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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Beginning and End (04/16/09)

TITLE: Dear Mother
By Elizabeth White


Dear Mother,

Your letter made me cry. It also made me realise how much I hate you. Iíd had enough, Iíd decided I was never coming back. Then, your letter came. I hate this. How do I convince myself that what I miss was never there?

Mother, I just turned 21. I suppose thatís what some call the beginning of adulthood, but for me it was an end. An end to these childish games Iíve been playing and an end to my hope of a relationship with you. 21, that means Iím an adult. You see, that means Iím like you.

Now, at 21, Iím old enough to look after myself. 21, that means itís time I stopped relying on others and started to be being relied on instead.
A few weeks ago I tried my old game again. I stopped going to church and waited for someone to realise. I waited for someone to call or send an email to ask me if anything was wrong. Nothing happened. It was then that I realised now Iím on my own. You see I have choices. I can go to church, I can care for others and start acting like an adult or I can stay alone. No-one is going to be there for me anymore. If I choose to walk alone, I will be alone. If I choose to be a friend, I will have a friend.

Now while there is truth in what Iíve written above, Iíve started to realise itís not that easy. Iíve been trying to pretend that what I feel isnít there and Iíve been trying to care for others. Last Sunday I went and talked to some younger girls at church, but it just felt so superficial, like I was trying to be a Ďgood Christianí, but God wasnít there. You see, Iíve not been coming to God. Itís too hard. It means admitting what Iíve been trying to hide. You see, if I bring my feelings before Him, He might just make me change. Iím scared mother, Iím scared of being hurt. Thatís why I decided I wasnít coming back.

Why did you have to send it? I read it once and Iíve not looked at it since, but it still haunts me. Itís not real, I tell myself that time and time again, but I canít forget that which I once so greatly desired.

Mother, my problem now is that Iím like you. You see, now that Iím an adult Iím not allowed to need someone to be there for me. Iím not allowed to want to share with someone what Iím going through and Iím not allowed to make mistakes. That is what I once expected from you and now I must live up to my own expectations. I expected you to be there for me. You were not allowed to have problems. You were the mother and I was the child. You were supposed to care for me not the other way around. You failed my expectations and yet I fear that so will I.

So is this the end or is it the beginning? I cannot bring myself to admit that I too have made mistakes. Iím an adult now, this was meant to end. My birthday, 21, was meant to bring perfection. No more would I rely on others, but I would be there for them instead. Yet, Iíve realised I canít do this alone. My deeds are nothing before him. Itís self- righteousness not Christ-likeness Iím displaying. So, I canít be there for others unless Iím right with Him, but this I cannot do. This means admitting Iíve made mistakes, and that, mother, means admitting that youíre allowed to too.

So, what of our relationship, is this the end or a beginning? You know what it is that I desire. A love thatís true and real. I thought that Iíd come to the end, that Iíd finally accepted that this would never be. I thought that what I was doing was right, to preserve what is left of our relationship, a love which is not real.

Now I am not so sure.

I used to think that this may not be the end but maybe just a new beginning. Perhaps our relationship can start anew, or maybe a new path shall I take. Iím not sure yet. But, no longer will there be so many ends and new beginnings. Just choices.

Your daughter

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This article has been read 520 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amanda Ewing04/23/09
wow, i got the chills.
what a powerful realization!
Patricia Herchenroether04/23/09
Do all daughters come to this revelation? I know I did, but without the depth you show.
Very nice.
Micheline Murray04/24/09
I think this rings true for all of us--when we grow up and realize that our parents were never supposed to be perfect, and that we won't be either. I appreciate the daughter's struggle with allowing herself to be imperfect--because that means she has to forgive her mother's imperfections--very powerful.
PamFord Davis 04/27/09
Relationships between mothers and daughters are often painful. I know at times my mom and I hurt each other; yet we loved, too. Thanks for your honest article!
Pam Ford Davis
Loren T. Lowery04/27/09
Well written, soul-searching letter that speaks a lot of truth and puts the reader right on the precipice with the MC as to the choices they may or may not make. You have made the MC seem real and thereby having us hope her decisions are the right ones.
Carolyn Crook04/28/09
I'll never forget the time my daughter sent me a card showing a young woman screaming and pulling at her hair....on the inside of the card it read " I just realized I'm turning into YOU!"

Your story expressed her emotion quite vividly.
Bryan Ridenour04/28/09
Very well written and quite powerful. Nicely done.
Beckie Stewart04/29/09
Can so relate to this. After 47 years, I'm finally learning to let go of the dream and accept my relationship with my mom for what it is....with no relationship that I've ever wanted. I can feel the pain and questions and so wish my mother wrote a letter wanting more then what we have...even after this many years...I still yearn for it.
Rachel Rudd 04/30/09
I like the way your letter began. It made me wonder what was going on!