When You Have Nothing To Offer But Love
Finding out I was pregnant with my daughter ranks up there as one of the most terrifying moments of my life. She was born out of an abusive relationship and growing up with unstable parents myself, I feared that the only thing I had to offer her, was failure. But the more she grew inside of me, the more I fell in love with her. I came to realize, that with everything I could not offer her, the one thing that I could, was the one thing I had so desperately craved my entire life; I could offer her love. I started writing to her; a letter every week of her life since before she was born. Talking to her about the hopes and dreams I have for her, telling her how much I loved her, giving her advice that as a teenager, she may not want to take from me in person, but maybe she will be open to reflecting on it. If I could offer her nothing but love, I wanted her to know how much I loved her. That when we hit those rough teenage years and she calls me stupid and slams the door in my face, that I could slip them under the door, and show her, that I tried as hard as I could, and how much I love her. When I found out I was pregnant with my son, I started doing the same thing for him. I hoped that one day, they would be able to look back, and see all the fun that we had, all the good times, and how we worked through the bad.
To be honest, being in the relationship that I was in, deep down, I feared I might not make it out alive, and it terrified me to think about what might happen to them if I were gone. I wanted them to know, to have some proof, that at least one person in this great big world knew how special and important they were, and how much they are loved.
When my Ex disappeared, he took what he thought were the most valuable things. He took the money, the computer, my jewelry, and then he left his entire life, including all of us, behind. But before he left, he took one more thing, one more thing that he knew would hurt me. When he had already stripped away all of my dignity and self respect, he took all of my letters to my children. He took the hard copies I had printed, the computer they were saved on, and he even took the back up memory sticks that I kept in the safety deposit box. He knew it would hurt me and I was devastated. It just went to prove that not only did he not love me, but that he truly didn’t care if his children felt loved either. Despite my attorney telling me we would take him to court on it, when my ex approached me for money, I used it as a bargaining chip. $500 later there was some weird mailbox exchange and I got most of them back. For the first time since he had left, I cried tears of relief. Since then, I have continued writing to my children, every week.
There was one letter that was particularly hard though, one letter that stands out above the rest. The letter to my children letting them know what had happened to their father. It literally took me a year and a half to be able to put my feelings down on paper. I only finally did it in September, when I once again feared for my life, and I was worried that if I was killed, my children would have no idea what had actually happened. And so I sat down, and I explained to them, the last year and a half. And it was hard. Harder then I had anticipated. But its done. I wonder, twenty years from now, if I will look back on this, and have ended up at least somewhere close to where I pray we will. As the movie “The Ten Commandments” so boldly exclaims, “so it shall be written, so it shall be done.” I can only pray that it proves to be true, but for now, this is what I leave my children with: