birdcalls and looking at the palm trees and the high desert mountains behind Kevin & Chip’s house. I was just remembering that I did the math long ago, and figured that very Mother’s Day weekend was likely when Lily got pregnant with Carter.  And you know Brad, I hope that somehow for both of you it was a beautiful moment, that someday, even now, you can appreciate that for what it was/is. Lily is an amazing young woman. You’ll see that on the website for a book I’m writing on Invisible Grandparenting, and in “Chapter One: The Backstory” when the book comes out. How and when I am going to explain this entire process to you remains to be seen, but I will. And I trust that you will understand. And I hope you will call later tonight and that I’m not asleep by then.

Somehow I don’t think it’s important for us to go into all that stuff about why I chose, or had chosen for me THIS MOMENT in my 65 (yikes!) year old life, to finally at long last get my “voice” heard. You’ve known of my ambition to be a writer since you were a baby and I was finishing the doctoral dissertation that I delivered to the post office, quite literally in labor, two hours before you were born.

But somehow, after all the doubts and fears and self-deprecation about not feeling “good enough” to write the best seller I had the balls to think my life story could be; and after all of the excuses in the form of relationships, money and careers I pursued that were all “masks” of some sort; after all the psychological and spiritual work I’ve done on myself up till now: something tells me that my contribution to the planet still has to do with me. With me being honest enough to not choke on the truth of all behind the lies and masks I’ve lived. Lies that kept me from being fully present and loving fully, even though I have a reputation for being real.

Finally at 65 — my god how I could go on about that arbitrary concept — all I know is that it’s time.

And I know that it is your individual essence, your path, your contribution whatever that may be, is on it’s way at almost 29. I just (as I said in the video) want to be closer. I’d like to understand more about you and your life. Is that possible? I hope so. Happy Mother’s Day, I’m really glad you made me one. And even a grandmother.

I love you.

2 responses to “Mothers Day Twenty-ten”

  1. debrah

    I’ve written my son so many letters over the years. Usually they start when I can’t sleep and I feel I need to have him understand how I feel about some situation between us. I believe the first LONG one was when he was a senior in high school and decided he wanted to leave home to be his own man and take care of himself. Later we found out it was more to do about certain decisions he was making and friends he was hanging out with…..but boy did those letters help me. I mailed them to the house where he was “living” for a month. One of his buddies (I like to call him my second ‘son’) told me how much my son appreciated my letters and how they brought tears to his eyes….and hopefully warmed his heart. I could go into more detail, but the mere thought of that trying time exhaust me emotionally….because I’m happy to report we are way past there. He joined the Marine Corp, grew up and his now living the life he has chosen. He knows I’m still here, he knows I still love him….he’s just too busy to come see me in person. I try to be understanding since he now has his own family. I continue to write to him….thinking when I’m dead and gone he’ll finally get it and understand what it was like to be his Mother. One can still hope, yes? !!!!!

  2. Diana Duque

    Dear Pat
    I was very moved by your down right honesty no matter how heart broken you feel. You had the guts to be totally open and honest with your feelings and thoughts and write them down on paper. You’ve inspired me to write more letters. I wrote both my children letters of appreciation on Mother’s Day and didn”t get any responses from either of them. I realize now the lettters were more for me than for them. I’ll just keep on writing for my therapy and hopefully one of these days, we can talk about it.
    Sincerely,
    Diana Duque

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