Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

No More Sorries, Mom

motherhuggingchildDear Mom,

I want to tell you something and although perhaps this should be a private conversation, I know that if I publicly tumble these words there’s a chance you’ll hear.

You may need to keep saying it, but I don’t need to keep hearing it. You’ve said it enough. I promise. You’ve mourned it enough. I promise. You’ve swallowed the pill and vomited regret, and you know what? I needed you to do all of that, but I don’t need you to be sorry any more.

I forgive the young, 28-year-old woman who didn’t know how to live outside the cave of demons and dread. I understand the young mother who never learned to share secrets and to let go of denial. The veil our family lived beneath, the one older generations helped to create, was not your embroidery and it took the unintentional sacrifice of me to begin ripping it to shreds. You stood up. You fought for me more than anyone fought for you. You held me. You believed me. You confronted him.

You may not be able to see it in yourself, but you are stronger than those who came before you and because of you and dad, I will be stronger, more righteous, and have deeper conviction. You have to see that what I lost in the hands of your father is not simply summed with  a common mark of incest. I wear a badge of honor because with your help, the insanity really does stop with my generation.

In telling our story, by writing this book, we shear the tightly woven cuffs of regret and destiny. Even wrapped in a cliché, if we do in fact touch only one life—if we help one person to understand the power and impotency of closed eyes, we will have lived well. Your unwavering support for this project has mined the shafts of denial and collapsed remaining entries. We don’t need to dig for more apologies between the two of us. Hold your head high. Stand straight. You should. You can. I promise.

When I remind myself of the stock from which I came, I feel my shoulders broaden and my chin tilt. I am your daughter. I am your story teller. I am and will always be grateful that God gave me to you.

With love, forgiveness and humility,


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