Letter to my mother…

Read the heart and not the letter for the pen cannot draw near the good intent

– Michelangelo

Dear Mother

Each time I start to pen my letter, my heart is filled with overwhelming emotions of regret, guilt and pain. What should a daughter write to her mother?

I should be thanking you for bringing me into this world and for raising me through the storm to be a strong individual equipped with the tools to bash my way through thorns and impenetrable hills. I thank you from the whole of my heart for the sleepless nights when we were ill and for doing everything in your power to provide decent meals in times of hunger and financial crisis. I must admit, we were not the easiest children to raise.

Mother, now your daughter is a mother too. Learning and trying her best to be just like you. But why do I feel judged in your eyes? Why do I feel as if anything I attempt for my child is never good enough for you?

Your grandchild is three years old now. It’s been 36 months since her birth. And not once you’ve looked at her with approving eyes. There is always something lacking. There is always something I should have done more. There is always something not good enough. Why do I try so hard to get you to smile with approving eyes, eyes that say “daughter, I’m happy that you are doing your best for your child”

36 months it has been and counting since I yearned to hear you say I am trying my best to be a good mother to my child. You have never once told me that my daughter is growing up well. Each time we visit, you inspect her and noticing the slightest bit of weight loss, you chide with a subtle accusing tone that I failed in someway to feed my child well. It does hurt a little.

Perhaps I have become more sensitive. Perhaps I might be reading too much. You’ve seen me struggle and yet you stayed away when I asked for help. Perhaps you thought I could manage. Perhaps you thought I was learning to be strong.

But all I want is for you to say “Daughter, you are doing your best to be a good mother.”

Mother I am not perfect. I have flaws that need reflecting upon. But I yearn for you to say those few words. Now I try to be hard on my daughter so I do not disappoint you with her upbringing. Am I doing the right thing? You won’t say perhaps because you want me to figure it out on my own.

Perhaps I should stop trying to impress and gain your approval. Perhaps I should try to do my best to be a mother to my child, who will someday write to me saying “dear mother, thank you for believing in me. That is all I ever wanted.”


Your eldest daughter