Dear Estranged Daughter: My Hopes and Wishes for You

Dear Estranged Daughter,

I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. You came out with dark brown hair covering the top of your tiny head. We only stayed in the hospital overnight before we got to go home. But you had your days and nights mixed up. With your maternal grandma’s help, she and I took turns keeping you awake the next day. That night you slept through the night. You were only three days old.

You were such a happy and easy baby. You didn’t fuss very much — only when you wanted changed or a bottle. I made sure you had the best first birthday party surrounded by all of your family, both sides of your family.

As you grew older, I could set you in the middle of the floor with toys around you, and you would play for hours by yourself. I didn’t let you do that because I wanted to be a part of your life and be a great parent.

I made sure you had the clothes you needed and the toys you wanted for birthdays and Christmases. Of course, the toys were within reason because you didn’t always get what you wanted, but I sure tried.

You sure loved those holidays and getting gifts. When you found your voice, you wouldn’t stop until you had opened your gifts. I loved seeing your face when you opened those gifts. You were such a joy.

You got to start school early since your birthday fell in the summer months. I had you tested to start early, and you passed the tests. You did so well in school the first one and a half years, but things changed halfway through your first grade year.

When you were six years old, I filed for divorce from your dad. I remember looking at your school picture from that year and thinking how sad you looked in your picture. You weren’t smiling at all.

Children aren’t supposed to look that sad at that young of an age. You should have been smiling and laughing and having the time of your life. It wasn’t until we moved back to my hometown that I truly realized how hard life was for you. It was then at the age of seven, you told me that all you wanted to do was die.

My heart broke into a million pieces because I would have done anything for you. You were my little girl, my mini me. Everyone said you looked just like me.

The divorce took its toll on you. Your grades slipped, and you struggled through second grade. You had trouble reading and ended up in counseling. I took you to counseling because I knew you needed someone else to talk to, and it was suggested to me that I do this.

The counseling helped you, and within a year, you were more like my little girl again. Other things happened, though, and I tried my best to be there for you and give you someone to talk to.

The older you got the more you wanted to stay with me during the weekends, holidays, and summer, but I told you that you didn’t have a choice. You didn’t like my answer, but you went anyway.

I’m sorry you missed events — friends’ birthday parties, sleepovers, softball games the one year you played. I couldn’t help that. I know being a child of divorce was hard, but I did my best to help you handle it. I tried to get you to understand why things had to be this way even when you didn’t understand it.

I took you on vacations each summer to create those happy memories that I hope you never forget and that make me cry when I think of them now. I remember how much fun we had each trip, especially those beach trips. Those beach trips were the most fun. I loved sitting on the beach with you soaking up the sun and watching the people. I loved wading in the ocean and watching you and your brother toss a ball or use the raft. Of course, our other trips were fun, too. I loved meeting Neal McCoy after the concert that summer.

Speaking of concerts, I loved how you became my concert buddy. You may not remember going to see our favorite singer, Rick Springfield, when you were three years old. A friend of mine and her daughter went with us. My sign got Rick to sing “Happy Birthday” to you. That was one of the most awesome memories ever.

A few years ago, I had so much fun going to the state fair to see Rick again. Then a couple of years later, we went to a small town south of here to see him again. We had planned to see him again before you moved out. I sure missed having you there with me because you missed a great show.

I miss your smile and your laugh. I love how something small could get you laughing for a few minutes or sometimes longer. I miss our girl talks. I miss hearing your voice. I miss the innocent girl you used to be. I miss everything about you.

You will always be my daughter. No matter how you try to keep me away. I gave birth to you, and nothing can change that. Please know that you are always welcome in my home no matter where I live. I hope someday soon we can talk so you know my side of the story and put this behind us. I will always love you…

Your Estranged Mom

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