Friday, September 10, 2010


Dear Dad,

Let me begin by saying that I love you so much and I appreciate everything that you are doing for me now, as well as everything you have already done. Anytime I have needed anything, I could always count on you to come through for me. You never once made me feel badly about any of this mess. I appreciate that beyond words.

You and I are alike in so many ways. Some of those ways are good and some are not so good. You got sick, like me, by sticking with a job that was causing you chronic stress. In fact, you were just about my age now when it got you. Mom tried to convince you to quit, but you wouldn’t do it. The way you saw it was that there were a few good guys still standing and the bad guys had taken over. You weren’t going to desert the ship. You were going to fight the good fight until the bitter end. And that is just what you did. You literally went down in your office and were taken out by ambulance. Our symptoms were different, but the root problem was the same. I think that you recovered more quickly because you quit that job and you mentally let it go. I haven’t ever been able to quit C-Man and H-Girl or let them go. So, my task is to find a way to manage my life in a non-stressful way.

One of the things that I never really understood about you is the fact that you never really seemed to need anyone. You were always content to be by yourself. I always love my alone time, but like being around other people. Now, I rarely see anyone other than mom and Steve. I am not sure that I like it, but I have allowed myself to accept it. I don’t feel well enough to commit to things in advance, don’t like to drive at night, and I have discovered that my friends aren’t willing to go out of their way to pick me up. It’s telling, really. And that makes me withdraw further. Is that what you knew all along working in the social work business? People care mostly about themselves and don’t really give a care about others. Is that what caused you to pull into yourself and decide that you had limited resources for others?

One other thing I want to say is that I am sorry that your childhood was so hard. I wish that nanny had not had that hyper-thyroid problem when you were a young boy that made her so anxious and sharp. Every noise jangled her nerves. I am sorry that your sister being a toddler was given slack by her father that wasn’t extended to you. I am sorry that you never understood that it wasn’t a question of favoritism, but it was about illness. I am sorry that you still don’t understand the dynamics within your own family. You were your mother’s favorite and that hurt your sister. Your step-father favoring your sister hurt you. All of that set up a snarl of hostility between you and your sister that should never have existed culminating in the two of you disowning each other. I am sorry that you never got the opportunity to forgive each other and she died hating you and loving you and hating you for not loving her. I am sorry that because of your attack in your 40s you have lost chunks of your memory and we can’t even discuss these things because you don’t remember them.

Thank you for re-reminding me how important it is to forgive.

Lastly, I want to tell you how terrified I am that chunks of my memory are going to start to leave me and I am afraid they won’t come back. I am already losing words, spelling, names, and directions to places. So far, they come back. You were only down for about a year. I’ve been down for seven now. When you lose your memory in chunks, you know you are losing it. It isn’t like Alzheimer’s when the person doesn’t know they have lost their mind. I’m scared. And I wanted to tell you because I knew you would understand.

I love you.


Dear Steve,

My parents have this obligation, sort of, to take me in when the chips are down. I understand that my mother wanting me to come live with you two could have been a major source of friction. Instead, you both welcomed me with open arms. That was a kind and loving thing to do for someone who isn’t family by blood. You have been so generous to me by allowing me to live with you two and asking little in return. You understand and accept my limitations.

A few days ago, you both sat me down and went through some of those legal things that people just don’t like to talk about. However, you both wanted me to know that I would always have a place to live whether you were living or not. And you really threw me a curve when you made me the beneficiary of your life insurance policy in the event that my mother had already passed. You just don’t know how much that kind of thing means. Honestly, I don’t want either one of you to pass before I do because I am just not sure I could take it. I know that you are both thinking in terms of the odds, and chances are that I will outlive you. So, thank you for doing all that you can to take care of me once you are gone. I hope that I am in a position where I am taking care of not only myself, but other people, but that isn’t the point of this letter.

Thank you for the love and all of the kindnesses, big and small. It's like I got a second dad. I love you.


Dear Mom,

I am not sure when we went from mother and daughter to friends. And then you became my best friend. But, that is what has happened. You are now the first person I want to tell when I get good or bad news. I miss you when you and Steve go on vacation. I tell you that I don't, and that I love having the house to myself, but that's a lie. I miss you. I see you getting older. Heck, I see me getting older. It scares me. I can't imagine living in this world without you in it. When I was a kid, I thought the worst thing in the world would be to turn into you. When I was married to The Operator, I heard my voice saying your words, and I knew that it had happened, despite myself. The thing was this: those words now sounded pretty darn smart. And right. They were a lot more right than they sounded when I was on the receiving end. What I realized was this: as a parent you gave me the precious gifts of consistency, morals/values, and respect.

Mom, you might never see this, but this says better than I could just how I feel about you. Turn off your music player at the bottom of the page.

I love you.


image hijacked from Miss Angie at My So-Called Chaos


  1. Robin - Your letter to Steve has bought tears to my eyes. You have two incredibly special men in your life; your Dad sounds like a wonderful, strong man. I am sure that your parents, and Steve, are incredibly proud of the person you've become.

    This letter is going to be the most difficult one of all for me to write.

  2. Thus far, I have cried my way through all of the letter writing. However, it has been extremely cathartic. This may be the best therapy yet. And it is completely free. I suppose the best part is that it is all for me. The recipient of the letter doesn't need to read it for me to let go of what was inside. And that is the point...letting go of whatever was inside. It's very freeing.

  3. Wow, so strong... So so so strong. *hugs!*

    I love this line to your dad

    "Thank you for re-reminding me how important it is to forgive."

  4. wonderful. God put some good people in your life.
    I don't go out of my way much. the thing is, t hat is why I don't...If I have a friend, and I call them friend, to me, they are then like family.
    They are owed my time, and my loyalty.
    It's energy. It takes a lot for me to call someone my friend.
    So you have three true friends. That is more than most people get in a lifetime.
    congratulations robin.


You can now add YouTube videos in your comments by copy/pasting the link. AND/OR you can insert an image by surrounding the code with this: [im]code[/im]. In the case of images, make sure that your code is short and simple ending with something like .jpg. If you want to use a pic from someplace like Google Images, click on the image, then click on View Image. That is the code you want!

Dazzle Me!