I originally wrote this as a message for my oldest daughter, but it goes for my son as well. I have edited it accordingly and expanded on my original message.
I love you and miss you and wish there was a time machine I could take back to when you were just babies and tell your mom what is really important for her to do for you.
I would tell her to hold you and cuddle you and let you cling to her whenever and however often you wanted to.
I would tell her to hold your hand and pick you up whenever you reached for her.
I would tell her to turn off the t.v., hang up the phone, and put down the book and just give you her undivided attention.
I would advise her to speak softly and tenderly to you and to listen intently when you speak.
I would tell her to forget about taking care of anyone other than you and not to be concerned with whether or not other people had good, bad, or indifferent opinions of her and just be concerned with what your opinions are and will be.
I would tell her that the love you have for her is sufficient and that the love she has for you only counts if she shows it in meaningful, tangible, and consistent ways.
I would remind her to always remember that she needs to tell you everyday how wonderful and loved you are and what great qualities you have and not to constantly point out where you need to grow, change and improve. I would tell her that she needs to show you by her example how to follow through, be consistent, and accept responsibility for actions and choices made.
Despite the wounds, damage, and brokenness that have been inflicted on you, you are stronger people than I have ever been, maybe because of those things. Regardless of the the things I’ve criticized, demeaned, or belittled (intentional or not) I am so proud of you both.
Your circumstances and the mistakes in your past do not define you, diminish you, or make you unworthy of anyone or anything. You are beautiful on the inside and out and I am so glad that you are my children.
I want to be able to be the one you can talk to but I completely understand why I’m not. I’m sorry for abandoning you on so many levels, in so many ways, for as long as I have done. When you are ready, I will be here for us to grow new relationships. In the meantime, I hope you know that I often struggle with the desire to reach out to you and frequently decide that you both have boundaries I’m trying to respect and consider, which is why I seldom try to contact you.
I don’t want you guys to do all the work in our future relationship, but I realize I’ve spent a considerable amount of time and energy forcing myself, my issues, and my viewpoints on you and I am sincerely trying to avoid doing that.
I love both of you more than words can say. I experience sadness and grief when I know you are struggling and I smile and rejoice when I know you are doing well. The times when I have no idea what is going on with you and in your lives, I continually think about you and wonder how your day is going.