Oscar Wilde once said, “Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever do they forgive them.” I often think back to this quote. It has become one of my top ten favorite quotes because of the emotion and memories behind it. It once brought me to sobbing tears. Especially during my junior year of high school when my mother left my sisters and I for her husband, but now all I can do is smile and gaze outside of my window at peace.
This month I choose to tell you how grateful I am that you chose a man’s love over your children’s. I want to tell you how thankful I am that you chose to finally enjoy your own life child-free. I want to finally write a letter thanking you for your decision, and I hope maybe one day you will get to read how I truly feel about the most difficult experience you put me through.
Sure at first, I was torn. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that you married a man who you accused of being abusive and a terrible alcoholic. A man who I watched pull your hair and bend your fingers until you broke down to drive him to get a 30-pack of Budlight. I get it though. You were a single mother who desperately wanted to be loved by a partner and not just by your children. You fought too long being our father and mother and needed to escape.
I want you to know it took me 3 years to finally understand this. It cost me a mental breakdown, constant suicidal thoughts, and a difficult decision to withdrawal from my dream school for a semester. Most importantly, I want you to know that I am okay now and truly thankful for all those emotions I had to feel in order to understand your decision. I don’t want you to feel guilty or even unloved about your decision because I will always love you no matter how many difficult days I have missing you. I want you to feel loved and know that you actually saved me instead of abandoned me.
I want you to know that I now understand that you had your own mental issues to deal with. I understand that you were constantly in pain because you had a tumultuous childhood on our reservation. I realize that you were permanently traumatized trying to adapt to white society off of the reservation and that your heart was never truly here in your new culture. It was back home, where you and your heart belong. I want you to know that I’m sorry for the loss of your cultural heritage and the pain that it must have brought you. I will never understand it since you raised us off of the reservation, but I want you to know that I am truly deeply sorry.
I want you to know that I am okay with all of this. That I have come to terms with how life is without you in it. That I have now forgiven you. I am beyond grateful that this path was chosen for all of us because in reality, you saved us. You saved me from being a hateful, heartless, ungrateful human being and instead taught me to be kind, humble, and overcaring to everyone in case that they might be going through a tumultuous time just like we did. I want you to know that you saved me from being weak and instead taught me be strong. Little did I know at the time that that was what all the hardships were meant for. I want you to know that because of you, I am now self aware, and that is the greatest gift you could have given me. I will never be able to thank you enough for doing so.
Even though our experience has been difficult I want you and others to look at the abandonment as saving one another. I want you and others to try to be more appreciative and live in peace with the abandonment they have experienced because that experience has made them and me into the unique human beings we are and somehow our traumatic experience has given us our own beauty. Finally I want to say thank you to you and to other absent parents out there for saving me and their own children by giving us the best gift of all, our own unique personalities.
Images Courtesy of: Pinterest, Facebook, Cheyenne Travioli, Standing For Something’ by Gordon B. Hinckley, Tumblr, Spoken.ly