Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mothers and Daughters

A Forgotten Treasure
When I was looking through my bookcase one morning, weeding out the books I want to keep from those I will donate, or give away, I found a forgotten treasure.

It has special written all over it and it's something I will keep forever.
This tiny book was a gift from my youngest daughter, Heather, when she was eighteen.

Just before graduation, she announced that she wanted to move to Texas to live with her older sister, Carrie, for the summer.

Carrie was going to be working part time as a waitress and part time on an indian reservation for summer break from The University of Notre Dame. She assured Heather that she could also work at the restaurant with her.

For weeks, we discussed (and argued) about the move. Texas was a long, long way from our home in New Hampshire and I wasn't convinced she was ready to move away.

Then I received this book from Heather and it came with a letter. When I found the book this morning, the letter was still tucked inside. Like memories do, at times, the letter made me cry. Now I want to share it with you:

Sometimes, I think you and I are one and the same. I see so much of you in me. I think that's what makes our relationship so complicated. 
It's not that I think you're trying to run my life. I know it's only that you want what's best for me -- so we stick our noses out. I've said my fair share in how I think you should run your life, but in the end, you decide your own destiny. 
So, understand that I'm not leaving you. I'm only leaving New Hampshire ... and I will survive out in Texas, because you've taught me I can do anything I set my mind to. I aspire to be the best at whatever I do and that was also something you taught me -- confidence. If I fall on my ass out there, it was never meant to be. But I have to find out for myself (like usual, I will learn something). 
I just need you by my side on this one, no matter what the outcome may be, okay? I need to know you're behind me, or else I may doubt myself and that's not the right thing for a move like this one. I am putting myself first for once. If I stay here any longer, it would be for you, and Will, and Dad. All three of you don't want me to go. 
Now, should anything happen to me, you know what I would want (just in case ... it's a long trip!) I would love visitors for the summer time. You'll get a great tan down south, that's for sure! 
I'm going to miss having you only a hug away. You've always been there for me for anything -- but I promise you, our friendship will never fade. It's too strong to ever do that. 
I'm only 18, and that means I still have about a million more mistakes to make before my life is over! Just think how many more times you can say, "I told you so." 
Please, please give me your encouragement. That's all I really need right now. 
Love, Beanie"

Needless to say, Heather did make the move to Texas, and now that summer is far behind us. It was an important milestone for her and she learned a lot, both of us did. What I learned is that I wasn't ready for her to move away yet ...

"Beanie" now has a fourth child, their third son. She has created her own company, is a wonderful and caring mother, a loving wife, a devoted daughter, and I'm proud of the happy independent woman she has become.

I've learned more from my three daughters than they ever learned from me ...

Amazon: The Love Between Mothers and Daughters

“A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write.” ~CJ Heck

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