Letters to ___:


My Sweet Brother:
I am holding you right now… and in the coming days, weeks, months.
You’ve been on my mind a lot this past week.
I got your text message about David.
Then I heard this song on the radio….
I know that you will take your time, and in your own way. But I thought you might like the sentiment right now.

Happy 16th to you, my Sweet daughter!

NeNe,
I love you.

Thank you for choosing to be born, and to walk around on this planet. You simply amaze me with your strength… The lessons that you have chosen to learn, in this lifetime would freak out the strongest adults I know. You blow them all away.

I’ve watched you grow and change so much in the last year. You are no longer my little girl. No longer content to just climbing up in my lap and letting me sooth away all of the pains that you have. Physically you are the one who is larger, and when you allow me to hug you; your arms wrap around my body and hold me to your chest – instead of the other way around. *sigh* You are a great hugger.

I am proud of how you’re finding your footing and becoming more of a leader within your ROTC group. You may not think it’s a big deal, but I know differently. You will treat them fairly, because you’re always wanting everything to be in black and white. Not just with the rules, but with everyone you are in contact with.

You also took the first step – or the first wheel – this past year into adulthood. Teaching you to drive a car has taught me new meanings to my lessons of learning to not always be in control. I’d still love to see you give a bit more leeway to the car in front of you. But you’ll have to learn that lesson for yourself one day. I pray that it’s one with very little physical or emotional damage. LoL

Happy Birth… day my sweet girl.
Mom

Dear Bronwyn,

My sweet youngest daughter. So brave and so full of fire. You’re turning your world upside-down and striving to find your place here in our family, and in your circle of friends, and the world. You faced adversity this year, in learning some pretty hard lessons. But you managed them with a grace that speaks to the age of your soul.

When you didn’t make the cheerleading squad this year, you took the time you needed and honored your feelings of disappointment. Yet you never lashed out at anyone else, or blamed anyone else for the situation. You even took responsibility for the decision, knowing that because you hadn’t been there competing along side the other girls in the football season, you were not as honed up as they were.

Your sisters, and you, did a lot of soul searching and growing up this year; coming to terms with the divorce of your parents. It broke my heart to watch you making some pretty difficult choices. Trying to find that balance between hating the situation, and loving both your dad and me. Not to mention, truly understanding the reasons of why we chose this path for our family, and accepting the truths of the situation.

I love you my darling. So I won’t even go into a whole bunch of details on your blossoming into a woman. With all of its challenges and responsibilities. Just know that I am so grateful that you chose me to be born too. That you allowed my body to be the vessel to usher you into this world. That you allow me to guide your growing up, as you choose your own path of beauty to walk.

Thank you for choosing to be born.
My love and blessings upon you, as you’ve blessed me.
Mom

Dear Rebecca,

I know, even after all of these years it seems silly to be writing you these letters. I can’t help it. I know that I said I would stop when you were 10. Then it was 15. Then it was ‘just one more’ at 16. Here I am, you are 17 years old, and I still want to write you this letter.

Tomorrow morning you will be the birthday girl. As the eldest its only fair that you get to celebrate the 1st birthday of the year. (no we are not counting C’s b-day) As the eldest you’ve gotten to do quiet a few things first in our family. The first to get her hair cut, any style she wanted for junior high. The first to get her ear’s pierced, when she turned 10. The first to get her braces on. The first to get her driving permit.

It was a long hard battle, but you did it. I was so proud of you when you passed that test, in the DMV. Watching you struggle with those timed tests broke my heart. Knowing that you had the answers, if the machine would stop stalling out and making you renew your testing account with pop security questions.

Taking you out for your first lessons was another proud mommy moment for me. Watching as you became not only comfortable behind the wheel, but confident in your ability to control 2,000 pounds of moving steel. Teasing you as you preferred those right-handed turns over the left-handed ones. I still think you’d make a great UPS delivery driver some day. LoL

Getting to watch as you fell in love, for a second time. Making choices about spending time with him, and the lessons that go along with that. Hearing about your choices regarding intimacy with him, made me swell with pride, too. Knowing you were respecting yourself, in the choices you were making. (heart swell grin)

I know how changing this past year has been for you, with a full year of your parent’s divorce. The counseling sessions, to find a way to deal with some of these changes. Trying to find your balance in this new version of normal. In the end we are a stronger family unit, your sisters, your brother and I. Your growth through it all, has been beautiful to watch. I’m so proud to be your mom.

I love you my sweet pumpkin. 17 years and I in as much awe of you, as that moment, at 9:47, on the morning of February 10th, when you were born.

What is it that people say, about blindness? Refusing to see what they don’t want too. I think this is my parent’s problem. I don’t understand how they could raise me to be someone who takes responsibility for their actions, and yet, take none for their own. Why would you raise me to be a strong, independent woman, and then dislike me for it?

My Father’s response to my letter: “Can we get together after work then?”

Huh?

Dear Daddy,

Did you read my email? You just reiterated your desire to meet giving no reason, much less persuasive argument, why I should, given my stated position. I don’t see what meeting with you would resolve, plain and simple.

Will it change the way that my family supports my Ex husband, instead of me?
I don’t think so.

I made the painful decision, wrote Momma and you about it in some detail, and you seemingly think that the situation can be solved with one face to face meeting. You have given me nothing new to think about. My decision still stands.

Ya’ll have made your choice, of whom you value more. Frankly, I am tired of being reminded of that.

I wish you the best in the relationships you chose over me.

Respectfully,
Marcella

I understand that my family is a bunch of stubborn people. But you know what, that doesn’t mean that I have to hang out with them. I don’t have to be constantly reminded, of how much they dislike my choices. Of how perfect Barry is. Of how much they hate to see what I’ve done to fuck up his life.

I know this though – I am grateful for who they are. How they have behaved. For it shows me, how I want to be for my own children. I will never ever tell them that, the person abusing them is justified. I will never choose someone else over them. Ever.

My children will always come First~!

Daddy,

I got your message the other day. First of all, the days you mentioned conflict with already scheduled events. The kids and I will be away camping this Saturday and Sunday. Beyond which, I have informed Momma about why I am not coming to your party. That decision is final.

So, I don’t know what issues between us can be solved by one dinner meeting. I found the strength to call an end to Barry’s “Bullshit”… his telling me how worthless I am and trying to drag me down to his level. Barry’s attitude is “Poor me. The world is stacked against me.” He had opportunities to pull himself up. He had enough opportunities to work full time, to make more money. But he chose to take out his frustration on me and the kids. It was always somebody else’ fault.

You and Momma gave me no support, (“this is your fault for involving the police Marcella, I can’t help you”) even when Barry was arrested and charged with domestic violence. Which by the way, the State gets to determine; not me. They based the charges upon the evidence of what they found. From police reports, the 911 call, the children’s statements of what they saw. I didn’t tell them what to charge him with. And in this state, do not get to make that decision (“see what a mess you’ve made of his life because you had to call the police”). You directly supported Barry, though it all. With bail money and a place to stay during the court ordered physical separation. You may not remember Mother’s Day, but I had to wait until he left, to even see my own mother that day (“well this is his home now because of you. I won’t make him leave”). As well as, my children, because they were court-ordered to be with him on the weekends; at your home. I was family, and my own family chose him over me.

In this struggle, I have found that I am a STRONG WOMAN! I would have hoped that you would be proud of me, and my strength. I can remember your lessons, to me as a child, of the importance of doing things on my own (“carry your own luggage and what you choose to pack”). You taught me that being able to make my own money, (“if you want to go to that out of state school you’ll need to get a job”). Solving my own problems (“figure it out for yourself”). Caring for my own needs; and those that I am responsible for, like my children, (“don’t ever think about coming home pregnant”). That being a responsible adult was something that I should become. That you found admirable.

Beyond the lessons of taking care of myself, I have not asked my family for any financial help; partly due to the fact that every time I have brought up the subject of divorce, in the past, in trying to obtain your support, I was quickly lectured on the importance of marriage (“we don’t get divorced in this family”). Of its impact on children’s ability to even do well in school (“I see kids all the time that are doing badly because their parents divorced”). You would be happy to know, that the months following the divorce, each of the children had teachers telling me that they were all doing so much better in school.

So I am making my own way with my kids. Barry’s financial support is the minimum he can get away with under the law; but that, along with my salary and bartering skills, is enough, to keep the house over our heads, and food on the table. I am thankful. Unlike many women, I wasn’t forced by economics to stay in an unhealthy situation, physically and psychologically unhealthy, both for my kids and me.

My family did not support me, nor consider my feelings, during the divorce. Evidently you didn’t feel I was justified in getting a divorce, because you continued social contacts with Barry, some behind my back. I was terribly hurt by this, and, at one time, I might have crumbled under the pressure. However, today I will not crumble.

I respect you as my father, because I was taught this, just as I was taught to be a strong woman. But I don’t have to like who you are, or the choices you’ve made (“I love you but I don’t like what you’re doing”). Nor do I have to spend time with someone who can’t support me, in my choices. Or even respect me for them.

In loving respect,
Marcella

My mother called me a few days ago, to tell me that Daddy was finally deciding on a birthday celebration. He had decided that we would all come up to his house, and have a quiet dinner. There was no “asking” me if I would be coming. There was no “requesting” that I come. There was, as always, the assumption, that he and she would state what would happen; and I would jump.

Pfft!!!

I am so freaking tired of these little Family Gatherings; where I get to be reminded of my divorce, from the man they consider a saint!

So you know what?! I’m no freaking going.

I wrote her a letter instead.

Momma,

I have thought, long and hard, about whether I should go to Daddy’s Birthday Dinner. In my opinion, I don’t think it would be a good idea. These are the factors I considered:

First, it is Barry’s weekend with the kids. Barry, and working with him to modify the schedule for family events, and the like is not as easy as it seems. There is generally too much drama attached to it, so I reserve it for major things like last year’s Thanksgiving; and when he wanted to take Rebecca and Daphne to CA, in May; which as you know had its own repercussions. When its his weekend, its HIS weekend. Just this past weekend, I didn’t get to share in the excitement, or help in the prep, of the two older girls’ Homecoming Dance. All I got were some photos.

Second, I think that the children should see Daddy on his birthday. It is important for grand kids to have a relationship with their Grandparents. Since it is Barry’s weekend to have the children, you should probably invite Barry, too. But his presence would certainly make it uncomfortable for me and possibly the children, especially if there is a rehash of the argument we had on Facebook. I still wonder about that. No names were mentioned, I didn’t even indicate that I was involved personally in any way, but you and others made it about me, the justification for my divorce, and your “blamelessness” for your behavior because you never were overtly told. Which was not true.

Lastly, Daddy’s Birthday should be all about him. I honestly feel that my presence would be a distraction from his day. The tension between me and the rest of the family, including my “Ex”, is just too great to risk ruining his day. I will send Daddy a separate note wishing him a Happy Birthday!

Marcella

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