The Thirty Days of Me project is explained here. The challenge for day twenty-four: A letter to your parents.
I considered making this a joke post, because I knew it would be tough for me to write. In the end, I decided to open it up and get very personal, because I think that's a good thing to do now and then. So I cried my way through.
Just like I don't believe family is restricted to blood, I also don't believe parents are restricted to the people whose DNA combined to make you. At least, it wasn't with me.
For a long time, there was no possible way I could forgive you for all that happened when I was little. As is often the case, my point of view has changed as I've gotten older. It's nice when that happens, you know? It shows we're growing. Anyway, now I know that you did the best with what you had to work with and offer at the time. While I'll always wish some things were handled differently, I am glad we've been able to put some things behind us and become friends. I'll never forget how you were there for me this last year - I don't think I'd have made it through that horrible heartbreak without you.
You were so tough on me, but I know it was because you were doing what you knew. I'll tell you a secret - it worked. Because of you, I know how to make guests comfortable - but not so comfortable that they never want to leave. I know how to be a good house guest, and not to over-stay my welcome. I know never to wear white shoes before Memorial Day or after Labor Day and I know not to apply lipgloss at the dinner table. I know that when I make a promise, I'm to keep it, and when someone is doing me a favor, I'm to say thank you. I know that when someone hands me food they've prepared, I'm to eat it - whether I like it or not. It's always been important to me that you are proud - I truly hope you are.
Dear Karen (Mom),
You put up with me even though it wasn't required. You taught me how to dress for the occasion, and how to handle all the "stuff" that goes along with being a woman. You took me to get my ears pierced, and helped me through my first crushes. You were my mom when I needed one most. Thank you so very much.
I know I was a complete pain - and sometimes, I suspect I still am. I'm sometimes terrible at telling you what I really think - so let me state for the record, I think you're awesome and amazing. You are absolutely my hero - you not only stepped up in a big way to raise me on your own, you also set an example of exactly the person I want to be. You are smart, resourceful, kind, generous, funny and vibrant. I would consider myself a success if I'm half the person you are.
In everything I've ever done, I've only cared about making you proud. I hope that I have.
Love to you all,