Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Letter to my daughter, Maya....

Maya I was thinking about what I would want you to know about as you were growing up. What I would hope to pass on to you and what I would be telling you.

In no particular order I thought about things important to me.

Reading. I love to read. I like seeing all my books, feeling old books in my hands and reading a favorite one over and over again and seeing something new in it each time.

I think I would have made sure you could of read these books in no particular order...I will keep to top 10 for now but that was hard...I am sure you would have introduced me to many fabulous finds of your own as well.

- Where the Wild things are
- C.S Lewis Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe Series
- All Judy Blume books
- anything Jack Kerouac but especially Dharma Bums and On the Road
- Catcher in the Rye
- The Color Purple
- Where the Sidewalk Ends & Light in the Attic
- Eckhart Tolle - A new Earth
- F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
- Mark Twain- Huckleberry Finn

Another wonderful book that I am always going back to during this journey of mine is "The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Here is the poem from the book that everyone should keep this near as kind of a motto & a reminder. This I would of wished for you my sweet girl...

"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithlessand therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments."

Oriah Mountain Dreamer
copyright © 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

I feel like she wrote this for a significant other in her life but I feel like anyone can use this and learn from it.

Maya, some of the things I think I would have told you when you were growing up were that my mistakes were never your fault and I would have done my best to make up whatever your life lacked in anyway I could of.

If you were a horrible dancer like your mom I would have apologized and bought you dance lessons. But I would have told you to never stop dancing even if you are embarrassed. See at one time the people that knew me knew I went out and danced and had fun with it...when tragedy hit me a lot of that disappeared. I can't dance anymore and I use to not be able to just laugh out loud but slowly but surely I am sure those wonderful things will find their way back into my being.

If you were a "not so fabulous" singer, I would have been to blame for that too, but you should sing anyway. Loudly and proud! I love to sing and I love to scream in my car, in my room, shower, office, or just about wherever the mood hits me. Part of me use to think that the more I do it the better singer I will become but I am not sure that is the case anymore. But you my dear child had a sweet voice that loved to sing I am glad I remember the sound of that.

Maya I would of told you that because you go to church doesn't mean you are good. You are doing your part and your moral compass is pointing the right direction. I would of encouraged you to always strive to put others first, to not hurt people with words, to donate your time, money and energy to a cause dear to your heart.

I would have told you to shop local, support your community and grow a garden.
I remember doing a garden with you. I particularly remember you being so proud to pluck all of those beautiful green tomatoes from the vine. You loved getting your hands in the dirt just like your momma.

Since you my one and only child are gone I feel that my title of Mom is gone as well. But sometimes I know with everything inside my being it will never go away. Like when I leave a session and that precious hug that little girl gave me and the way she looked in my eyes like she knows where I have been makes me never desire for the feeling, the emotional pull of my "mom-ness" to go away. I hope I can be a role model to my sweet nieces and the other children that are dear to me in my life. To forget being a mom is to kind of go back into yourself and forget it all. To remember how to think about just yourself and throw away all that the past 8 years has taught you.

Maya, never do I think I will understand you not living here on this earth with me. You not growing up and moving on, breaking my heart and making me proud and having me leave you first just as it should be.

I have a feeling that its maybe not necessary for me to understand but important for me to learn from and continue to grow from.

If there is anyway these words can reach you and you can feel my heart then know that you are always and will always be my number 1. My beloved daughter, friend, and biggest gift and biggest loss. Never was I defined by being your mom but you were my definition of true love. Whenever I am sad, lonely, or questioning what I am going through I think of you because I know having you in my arms would have been the ultimate comfort. Since I don't have that I usually go to the grave, I lay on the ground and I feel the cool breeze go over me tickling my cheeks, making me think of your presence being all around me and your love ever abounding.

You have taught me more in my life than I ever could have learned on my own.

I will love you every second of the day for the rest of my life...

I imagine you would of called me Mom by now since you would of almost been 8 years old but in my mind I am always going to be Mommy.

I love much,



Chamberlain said...

i love this. :( but it breaks my heart. i love you.

Brenda said...

Jen, u have such a gentle spirit yet a fiercely loving one. I love that u can put into words what ur heart is aching to tell ur daughter. I feel she hears u loud & clear. I feel she is with u each and everyday. When u laugh, she laughs too, when ur happy, she is smiling so big, when ur sad, she is hugging u tight with her little arms, sending u blessings thru out ur day. U touch my heart in so many ways. This letter to Maya is simply beautiful <3 I love u Jennifer <3 <3 <3

Tommy John said...

i know its been a year since you posted this...but i just love what you is so sweet and is filled with such emotion