My eldest daughter’s birthday was last week and I had thought to add a post of Birthday wishes on that day.
Returning by plane from Minnesota I edited a bit of my remarks before scrapping the whole thing. I had thought to not write further, as the ravages of divorce some years ago nullified any mutual relationship.
Yet, in the confines of my mind, a prison still exists. One where she remains close enough – but not close enough to touch. Just maybe close enough to hear the whispers of an eternal love that emanates from my thoughts, refused or not.
I do not know how many children she now has, their names, or even their current location. The sad part is, I could get those things in a moment from someone that does know. My brother tells me my children want no contact. I have chosen to respect that wish.
They have been raised LDS. That being the case, I question why there is no outpouring of forgiveness, no outreach to understand the things that happened. Only the presumptions espoused in time of great personal tragedy. From a time when I was never asked what I wanted. Only asked to do what others asked of me that they remain safe. My fear for you is that you cannot truly live in faith precluding that which the Lord commands must not remain.
For years I thought you might grow up enough to ask questions. Grow up enough to understand that mistakes are a part of learning – no matter how old you get. That the teachings you were provided as a child should not be remembered in one-sided truths. That the people you placed your faith in would still support your failure of courage. You with the voice of an angel, stilted, silenced. Mostly because both your parents wanted to hide their mistakes, afraid you will think less of them, or make those same mistakes yourself.
So, what must I say on this commemoration of your birth?
Your eternal happiness is of greater importance. Your refusal to recognize the people that have loved you, raised you, and assisted you in becoming who you are today is unfitting. For good or for bad, you are a product of all your experiences. You were taught to fight.
If embarrassment is your reason for staying apart, then let it be settled now. There is nothing you could ever do that would keep me from continuing to love you. Nothing that would preclude you from being my daughter. Nothing you could say that would ever cause me to not protect you.
I have no sappy poems for you this birthday. No righteous indignation. No flowery coded words to hide behind. You now know that I told the truth. I protected you all, as I was asked to do. Even when I could no longer understand why. I gave you the will to fight for what you truly wanted in life. Even as you told me you were all supporting me – though no one wrote, took a call, or came to see me.
It’s time for you to be an adult. It’s a birthday you will well remember. Grow up and live your faith. For your husband, your children and your parents.
Though this started out to be your birthday message, it applies to all three of you.
No matter what – I love you.