I was cleaning out the Hotmail account that I had used when I was married. I had so many saved emails in there. One by one, I sorted through them. My folder now holds about 49 emails for me to trash or transfer. Among them, are gems that my mother sent me. I've been re-reading them and feeling so loved. She has been the most amazing woman. She is strong, wise, compassionate and always forgiving. I saved these emails to reference when I was feeling lost, worthless, hopeless, or just needed a reminder that she was still there - remembering me. She is a busy woman who has 8 of her kids at home. Only her two oldest are moved out and living on their own. But even though we are way out in Texas, she makes time to check in. She wants to know what we are doing. And she is constantly offering assistance in some way.
I would not be the woman I am today without her. She could have given up. She could have walked away. She could've said it was too much. But she never did. And I don't think she ever will. Instead she shares her experiences and reminds me that we all make mistakes. That no matter what choices we make, we have the chance to change and grow through them. As long as we keep learning, we can continue to move forward. I can't tell you how many times she helped me, possibly without knowing, through the darkest moments of my life. And she wasn't alone. We adopted our Nana S. I have emails from her that paint a story of what she went through in her life. Her experiences also reminded me to stand tall. The two of them encouraged my growth to independence. They reminded me what I am capable of when I stop letting someone else control me. My dad also emailed me. Encouragement, scriptures and words of his regrets and how they shaped his future decisions.
I want to share some of them with you. And while reading, I want you other parents to think of something. I want you to consider leaving letters and notes to your kids. Talk about what you are going through. What they are doing. What about them makes you proud to be their parent. Keep them together. And when you think they need it most, or when they old enough - pass them on. You might be surprised when your words become their light in a darkness they feel engulfed in. I saved cards, letters and emails from the people I loved and respected most during my life. I treasure each one more than silver and gold. And they have helped me get back on the path of happiness when I needed it most.
From my mother nearly 7 years ago:
"Here is a reminder of who you are. As I was running this morning, I
wanted to give up. I put on my Cd and when this song came on, I
remembered when it was just you and me. You always kept me going when I
just wanted to quit. Again, you are in my heart and never letting me
give up. I love you so much. You are the blessing from God that keeps me
going. I know the other children are important gifts to me but I can
always think of you and a time when it was ONLY you that never let me
just quit. I am who I am today in part from having you (only the good
part). Don't forget who you are as your life goes on. I have for many
years forgot who I am and some days, I can't figure it out. You are
someone's mom and wife but you will forever be my "Suzzane". And that is a
I will always be your mom.
Sadly, the song she sent was removed from YouTube.
After having a rough night with my firstborn, I had emailed her. She responded with this:
"It is so hard being a parent. It is hard getting the child into the
world. It is hard raising them to be good citizens. Then it is hard to
watch them walk out of your life to start their own. We will always love
you all and wish for a better life then what we have. Can you
understand? Now that you have your own, I know you see things
differently now. I am so here for you day or night. If you need me, just
call. I love you more than you can EVER know."
5.9.2010 For Mother's Day
"I know I was a good mom because I look at the job you're doing and see
that work paid off. You are a great mom and I love you very much. Happy
I could go on with words from those who love me most. When I told my fiance about them, I mentioned the idea of writing to each of our children in a notebook. Then when they are older, we will give them the notebooks. I want to leave memories, encouragement, and words of love they can lean on later in life.