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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bitter and Sweet (05/28/09)

TITLE: The Letter
By Tammy Hopkins
05/30/09


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If I could change anything about my life, I donít think it would be all the hospital stays due to complications of kidney failure. Nor would it be not having any friends in school or always being chosen last for gym class. I wouldnít exchange my brother or sister and most of all I wouldnít exchange my mom. There really isnít anything that I regret except the drugs and alcohol that stole my mother away. This letter is really directed to the stealer of my childhood. I call these invaders the, ďThiefĒ The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; Ö.John 10:10 NIV. Thatís exactly what they did to our lives.
I hate you drugs, I despise you alcohol, you stealers of life. You destroyed my Mom. You stole her when I was a young girl lying in bed afraid of the night. You caused her to sleep past noon and stay up way to late. There were so many times when I wonder if she loved you more than me. Living with these thieves caused me more pain and suffering than all the surgeries that I have gone through.
I felt like my whole world would fall apart if I didnít take the responsibility as the mother. I even recall my mom telling her friends as she introduced me that I was the little mother. I blame the thieves for stealing my mothers desire to keep up with the day to day house work. I felt helpless to the beast of burden as I watched my mother slowly drifting away from me.
Did you enjoy feeling her hands as she drank one more for the road? Iím so broken; because of you I never felt her hands stroke my hair as a mother would do as she tucks her child in bed. You were the one she chose time after time. I really hate you and will never forgive you for stealing her away from me. Oh, but isnít that what you have done from generation to generation. You have stolen so many souls to your intoxication of forgetting and escaping this precious gift of life that God has given each of us.
I missed my mother and there were times when I got a small glimpse of who she really was behind the mask of your destruction. The sincerity of trying to convince me that this was her last time using. Oh, but you knew you still had her, didnít you? I could see your sly grin as she tried to convince me and herself that this was her last time. Her last time never came, maybe for a few months or even a few days, but you were always lurking behind every opportunity. If only I was enough, like you were. I never felt like I was enough to make her stop. Why did you do this to me? You took my mother then and still today you try to hold her captive. I never knew her like you know her, for you were the one who numbed her heart, so she couldnít love a child like me. She hugged you night after night and left me to sleep alone in the night.
How bitter my heart felt when I was asked to write a letter to my mother when she was in rehab, and yet there was a sweetness of her finally getting sober after being an addict all her life. Finally and reluctantly giving up her will to detox. My heart wanted desperately to believe that this was the last time, this was the turning point in our lives. The dream of finally having a mother that I could turn to was almost a reality. The sweetness of having a mother instead of being a mother was a possibility. Oh how my soul longed for my mom to be sober and live her life free from drugs. Her life was always filled with her fight with this stronghold that she could never overcome. Even though she claimed a love for Christ, my heart always wondered as she lived out her life for the next high.
Iím here to say that the sweetness of her rehab stay only lead to a bitter day when she died of liver failure two years after she was released. Her struggle is over and my struggle remains as I try to make sense of my childhood. It never made sense, that is, until I came to know Christ.


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Sara Harricharan 06/04/09
A lot of emotion wrapped up in here. Good job and thanks for sharing this piece that is too true of so many children today.

Just a tip-next time add some extra spaces between paragraphs to make for eaiser reading. Good job!

Joy Faire Stewart06/05/09
Good job of conveying raw emotions. I was happy it ended with hope.
diana kay06/10/09
good stuff! spaces would be good so we can pause for breath in this powerful emotive peice. The personification of the alcohol and drugs as theives who stole away the authors childhood was very effective and the continuing love and loalty to a mother who was unwell is authentic. I also think the resignation to the writers own health problems also is authentic. I do hope this was fictional for your sake but it really drew me in to feeling empathy and compassion.