A letter to my daughter

Today my daughter is 34.

Dear Naomi,

I want you to know how much I love you.  I have loved you since the first time I felt you move.  I will never forget the day you were born.  I did not know if you were going to be a boy or girl and when they said “It’s a girl!” I cried with joy.  You were so beautiful, loud and lovable when you came into the world and you still are.

I want you to know how sorry I am that you lived with violence and were damaged by someone I was in a relationship with.  If I could give my life to change that I would.  It is the biggest regret of my life.  My own issues with love addiction led to my children being harmed and I live with that guilt every day of my life.  I want you to heal and be well.  I wish I could make all that pain go away.  It is hard to put the past away but I want you to remember that you are a strong survivor.  You can rise above what happened and help others who are suffering.  You can be an example to your girls now.  Let them see what a strong woman is.  Teach them that they never have to accept any kind of abuse.  Teach them to say no with conviction.  Teach them they can come to you and tell you and you will believe them.   You are not what happened to you Naomi.  That is not your identity.  You are a smart, funny, talented young woman who is strong and a survivor.  Stand tall and never forget how wonderful you truly are.  Never be ashamed to be proud of yourself.  Never be ashamed to look in the mirror and say “I am strong, I am beautiful and I am a survivor”  Love yourself with all that is within you.

When I am gone from this world I want you to remember me as a mom who was not perfect but who loved you fiercely.   You don’t have to look too closely to see my faults.  I have struggled with the very issues that I hope you will overcome.  I am working on eradicating these issues from my life even at this stage of my life.   I vow to dedicate more of my life to you, your brother and the grandchildren.

Just remember…I love you…I love you so much.  I will always be with you. When you miss me watch The Wizard of Oz or sing this song that my father taught me and I sang to you and your brother from the time you were tiny…….