It’s been nearly 15 years since you left. I’ve seen your face only three times since.
But one night this past August, I needed answers. I needed YOU.
For the first time in 15 years I made the call I had been wanting to make for so long but couldn’t. I was brave enough to take that first step. I made the call to a number I wasn’t even sure was yours, partially hoping you wouldn’t answer. But you did. There I was, driving in my car, not knowing where to begin. The fact that I had to start our conversation with “This is Becca, your daughter,” tells a person everything they’d need to know about our situation.
The pain and anger that had built up from all those years created a fortress of hatred… and it disintegrated on the first ring. I unleashed everything I had, the tears, the yelling, everything. And I felt a weight lift, but just like a tsunami, there’s always a second wave. As soon as relief set in, your answers brought the pain back.
You let me vent all the thoughts and feelings of a little girl left by her mom a decade ago when she needed her most. You only interjected with the occasional “I’m sorry” and “I know baby girl.” And at the end of my tear-filled, runny-nosed address, I finally asked the question. The question that would make or break my heart and love for you.
A simple enough question. But, I can imagine for a mother trying to explain her 15-year absence to her youngest child, it was one of the biggest questions of your life. A question filled with hate, sadness, longing and most of all, confusion. After many excuses, I became more demanding for a real answer. And that’s when the heartbreak became worse than I would have thought possible.
“I don’t know what to say. I really don’t have an excuse or a reason
And just like that, I knew all the unforgiving feelings toward you were just. It was confirmed that what I had been feeling in my heart for years, was true. There was no reason. It wasn’t a lack of love. It wasn’t because of me. It wasn’t something I did. There was nothing I could have done to have prevented it from happening. And you had no excuse.
That second wave nearly drowned me.
Now, months later, I can say that although it hurt like crazy, I’m glad I called. I’m glad I got to say what I needed to and that I got an answer, even though it wasn’t the one I wanted. I was expecting some big reason or apology for those 15 years. I’m not really sure what I expected in all honesty. But, I feel good. Surprisingly, that statement is true.
After everything, every late night up crying, every awkward pause when someone asked me about my parents, every time I missed having someone to call “Mom,”— I can still work on forgiving you, despite everything.
And because of you, I will be the best mother. I will never let my children question their worth or my love for a second of their lives. I will never let them feel alone or unimportant.
Because of you, I’m making it my life goal to be a mother my children can rely on. A mother my children can confide in, can snuggle up with, can be friends with and can count on to always tell the truth.
And more than anything, a mother who will ALWAYS be there.