Tuesday, November 06, 2012

My dear children

A week ago, my oldest daughter turned 13. She's an actual, real, teen. I won't lie. I could do without the attitude at times {though she'd probably say the same thing about me!}, the truth is it's not so bad, and she's still a pretty cool daughter.

Anyway, her birthday has made me all reflective and given me a lot to think about as a parent. And so.

My Dear Children,

From the moment I knew about your existence, I dreamed about your future. Every kick in the womb, made me wonder, will you be a soccer player? a gymnast? When you were a toddler, with the best imagination ever, I wondered if you would be a writer. I watched you try sports and activities, always wondering, is that what you'd choose to do for life. I know, it's probably silly to look at your 4 year old and wonder if she's found her passion for life, but it's what I did all the same.

I enjoyed (well, okay mostly enjoyed - I could have done without the sleepless nights) where you were at, but still, I dreamed about your future. Miss A, when you were in love with yellow - and everything HAD to be yellow - I pictured watching you walk down the aisle in a yellow dress. And it seemed so perfectly you. Miss M, you talked about being a photographer, and I imagined going to gallery showings of your art. And Mister Man, when you told me you were going to play for the Yankees and come to Chicago and beat the Cubs AND the White Sox, I thought, and I will be in the crowd telling everyone "That's my son! The one who just hit the home run? I'm his mother!"

Because, you see, when I dreamed about your future, I always imagined myself in the picture too. It never crossed my mind that I wouldn't be a part of your future, that I wouldn't get to share those moments with you. It may be selfish of me, but I dreamed of your futures as much for you as for myself.

Then. Then cancer joined our lives. And as I had to face the fact that I had cancer, I had to also face my own mortality. Now, I know, I could die tomorrow in a car accident - as my dad used to say "tomorrow is promised to no one" but the fact is, I don't often walk around in fear of a car accident. But hearing I had cancer? I didn't know. Would I be at the graduations? The weddings? The parties? The good times? Would I be there to hold you after your first heartbreak? To help you get through disappointments? To help you fix mistakes? To be there in the not so good times?

The cancer is gone now, but the fear is not. And I wonder ... have I taught you enough? Did I yell too much? Did I teach you that no matter what, I will always love you? Even when I'm not here to tell you anymore? Will you know just how much I love you?

That I will love you, even when you mess up. And make no mistake, you will make mistakes. You're human. You will do the wrong thing. You will hurt people's feelings. You will not always do the right thing. And still? I will love you. I've said this to you before - there is nothing you can do that will make me stop loving you. I hope you can feel that today, ten years from now, forever.

And on the off chance I'm not there - at your graduation, your wedding, your gallery openings, your big game, when you do the right thing even though it's hard - wherever your path takes you, I hope someone will lean over, kiss you gently on your forehead, hug you and whisper in your ear "Your mom would be so proud of you right now. She loves you so much." Because I am proud of you. And I do love you from the very bottom of my heart. Do not ever doubt this for one single second.

Love always and forever,


  1. Oh man... I am crying, Brandie. This is so heartfelt. I love you and I am so grateful to have you in my life.

  2. Oh man. I'm crying now too. Perfectly said. I miss my mom who has been gone 12 yrs. She did see my wedding dress but not the wedding. She never met my kids. Cherish everything.

  3. Beautiful post Brandie:-) I found it so amazing to realize how much we all take for granted once I found out I had cancer. That is one true gift of this horrid disease. I wish I never had cancer but am grateful that it has taught me to appreciate my children, husband, family, friends etc so much more!! So great that you were able to put that into words for your children. xoxo ~ Anna

  4. Thank you for sharing your heart. Your children are lucky to have you for a mom.

  5. Beautiful! You dont know me, i was forwarded your blog by a friend. BUt I have been following you for a bit now.
    This post has touched my heart. It brought tears to my eyes.

  6. I put off reading this, after the warnings i received on Twitter about the number of tissues i'd need. But Katie was right... it's all good. A happy, smiley, no-matter-what cry. You are an awesome momma. And i love you, my friend.

  7. There should be an emoticon that better portrays someone crying and their heart breaking simultaneously.

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  9. Ugh. *sniff sniff* I think ALL parents understand where you're coming from! :)


Seeing your comments makes me smile! Thank you so much =)