I Remember You (A Letter to my Inner Child)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story of my childhood told in the form of a letter to the lost child within me...

Submitted: May 04, 2011

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Submitted: May 04, 2011

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I remember you. You were a sweet little girl, a free spirit who believed in life and love and happiness. You believed in forever. And I liked that about you.

But somewhere on the journey between you and me, at a fateful fork in the road along the way, I lost you. Where did your path lead you?
You were eleven when your great-grandfather passed away and you tasted death for the first time. Your rock-solid belief in forever sprang a small leak that day. I remember the thought crossed your mind that if he could die, then maybe it was possible that someday your mother could also die. But that thought was quickly banished from your mind, unwelcome, unthinkable…

And life went on. You grew into yourself. In sixth grade you started to discover your gifts. You were a writer and a musician. You even realized for the first time that you were smart. And for awhile you were happy.

But deep inside you knew you weren’t like everybody else. People treated you differently. And there had to be something wrong with you because your Daddy didn’t want to live with you. He just wanted to be your playmate, not your Daddy.

And you loved your mother so much it almost hurt. You just knew that you could make her love you, too, if you were just good enough; if you won all the contests you entered and got the blue ribbons at field day. I remember how you’d wake up in the morning determined to be perfect that day so your Mother would be proud of you. So she would notice you. And you believed you would be good enough to earn her love someday. You thought there was time…

But one day you were very surprised when your Dad pulled up to the curb as you were walking home from school. He never picked you up, so you couldn’t imagine why he would be there. He told you to get in the car and drove you straight to the hospital. I remember your confusion and your reluctance to let it sink in. You decided you’d rather hang out by the elevators and stare out the windows than to see your mother in the hospital bed. You tried not to hear it, but the word broke through your barriers and changed your world forever. Cancer.

I think that was when you lost your faith in forever. You realized that your time was up and you hadn’t proved yourself worthy. To you it felt like the game was over. You had lost, and you were left standing all alone on an empty court with echoes of the game, the small victories and the final defeat bouncing around in your head.

You knew all too well that bad things sometimes happened, but you didn’t understand that it was out of your control. You felt like you had lost both your parents. First your Dad when he moved out, and now you were losing your Mom. You knew for sure, then, that there was something wrong with you. No matter how hard you tried, you just weren’t good enough. And you never would be…

So if trying to be good had brought you nothing but heartache, you decided maybe it was time to start being bad. You spent an entire Science period standing on a toilet in the girl’s room, skipping class for no other reason than just to be bad. Maybe that would get her attention. Maybe then your Mother would realize that you needed her and she would stay. But she just said it was okay, no big deal. She understood that you did it because you were hurting, but you thought she didn’t care.

She tried to talk to you, but you wouldn’t listen.You were just a child and you had no idea how much this was hurting her. She didn’t want to leave you, but there was nothing she could do about it. And I think your mother loved you a hundred times more than you’ll ever know. But you just couldn’t talk to her. You didn’t want to hear her say that she was going to die. So you shut her out. But you did hear her - she said three years.

One month later she was gone. You woke up on the living room floor in a sleeping bag and realized that it had been a whole week. One week ago your mother had died and the world had ended. But someone forgot to tell the world because it just kept on going like nothing had happened.

The house was full of people you didn’t know, among them your father. And you knew that eventually everybody was going to leave and you would be left alone with this man you barely knew and had come to fear…

You could no longer make sense of your world. You felt as if it had been turned upside down and inside out. But your father seemed to think that you should act like nothing had happened. So maybe, you thought, this was just the way life was supposed to be.

I remember when you decided you didn’t like the world anymore and you disappeared into your head. You created your own world to live in. One with rules that could not be broken, and people that could not leave. One that you could control.

Life went on and you grew older, but you never lost that sense that you weren’t good enough. And you became very angry at yourself. And you never quit believing that if you loved somebody too much they would leave. So you decided to do the leaving yourself and you swallowed a bunch of pills…

But God wasn’t ready for you yet, because He wanted you to find your way back to the path you had wandered from. Back to me. Back to Him. And He wanted you to understand that He loved you enough to give up His own life for yours. You desperately needed to know that He would never leave you. Ever!

Oh, there were so many things that you just didn’t know. You never knew how many people loved you and prayed for you. You never knew how you broke your father’s heart when you tried to leave him. You never understood that you didn’t have to earn people’s love. Do you even understand that now?

If I could, I would travel back down the roads of your life and find the sweet, innocent girl who got lost in the woods of fear and loneliness. And I would guide you safely back to the path that leads to life.

Yes, I remember you. And I still believe in you.


© Copyright 2018 Kariss. All rights reserved.

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