releasing regret: an open letter to my parents

What did I know, what did I know of love’s austere and lonely offices? (Hayden

20443_239317132812_2302655_nDear Dad,

I write asking for your forgiveness for a deep regret that haunts me.

When I was young, when I was stupid and selfish, I use to watch TV as a way to unwind. And you would come into the family room, sit in your green leather recliner, and then fold your long, muscular fingers dotted with patches of wiry hair up to your lips in a triangle-temple grip. A gentle gesture of internal prayer, perhaps.

And you would start to ask me questions. Questions about my day. School. Work. My friends.

And I was so annoyed. After all, I had had a very taxing day and I deserved to have some time to sit in peace, without thought or conversation. And I snipped at you. “Dad, I just want to watch TV. Do we have to do this now?”

Deflated, but never angry with me, you would sink into yourself, away from me, and eventually out of the room.

And then you got sick. Then you couldn’t carry on a conversation with me. Then, eventually, you didn’t even know who I was.

And I would sit with you in desperation to connect with the old, healthy, remembering you, asking you questions. You would answer with distracted and lost retorts, clearly buried so far in your diseased self that you could not find your way out.

And now I mourn. I linger in regret for all the conversations I missed with you because I was too tired, too consumed with TV.

Forgive me Dad. Release me.

I love you and miss you terribly,

Your daughter.

camera download june2012 163

 

Dear Mom,

I write to you asking for forgiveness for something I regret.

You beat breast cancer. Then it came back in your lungs. Then you beat that. You quit smoking. I was so proud of you. But I was also grateful, because I thought this meant you had chosen your family–you had chosen me–over your addiction, and that choice meant we would have more time to spend and more memories to make.

But you started smoking again. And you didn’t even tell me.

I was so angry. I held it against you. I withdrew, as I always do when hurt. But I also withdrew, because I surrendered to your choice to not be healthy, to not do everything in your power to extend your life. Withdrawing meant that our impending separation would be easier, didn’t it?

How foolish was I. By being bitter at your choice to smoke again, I wasted precious time–sand tumbling so quickly to the bottom of the hourglass I didn’t realize was so ephemeral–I could have had with you. Alone, I made meager memories of anger when I could have been making memories of laughter with you.

Forgive me Mom. Release me.

I love you and miss you terribly,

Your daughter.

e879e7a727cdb6c407a84870823ab2ed

Kathy Mattea

Advertisements

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DM
    Mar 02, 2014 @ 16:52:21

    that is a lot of heartache. I don’t know you (or your dad) but as a dad myself who has 3 daughters,, i have no doubt your dad would smile, look at you with a twinkle in his eyes and say “absolutely.” someone who also has wrestled with addiction tendencies, I believe your mom never/ ever meant to hurt you either and would be asking for your release as well. Thanks for keeping it real and for the gentle nudge you’ve given all of us to keep short accounts. DM

    Like

    Reply

  2. Tammy
    Mar 02, 2014 @ 17:21:37

    I love you.

    Like

    Reply

  3. Heather Wheat - Wandering Bark Humanities
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 07:55:12

    love this. and you.

    Like

    Reply

  4. edpeters06
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 07:55:27

    Thank you, as always, for being so honest and vulnerable in your writing. This spoke to my heart, as I am sure it will to others. xo

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Once Upon a Time in México

Living my dream of teaching, traveling, and discovering culture

Teach. Travel. Taste.

A peek into the life of an American teacher in Colombia

2seetheglobe

Adventures in Globetrotting

Meditating Millennial

A Millennial's Journey Into Meditation and Mindfulness

Nomad Notions

Tales of Expat Living, Teaching, and Tramping in Taiwan and Beyond.

Sojourners' Journal

“Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people." —Albert Einstein

Middle East by Midwest

Observations and Experiences of Bahrain

Ex(pat) and the City

The life of a twenty-something Canadian living & teaching in Korea.

International Schools Review

ISR Blogs are open to site members and visitors alike. Your Voice Counts.

Teaching - Traveling - Learning

The Life of An International Teacher

Love Live Life....Abroad!

Follow me as I live, work, and travel abroad.........

pedagogyofthereformed

Teaching in Brooklyn in Spite of Everything

Actively Dying

by Peter Fall Ranger

DoYouYoga.com

Just another WordPress.com site

zen habits

writing into meaning.

Shambhala Blog

Books for enlightened living

Tiny Buddha

writing into meaning.

YogiApproved™

writing into meaning.

The Blissful Mind

Your guide to finding calm in the everyday

Practicing Presence

An attempt at mindfulness in life, learning, and love

Kindness Blog

Kindness Images, Videos, True Life Stories, Quotes, Personal Reflections and Meditations.

chanyado

Chanyado. Shade. Respite from the sun. A place under the tree to rest my head, and wiggle my toes out in the sun.

The Seeds 4 Life

Seeds of Inspiration, Wisdom, and Positivity

The Educationista

Life. Lessons. Inspiration.

Words Half Heard

writing into meaning.

infinite hope | the national equity project blog

Deliver on the promise of a quality education.

gadflyonthewallblog

"To sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth."

Greatfull

A snapshot of my journey to living each day with gratitude and striving to be full of greatness

Imperfect Happiness

Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. ~ Mary Oliver

tspelczech

"I'm too old to live my life in fear of dumb people." - Charlie Skinner, The Newsroom

Perfectly Pleased

I take the little moments of life and write about them. Always with Love.

Cultivate Clarity

creative writing and mindfulness-based coaching, workshops, and retreats

www.aholyexperience.com/

Just another WordPress.com site

Crawling Out of the Classroom

As I begin a year of transformation as a teacher, I am attempting to break down the four walls of my classroom to reach out to others and connect about the incredible world of education.

Trophy Kids

In Defense of the Generation

ADVENTURES ON THE YOGA MAT

writing into meaning.

Left Brain Buddha

the modern mindful life

Mom Voyage - Adventures of a Fulltime RV Mom

Just another WordPress.com site

AFFECTIVE LIVING

Teaching. Learning. Living.

Mostly True Stories of K. Renae P.

My Adventures in Teaching and Learning

synchroblog

diverse voices. monthly topics. good conversations.

Done with Religion

Written by Jim Gordon - Living with God Outside the Walls of Religion

candidkay

Taking the journey, bumps and all

jenny's lark

the beauty of an ordinary life

Nonlinear Compilations

Parenting, teaching, writing, and learning to find beauty in the present

%d bloggers like this: