I’m writing you this letter because that’s what I do. I write about things. I write to process my feelings. I write to find clarity. I write because, as you know, that’s what I was born to do.
Mom, I know that you’ve saved plenty of my letters that I’ve written you throughout my life. The funny thing is, I can’t remember what any of them are about. But this one—this letter right here—I will remember for the rest of my life.
I owe you an apology, Mom. And it comes from the deepest depths of my soul and the darkest caverns of my heart.
Here goes nothing:
I’m sorry for being hard on you.
I’m sorry for judging you.
I’m sorry for placing unfair expectations on you.
I’m sorry for rushing you off the phone, when all you wanted was to talk and tell me a story.
I’m sorry for focusing on our differences instead of our similarities.
I’m sorry for blaming you for struggles in my life that were no fault of yours.
I’m sorry for the gap that has grown between us over the past few years.
I’m sorry for believing that you had given up on life when you were actually living the best way you knew how.
But mostly, I’m sorry that it took a cancer diagnosis for me to realize all of this.
What I’m thankful for, however, is that I realized all of this before it was too late.
And because of that, I get to write this e-mail and tell you how grateful I am for—you. To thank you for always believing in me. You gave me the encouragement to write. You stood in my corner after I came out and said that you’d be at my wedding no matter what. You put aside your expectations of me as best as you could and embraced me as I am. You always told me you loved me, even if our phone conversation was only a minute long. You always forgave me. You loved me, and raised me, and I owe you the world.
The thing is Mom, you are probably the most courageous person I have ever known. I was just too blind to see it. I’m sorry that I never said it until now. I can only hope that, if I am ever faced with a challenge like you are facing at this moment, I will have the optimism and fortitude to face it head on with a brave face like you.
I love you.