You are probably wondering why I am writing you when I can simply blurt all these out since I’ve been very outspoken with you all my life. I’d pretty much say whatever I wanted, even if I knew it would cause you pain, and I’d never really care much, either.
I know: I’ve been a very bad girl. My lips emitted poison and struck not only your heart but a hundred others that beat around me, too. Now, I wish to straighten everything out.
Sorry, as the song goes, seems to be the hardest word. I write this letter not only for your forgiveness (personally asking for it won’t achieve what this letter will) but also for your endowment of my only Christmas wish.
Mama, I regret every cruel word I uttered. I regret that I began answering back at the tender age of eleven. I regret that when you chided me (which I know I needed), I’d automatically, passionately snap right back. I regret protesting against your will when it was for my own good. I regret throwing terrible fits at home when things weren’t going my way. I regret cursing whenever I wanted, ignoring your plea that I speak like a true young lady. I regret using my mouth in improper and impolite ways. All these, I not only regret but I am incredibly guilty of and truthfully sorry for.
I’m also sorry for disobeying you and doing whatever I fancied, scorning my conscience that grew fainter with each rebellion. For complaining often for the things I can not obtain straight away not considering that each time this happened, I hurt you, for it’s always painful for a mother to be incapable of giving her child his desires in life. I’m sorry for making faces at you whenever I was displeased. For doing mean things and using the bratty excuse, “I’m going through teenhood!”.
I remember one night, when you stared at me for the longest time and said, “You’re not the daughter I once knew”. Then, I heard faint weeping through your bedroom door.
Just when I thought you’d finally give up on me, you stayed, reminding me of everything that lies ahead of me, telling me to “hitch my wagon to a star”, teaching me what you know of life, love, faith, etc. For all these, Mama, I’m extremely grateful. And I’m sorry for not appreciating them enough. For not seeing the good in our relationship but the faults and imperfections instead, that naturally exist with us humans.
Lastly, I am terribly sorry for saying I love you incessantly, not entirely meaning it as I continued hurting you more. I’m sorry. I really am, for every ache, for every tear.
And as my only wish this Yuletide season, may you forgive me. May you put all the aches and tears behind us now and give me another chance to be the daughter whose memories you keep fondest and dearest to your heart. The daughter I lost to my inner demons.
I know you miss her. Please welcome her home again this Christmas, as she tries to live anew, bathing in the perpetual love and devotion a mother like no other can only offer.
I love you Mama. And this time, I really mean it.
Above is a letter that I wrote and submitted to the Philippine Postal Corporations’s First Regional Letter Writing Contest four (or so) years ago. It actually won first prize and the funny thing is , I never gave it to Mama. O.o
I was poring over my past documents when I stumbled on this one. My reaction was a sigh as deep as the Pacific Ocean. Well, it's mainly because, first, I was such a dork then. I was only 15 and was just too happy to care about right and wrong--God knows what kinds of things I am now capable of as juxtaposed against what I did during those times when pimples were as tragic as 9/11 and unrequited puppy love was my own version of religious hermits' corporal mortification. O.o And second, I'm not sure if I still have the guts to say all this again.
What the heck. I don't even know the person who wrote that letter anymore. It felt like reading someone else's diary, and yet, I just knew that it was...familiar...in a way. A Chinese proverb said , "To understand a mother's love, bear your own children." I dunno about my future children but I'm as sure as hell that I won't ever--ever--give up on them. The more sensible part of me tells me that I shouldn't be so certain. After all, I haven't been the kind who deserves a "Best Daughter in the World" trophy or anything. No, not really. I just won a writing competition. That was all.
“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” -- Tenneva Jordan
“Motherhood is the strangest thing, it can be like being one's own Trojan horse.” -- Rebecca West
“A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot” -- Allan Beck
"To nourish children and raise them against odds is any time, any place, more valuable than to fix bolts in cars or design nuclear weapons." -- Marilyn French
"Sometimes when I look at all my children, I say to myself, 'Lillian, you should have stayed a virgin.'" -- Lillian Carter, at the 1980 Democratic Convention, where her son was nominated for a second term as US President
"Whenever I'm with my mother, I feel as though I have to spend the whole time avoiding land mines." -- Amy Tan, in The Kitchen God's Wife
A mother who is really a mother is never free. -- Honore de Balzac
"A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary." -- Dorothy Canfield Fisher
"She was the archetypal selfless mother: living only for her children, sheltering them from the consequences of their actions -- and in the end doing them irreparable harm." -- Marcia Muller
"If you've never been hated by your child, you've never been a parent." -- Bette Davis
"Motherhood brings as much joy as ever, but it still brings boredom, exhaustion, and sorrow too. Nothing else ever will make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality especially while you struggle to keep your own." -- Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons
"At work, you think of the children you have left at home. At home, you think of the work you've left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself. Your heart is rent." -- Golda Meir
"Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at de sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground." -- Zora Neale Hurston
"Motherhood is neither a duty nor a privilege, but simply the way that humanity can satisfy the desire for physical immortality and triumph over the fear of death." -- Rebecca West
"The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant -- and let the air out of the tires." -- Dorothy Parker
“I no more thought of style or literary excellence than the mother who rushes into the street and cries for help to save her children from a burning house, thinks of the teachings of the rhetorician or the elocutionist.” -- Harriet Beecher Stowe
"Making the decision to have a child-it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness." -- Honore' de Balzac (1799-1850)