IF YOU ARE A FIRST-TIME READER, YOU CAN READ A FEW OF THE RECENT ENTRIES TO GET A FEEL FOR WHETHER THIS IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WANT TO START FROM THE BEGINNING...
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This is Heather's personal journal, which she began keeping when she was 14-years-old. Until she passed away suddenly in a car accident on January 16, 2011, I had no idea she had kept this journal. She was a writer, but she kept this part of her life secret. What follows are her letters - written before she died. And my responses, written after her death as part of my grief process - but saying the things I said to her in life. It is raw, uncut and intimate. It often deals with tough and mature topics. Sometimes, the language is not polite. But in an effort to retain the raw honesty of her emotions, I haven't edited it.
I see your struggle in the words on the page.
I feel that you are torn.
I’m just glad that you are writing. Ever since you wrote your first stories for me when you were six, I knew that you were gifted and that it would be therapeutic for you to write down your feelings. That is one thing we definitely have in common. I admire you as a fellow writer.
I wish I had all the answers neatly packaged with pretty ribbons and step-by-step instructions.
But I don’t. No one does.
And as much as I know you like pretty things - His package looks best in the ragged, well-worn pages of his Word.
I saw a picture of a raggedy bible taped to the inside of your closet door along with other things that you like. It looked worn and read and that picture tells me a lot about your thoughts.
We have cuddled in my bed until the wee hours of the morning as you told me about all your memories.
I have tried to pass on what I have learned in my journey through life.
We have yelled at each other as we tried to understand each other.
We have gotten flusterated - you always combined the words frustrated and flustered and I liked the combination - at each other as we saw the same patterns repeat themselves over and over again.
It’s a search that may not be much fun because you may have to dredge up a bunch of garbage from your past to begin to understand what thoughts you have that lead you to make poor decisions.
But I think the long-term results will be amazing.
A dialog of the heart.
A chance to talk openly and honestly about ourselves.
On the surface, we don’t have a whole lot in common.
You are beautiful and lively and spontaneous and adventurous.
I’m plain and intellectual and organized and safe.
We butt heads.
I’m your mom, your disciplinarian, and your teacher. I’m not your equal and never will be. We can love and honor each other, but I’m not designed to be your best friend. My job is to help you become all that God intends you to be.
Sometimes, that makes you want to hate me.
Honestly, I’m okay with that. I don’t like it. But I accept it as part of my responsibility as your mom. I figure if you don’t hate me at some point, I am definitely not doing my job.
I will never lie to you. Even to make you feel good. But I will love you through it all. And no matter what you do or have done. No matter what anyone else has ever done to you. I will love you. I will keep you.
“I’m going to make you hate me so that you will send me away.”
I glared right back through the rear view mirror, saying,
“You can make me not like you. You can make me angry. You might even make me hate you. But you can’t make me send you away.”
I continued my glare until I was sure that you understood me clearly.
You weren’t going to win that battle. I was keeping you no matter what.