Victoria NeuroNotes

My True Savior: A Love Letter To My Only Begotten

52 Comments

I’m not sure where this letter will take me, but I want to start by saying, beloved daughter, that I adore you, admire you, and have the utmost respect for you.  I will forever be indebted to you.  You saved my life.  I am a better person because of you, there’s no doubt about that.  Had you not come into my life when you did, I feel certain that I would have lost the will to live. You gave me purpose and meaning.  Your light was a beacon of hope.  You kept me busy.  You needed me and I needed you.

Me & KristinYou were so tiny the day your daddy ended his life.  Just eleven days old.  You were in my arms when I heard the shotgun fire.  In the moment, I didn’t realize what that startling acoustic was.  You were in my arms when I walked in the bedroom and saw a scene that caused me to never watch another horror flick again.  It’s hard to write about this.  I’ve tried to step into your shoes many times — to know how you must have felt when you learned how your daddy died.  I told you when you were five, and that was the hardest thing I ever did in my life.  But the truth had to come from me.  I didn’t want you to learn about it from anyone else.

I was afraid of what you would think and feel; that he didn’t love you enough to want to live.  But I watched his face as he gazed into your eyes with wonderment each time he held you.  I saw tears flow down his face when the doctor placed you on my tummy shortly after you took your first breath.  Your tiny hand griped his finger as though you sensed it would be the last time you’d become one with him.  He was holding back his emotions, hesitant to show them publicly because the moment was so sacred.  I knew he wanted to weep openly with unbridled intensity.

He was in awe; so happy to see you.  He whispered “wow” over and over.   It’s a moment forever etched in my memory.

Although I tried to be attentive to your every need, I knew a part of me wasn’t fully present for you at times. You never lacked for love but you deserved to have my full, undivided attention when it was needed.  I was grieving.  I struggled to keep it together.  I was in survival mode.  Reoccurring nightmares of you dying haunted my sleep.  Sleep paralysis occurred often and I’d awaken with a rapid, pounding heartbeat.  Dark thoughts and insurmountable confusion gripped me.  I tried to hide my anxiety attacks.  Many times you wanted to sleep in my room, but I didn’t want you to hear me weep as my mind often replayed the parting scene of that dreaded day.  I smiled in your presence.  I pretended to be OK.

I did it for your sake, but the toxic biochemicals from acute stress gave me away when my breast milk made you sick.

As though every day was my birthday, you offered me your gifts of love.  Yet I didn’t feel I deserved your love; that I didn’t deserve you.  I felt intense shame in your early years; shame that was not warranted.  For several years after your daddy was laid to rest, I wore my wedding ring because I came to realize that many people assumed you were born out-of-wedlock and they judged us.  To compound matters, some family members on your father’s side made assumptions, and initially blamed me for the tragedy.  They needed answers, too, but in their shock and grief they sought a scapegoat.

While your grandparents were going through a long and bitter divorce, they were oblivious to the challenges your father and I faced.  They were unaware of the many sacrifices I had made as their son’s symptoms, caused by the traumatic brain injury, progressively worsened and inflicted him with delusions, hallucinations and depression.  I tried to tell them how worried I was, but they assumed that because I was pregnant I was also hormonal, therefore, overreacting.  Looking back, I understand why they needed a scapegoat.  They felt shame, too.  Although I harbored profound hurt as well as resentment towards your grandparents for a couple of years, I never prevented them from having a relationship with you.  Coming to this understanding about their own shame helped me to eventually find forgiveness.

Your daddy left this poem for me the day he parted.  I’m sure he knew that I would share it with you someday.

When you were almost two years old I had to go back to work.  It was incredibly hard to leave you, especially because of our circumstances.  I wanted to be with you, to fill in the gaps of an absent father, and be the one to witness all your firsts.  But I had to provide for you.  You see, your daddy’s life insurance policy had a suicide clause.  I’m sorry for the many times I was exhausted from the unrelenting demands at work, and only had enough energy to fix you cereal or a sandwich for dinner.  I’m sorry that I asked you to give me at least one hour of quiet to decompress right when I came home from work.  You wanted to express how happy you were that I was home, and tell me about your day.  But you never held that survival tool against me.  Instead, you would wake up on the weekends, and quietly shut my bedroom door so that I could sleep in.  You did this without me ever asking.  I was humbled and enamored by your humanity.

There were lean times that required a strict budget.  When we went shopping, you’d look up at me with those big blue eyes, and excitedly ask “momma can I get this?”   With dread, I had to tell you we couldn’t afford it.  But you never complained, nor did you pout.  Without drama, you would put the toy or treat back on the shelf.  At the age of eight, you never left my side during my week-long stay in the hospital after back surgery.  Oh my treasured daughter, I could never find the words to express how much that meant to me.  You waited on me hand and foot during my recovery, and never complained, not one time.  You gave up your play time for me.  You were so in tuned with me, and had awareness way beyond your years.  At times you had to take on the role of an adult.  When I was weak, you were strong.

motherdaughterlove2I light up when I think of all the times you wanted to hold my hand when we were out and about, even around your peers when you were a teenager.  As a young woman, you still want to hold my hand in public.  How did I get so lucky to have the privilege of parenting such a beautiful, compassionate, and mindful human being?  You’ve taught me so much about love.  You breathed life into me.

Kristin, as a young adult, your beautiful nature remains intact.  You’re making your own way in this uncertain, paradoxical world.  In very recent years it hasn’t been easy for either of us due to the weak economy.  But our bond remains strong.  I have much to be grateful for, even when times appear grim.  I’m so fortunate to be your mother and your very best friend.  You are never far from my thoughts.  Your unconditional love continues to sustain me.   Thank you for saving my life.  Thank you for making life worth living.  Thank you for being you.

I love you Baby Girl.  You are my true savior.  You are my ❤.

Momma

“A mother’s treasure is her daughter.”  ~Catherine Pulsifer

 

 

Header image courtesy of MorgueFiles.com
Artist:  mvictor
Image #1 property of Victoria N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ ©
Image #2 courtesy of Serendipity’s Corner

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Author: NeuroNotes

Victoria predominately blogs about religion, and the brain's role in religious type experiences.

52 thoughts on “My True Savior: A Love Letter To My Only Begotten

  1. Wow. What a very, very beautiful letter. Thank you so much for sharing x

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  2. Wow! Wow! That’s a lucky daughter and you are a wonderful mother!
    Am happy for both of you, truly I am.

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  3. I know that was hard to write, my dear friend. But you pulled it off, and beautifully. Kristin entered your world for a reason, for so many blessed reasons. She came with all the love and goodness from the healthy G. And… it’s clear from where she gets her strength and compassion 😉 ~Powerful and well told~
    *big hugs* for the dynamic duo.

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  4. i’ve been staring at my cursor blinking for a long time now. your words touched something deep inside me. whilst reading i felt pain, joy and love. your words and the feelings they convey are so pure and strong that I stuggle to find my own words for expressing how they are resonating inside me.” Thank you!” is really the only thing I can think of saying.

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    • Afra, your comment meant a lot to me. One of the hardest things I find as a blogger is knowing that some things I write could cause certain readers to feel pain. But then I think about the pain I felt when I gave birth. Joy and love followed. You expressed that with such eloquence and your words truly resonated with me. Thank you❣

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Touching and Powerful. Your daughter must be very proud of you, just as you are proud of her. You are a beautiful, compassionate, and mindful human being yourself 🙂

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  6. So often I think to myself how much I would like it if people could open up and express their true, deep feelings, especially with family. What incredible things would come out in the flow of words if we felt we could express our truths. Wow. This was riveting. Thank you so much for sharing it with the rest of us. I am deeply touched.

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    • Josh, it means a lot that you were deeply touched, my friend. Thank you. One very important thing I didn’t realize as a parent with a child who’d lost her father when she was an infant — something I didn’t realize until Kristin was a young adult — was that she needed to grieve, too. I regret having a lack of awareness about that for so long. Regarding your comment — life is so uncertain, and I’ve come to also realize the importance of telling my loved one’s that I notice the things they do to make this world a better place. Just pointing out the little things can make a difference in the lives of others.

      I remember one time not long ago when I was preparing a meal for us. Kristin was in the kitchen with me as I was plating dinner, and said “Momma, you put so much thought into the presentation.” She knew why I did. I can’t tell you how much that little acknowledgement meant to me. It’s the little things, and how many times do we take the little things (which are actually big) for granted?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, I can’t even find the words to comment! Soo soo sooo well written!!
    Thank you for sharing!!

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    • SS, you really said a lot with a few words. Thank you! I find myself at a lose for words, myself, when trying to express my gratitude towards people, such as yourself, who take the time to read and then go the distance by leaving thoughtful comments. You brightened my day. *smiles*

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  8. Victoria,

    I am supposed to be making pizza for the boys and cleaning up a bit and take the dog for a walk in the rain here, except the only water works going is me dribbling here reading this. Not only for the torment that infiltrated your late husband’s life and yours since, but for the sheer beauty of you and your daughter. I see a young girl and now young lady who is intuitive to her mother’s needs, as much as you are to hers. There is bond that is more human than human here, and you capture so well in words. I am envious in how you can open yourself up like this and let us in with such simple language and complex emotions. I can only imagine how difficult, and yet liberating, it was to share this, to let this dove out of the cage and into the hemisphere.

    One day I might write a letter to my own (oldest) son. There was no death involved, but there was potential for one or more. This has given me pause for thought, a few more tears on behalf of my son and the man I used to be and now a chance to breath and realize life doesn’t pause itself. We cradle our innocence and move forward and hold open our arms to others to show them our true selves. You do that here. And for that, I thank you.

    I have mozzerellla to shred, and eyes to de-puff with cucumber.

    Blessings and hugs,
    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul, talk about dribbling! OMGosh, I don’t even know how to respond to such a beautiful, profoundly moving comment. I wept after reading it. Your words penetrated the core of my being.

      I find it interesting that you wrote you were envious that I could open myself up like this and let you all in. I’ve seen you do the same on your blog — and I was awe-struck by your willingness to be seen. Reading your own life stories helped me find the courage to be vulnerable. I really can’t find the right words to effectively express my gratitude. However, something Brene’ Brown wrote came to my mind during my reply to you.

      “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

      Paul, your light shines brightly. *hugs back*

      Victoria

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  9. What a wonderful, beautiful relationship. Our lives are determined by how we rise from the ashes. I’m so glad your daughter enabled you to be a pheonix. You’ve every reason to be shamelessly proud of yourself and her. Thank you for sharing.
    Much love ❤

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  10. Just found you and am in awe at the beauty of your words in the midst of such sadness. Your daughter is so lucky she has you as her Mom.

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  11. Victoria,

    I had to give some time to read this after I received the notification of it — it presses certain “buttons” with me, as you might imagine, and I wanted to be more objective than emotional. This touched me in some overwhelming ways.

    Your openness and glimpses of vulnerability is to be much applauded! Thank you! True deep connections with others, especially cherished ones, have such deep profound meanings and purpose, don’t they? Mmmmm, thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Professor, I do appreciate you taking the risk of reading my post, considering that we have experienced similar tragedies. For years, I never talked about it — over two decades, but I find that the more I own my story and talk/write about it, no matter how dark, the more healing and light I experience. However, I understand that everyone deals with trauma and grief differently, and I can understand that when I share my own story, it might cause triggers for others. I do apologies if this was the case with you. Thank you for being courageous. Thank you for caring.

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  12. Dear Victoria,
    What a beautiful, touching and completely vulnerable piece of literature and truth. I actually read this a couple of days ago and wanted a bit of time to reflect. There are actually no words that can express what I felt after reading the letter to your daughter. Would love to hear what your sweet girl said/felt after reading it. I’m sure she knows that you saved her life as much as she saved yours.
    Many blessings!
    Michelle

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  13. Thank you for sharing this. I think I needed to read it as much as you needed to write it.

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    • Kat, it is wonderful to see you here. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by, for reading and for your thoughtful comment. It meant a lot. I’ve gotten behind of reading posts from my favorite bloggers, but I hope to catch up on your posts soon. I have always enjoyed your writing.

      Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
      Victoria

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  14. Such a beautiful letter

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  15. Victoria – I really enjoyed how you integrated such warmth and tenderness with some details about life and the events that unfolded –

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  16. Wow.. I am blown away. It always baffles me how many strong people there are in this world, even after everything they have been through. You and your daughter are both the essence of that word, and I look up to both of you for that. This is so beautiful and I cannot wait to have children of my own one day.

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  17. Wow. Such beautifully written. The love between you and your daughter is immeasurable and I hope that love continues to grow between you two. Your daughter has a great role model. Thank you for sharing a piece of your life and Kristin’s life to us.

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    • Hi Andrew. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I was incredibly moved by your kindness and generous words. You have brightened my day. Please forgive me for the delay in response. Sometimes I get several comment notifications simultaneously and miss comments. Hope you have a fantastic week.

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  18. So, so touching and beautiful, Victoria. I can’t even find the words to describe how wonderful this is. But, I can tell you that I sweetly cried through the whole thing and then read it again. You have such a gift for words and such a huge heart. You and your daughter are lucky to have each other. You saved her life, too. Much love to you both, BigLizzy

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    • Hey Sis — gosh I’m so sorry for the delay in response. I’ve been scattered brained lately, lol. Spread out too thin — and missing comments. Speaking of having a gift of words and a big heart? YOU. <<. I am honored to be your friend and humbled by your words. Thank you so much. Yes, I feel so fortunate to have a daughter like Kristin. And I know she loves her momma, too. 😀

      Love you. *muah*

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      • Awwww…honey, you are just fine. Thanks for the reply here, honey. I know how nuts this blogging thing can be. Add in life and all the other stuff we have to do and forget about it! I get it, Vic. 🙂 Glad my words touched you. Yours ALWAYS touch me so it’s really nice when its reciprocal. Big, warm kisses and hugs to you, you good mama! Smooches!

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  19. I just came across this today. I feel so much love and beauty and warmth from this. I’ve eyesfull of tears. And I can not write any more words because they could not do justice to how this makes me feel. Thank you for sharing this.

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  20. This story has moved me to tears. I remember knowing in passing what had happened to Kristin’s father but reading your story and her words on Facebook have truly touched my heart.

    -Brenda

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  21. This is fabulous!

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  22. What a moving letter. Thank you Tammy. You made my day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Max, thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I wasn’t sure if you were addressing Tammy or me (Victoria) when you said “you made my day”, but if you were addressing me, then I really appreciate your generous comment. I’m glad it made your day. 🙂

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  23. Time and again, we sow the seed
    and time and again, the clouds send rain
    and time and again, we plough the fields
    and time and again, other owners come
    and time and again, beggars will beg
    and time and again, givers will give
    and time and again, give new gifts
    and time and again, find new heavens

    H ❤

    [V. – don't reply, eh?]

    Liked by 1 person

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