A love letter to 1983…

Hey All,

Here’s my broken heart letting go of what’s been in it for quite some time now…

Dear newborn daughter; How your dad and I waited and prayed for this day to come!!! You were due 22 days ago, but as we would come to learn, you would do things your way. After being induced into labor, you made your debut 12 hours and 1 minute later! Pink, round and robust you made your entrance into our lives with the lungs of a singer! What a beautiful, perfect baby girl you were! And we loved you… So much…

We were young, you helped us mature. We were inexperienced, you helped us learn. We were scared, you gave us courage. We were in love, you deepened that love. We were happy, you made us ecstatic. The smiles you freely gave, the hands that would reach for us, the eyes that would watch us as we moved around you, all of these things we treasured because we made you. And we loved you… so much…

As you grew, we grew. We watched you learn to scoot, crawl, walk and run. We encouraged you to be brave, and you were. We held your hands and swung you between us. We snuggled you, tickled you, hugged you and kissed you. We loved you… so much…

We thought you might never talk, but when you finally did, you had so much to say! You loved books, just like me. You loved birds, just like Daddy. You had a very curious nature and loved the water. You weren’t afraid to try new things, neither was I. You were loving, funny and sweet. We loved you… so much…

I remember holding your hand when you waited for the school bus that first day of kindergarten in 1988. You were two and a half months shy of five years old, and so confident. I cried my eyes out when that bus drove away with you, but was so happy to see your smiling face when you came home! You loved going to school and learning, and I loved that you were becoming a strong, independent little girl. By now you were a big sister to a newborn baby girl and you were the best big sister. Ever. We loved you… so much…

The years flew by and we all grew as a family, together. Your Daddy loved having little girls, so did I. We loved how you would hug your baby sister when she would cry. You loved to help make sure she was safe and cried with her when she was sick, which was often. Your heart was tender towards her and you would sing her silly songs to distract her from her pain. She loved you, so much. So did we…

You began to leave us by 1997, your teenage years were tumultuous for all of us, especially you. You were so self-demanding, so self-critical. You stopped shining and we tried to help you, but we failed. We were just parents, and you didn’t want us to be involved in your life. We’re sorry we kept trying to be parents, not friends, but parents aren’t supposed to be friends. We tried to set an example for you, but we failed. Daddy was gone, a lot, and we couldn’t seem to make you understand that his job was the Navy, and the Navy was life. I know we failed at times, probably many, many times in your eyes, but we still loved you… so much…

You turned 18 in 2001, several months after you graduated from high school. By now we knew we would lose you someday, we held on as long as we were able. You left home in Feb. of 2002 and we had to let you go. We didn’t want to, but you were of age. We watched you slip further and further away, but we still loved you… so much…

Adulthood came like a thief in the night and turned your heart away from us. We missed you… so much… Life took us in a different direction after the Navy, and we did what we thought we should do, but it wasn’t enough. You left us again… we loved you… and missed you… so much…

In 2006 you gave us our first grandchild and we love him… so much. We loved helping you and our hearts broke for you both when his bio dad left you. We hated him for that… but now we are just sad. We opened our home to you and the boy when you had no place else to go. We loved you… so much…

We were blessed to be a part of your life for almost 35 years. And blessed to have the love of our grandson for 11.5 years before you forbid us from having any contact. We still love him… so much…

We want you to know, wherever you are, that we loved you… so much… We are always going to be your parents and no matter how hard you have tried to erase us, we still love you… so much…

Our deepest desire for you now and in the future is peace… we pray you have found peace of mind, and know that we love you… still…

4 thoughts on “A love letter to 1983…

  1. I’m speechless. Well, no I’m not. Barb, please get one thing straight. You did not fail your daughter at any time. If you did anything at all, it was that you loved her TOO much!
    What courage it took for you to take your memories, your thoughts, your very essence, and form them into these words! Words that are painful to read, to be honest, because they ARE so real.
    I’m totally reduced to a puddle of tears right now. You are an amazing, thoughtful, loving…and encouraging woman who has been placed in a very tough and painful situation but I choose to believe that miracles actually DO happen. And if anyone deserves one, sweet one, it is you. ❤

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    1. Debbie, your words and encouragement mean more to me than you could ever know. There are certain things that I feel we failed to teach her, even though we tried. And tried, and tried… you get the picture. I’ve been wanting to write this post for quite sometime, and it was and is cathartic to have it done. Be well my friend, have a safe and happy 4th!

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  2. Barb, Wow is all I can say you put your heart on the line and I too have a son that does not to us ,and I am learning every day that all I can do is wait till he is ready to come back.I knew you when our husbands were in the navy and you were a great mom then and i know you continued to be when we were all transferred .You always loved your girls so much that I was in awe of love you showed them .You have done nothing wrong and I hope and pray that someday you will all come together again.I hope the same for me .It took my grandsons grad. to get her back into my life and maybe someday her brother may come back too. Keep you head up as you have done nothing wrong and stay strong .I to believe in miracles! Hope you have a good day my friend and thanks for sharing

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    1. Evalyn,
      Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I did love my girls with that Mama Bear love, and I still do. I pray that your son returns to you, and that you find joy in every day. That’s been the hardest part for me, finding joy after such loss. I do find it and guard it with all I have. Life is hard, but having it made harder because someone else decided to make it that way??? That’s a decision I never would have made. Be well, my dear friend!!! Say hey to Ray for us!

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