Dear Mama & Daddy,
Well, here it is…September again. It seems like it should get easier. And some years it even does. But, for some reason, this year is hard. Mama, September 3 is now and forever will be the day you went away. And Daddy, September 21 will always be the day you left.
I miss you both so much. Daddy, you never got to meet Tabitha, but you would have been crazy about her. You would have called her “Sport Model”. You would have goosed her in the ribs with your finger stub just like you did me, and she would have hated it and loved it at the same time just like I did. I wish you could have known her. And I hope that you can see her from where you are.
Mama…oh God, where do I start? I hate, hate, hate the cancer that took you away. I’m glad you’re not hurting anymore, but my God. You always said that you wouldn’t want Grandma to come back because it would mean she would have to suffer again. I can’t say that. I’d take you back in a heartbeat and give you medicine to help you not suffer. I’m so sorry that I didn’t wake up that morning when you called me. That morning when your pelvis was broken and you tried to get up to use the bathroom. The doctor said that you falling back on the bed didn’t break your pelvis. That your pelvis was broken before you ever tried to get up because the cancer was in your bones. But still. If I could have a do-over, I sure would take it.
And Daddy, don’t think that all my guilt is reserved for Mama. I haven’t forgotten that time I ran off for a week and worried you so much and left you alone. You remember that song by Travis Tritt? Tell Me You Didn’t Say Goodbye? Well, I still can’t hear that song without losing it. Even after all this time.
Mama…Daddy…I’m sorry. I wasn’t the daughter I should have been. And I didn’t realize it until it was too late. I hope there really is a Heaven. And I hope that the two of you are together there. And I hope that you both can see all the way into my heart and know that even though I failed you both miserably, I always loved you and thought you were the very best parents anyone ever had. And I hope to see you both again someday.
Charles Franklin Brunson
March 1941 ~ September 1995
Virginia Faye Brunson
January 1943 ~ September 2008
i could have written this.
i am so sorry for your losses, and so sorrry for your feelings of guilt…when i allow it, they can bury me.
sometimes i remember the old saying that about our parents..alwyas “they did the best they could”.
well, i did the best i could,
or i didn’t .
but i did….
we all do.
I’m so sorry for your loss….and that sounds so trite, but it’s true. I am sorry.
But, I want to say that your apology to your parents…well, you’re a parent now. If your child acted the way you did as a teenager, as she is likely to do given that teenagers the world over are pretty much the same, would you hold it against her and want her to carry that guilt with her?
I am sure you regret hurting your parents, and that you wish you could make it better, but your parents, who loved you, would never want you to carry that guilt for the rest of your life, just as you would never want to your own child to carry that burden.
When we have children, we do so knowing that there will be pain, and not just the pain of childbirth, but the pain of watching our children fall and stumble and sometimes lose their way. Pain from watching our children make mistakes that we know will haunt them, but that we cannot save them from making.
You may have hurt your parents with your actions, but knowing that you are still hurting from the pain you may have caused them would hurt them infinitely more…
Thank you both so much. Michelle, that last line you wrote…where you said I did the best I could. Or I didn’t. But I did? Wow. That has stuck with me all this time but I couldn’t even think how to reply to it. Still don’t, to tell the truth, but I wanted you to know I read it and IT HELPED.
And Laura…you’re right. They wouldn’t want me to feel this way. I know for a fact they wouldn’t. So, I won’t. Not anymore. Because Michelle was right…I did the best I could. Or I didn’t. But I did.
Hugs to you both.