For My Sons,
Thank you for allowing me to hold you in my body, in my arms and in my spirit for a short, precious time. Thank you for teaching me to be a parent and a better person, allowing me to grow through your growth. Thank you for your innocence that kept me from becoming jaded, gently urging me to look at the world differently, through your eyes. You helped me to see so much more. Thank you for your patience through my struggles to become the best I can be – best parent, best wife, best friend, best person.
Thank you for guiding me through the maze of inconsistency that was my constant nemesis, and reminding me of what is really important. You may have taught me more than I have taught you.
One of my greatest fears is that your memory will paint a portrait of me as a weak woman with good intentions, somewhere between a skilled housekeeper and a shrew, always “on your case”. The thought horrifies me. Please remember me not only for what I did, or said, but for how I made you feel. Please remember that my desire to pass along what wisdom I may have gained from my experiences sprang from love, to ease your way and spare you pain, not a desire to control or make you a copy of me. Now THAT would be a nightmare!
I pray that some of my words found their way from my heart through sometimes deaf ears and a stubborn brain to your heart because that was where I tried to send them. My whole life of parenting I have struggled with an inner dichotomy of what is truly important.
My factual, living day to day self said that school was important, grades were important, as a key to unlocking whatever doors you wanted to open in your future. I tried to help you see that grades were more than so many superficial inkblots on a page – it was the knowledge behind those inkblots that would truly set you free to choose your own path.
The other side of the dichotomy was that part of me believed that none of this truly mattered, that life is more about how you treat people and how you feel about yourself, learning how to be gentle with your own shortcomings, while striving to become better. Following the path to change who you have been for who you want to become can be difficult in the beginning, filled with potholes and setbacks. Just remember to be gentle and loving with yourself along the way. What you first attempt to practice will become second nature in time. So celebrate your small steps in the beginning and know that everyone stumbles occasionally! And even though I may never come to terms with my dilemma, I pray that you might find that answer for yourself, in your lifetime.
I truly believe that each generation is meant to be wiser than the one before – an emotional, personal evolutionary process based on the experiences of those who have gone before, and the new generation's conscious choice to follow certain beliefs, depart from others, and explore new ones. My sincerest hope is that you will use the foundation we have tried to provide and then take off to build a structure that has never been imagined before – uniquely you – that will blow the world’s socks off!
I will always love you both with all my heart and soul.