To my dearest children

October 24th, 2012 § 31 comments

To my dearest children,

Someday you will understand the depth of my love for you. Perhaps it might take until you are adults, perhaps made more vivid if you are fortunate enough to have children of your own. No matter when, no matter how, I hope you will someday learn this powerful emotion I feel for you. You give me strength. You make me fight. You give me joy. You make my heart swell with pride.

I want to see it all. I want to see every day. I want to know every phase of your lives.

You see, I am a quitter.

I know, those of you who know me are probably chuckling and saying, “Yeah, right.”

It’s true.

There are very few things I’ve finished that I have started. I think I was always afraid of not doing something well. I would start and quit… or just not start at all.

But let that be a lesson: there is no such thing as perfect. Try. Fail. It’s okay. Take a chance. You have no idea where it might lead.

Hard work doesn’t always pay off. People don’t always get what they deserve. That’s just the way it goes.

I didn’t finish my Ph.D.

I never wrote a book.

But my darlings, let me tell you something I take pride in: you. Parenthood is a lifelong commitment. There is no backing out, changing your mind, saying “it’s too much.”

There is one job I’m good at and it’s being your mom (I’m a pretty good wife but I do tend to nag even though it’s for your dad’s own good). Your flaws and your talents make my heart soar in equal measure… they are what make you you. You are each so different, so unbelievably deliciously divine in your own way. Never doubt that my heart bursts every time I look at each of you. I’m pouring every ounce of love into you that I can. I’m going to just keep doing it every day.

Being your mom is the best thing there is.

 

§ 31 Responses to To my dearest children"

  • My husband would have loved to have written these exact words to our children. Keep fighting, Lisa, and if the day comes when you can fight no longer, know how much they adore you.

  • Crying. Hard. Those lucky, lucky lucky children, Lisa. Just beautiful. xoxo

  • Okay Lisa, I’m going to get ANGRY here. Please don’t say you’re a quitter. We’ve all placed things aside for reasons only we can know. It doesn’t mean we’ve quit. It means we’ve prioritized. AND THAT’S OKAY.

  • robin says:

    oh, lisa…i have often said that being pregnant…going through the process….raising my babies -most proud of not putting down (8 rows of a baby sweater started in 1987 still in knitting bag -ask ann hood!) xoxo

  • Big messy tears here.

    And a promise that I will do anything I can to help you write that book.

  • Anonymous says:

    You are a great mom, for sure. However, you are good at many things. Thanks for being a good/great person.

  • mgaile says:

    Tears!? Wow. You are so right. Being a mom is amazing. I have a now 5 yr old daughter who helped me so much through my cancer diagnosis and treatment at 4 yrs old) – more than she will ever know.

  • That was beautifully written.

  • Brandie says:

    Love.
    Beautifully said.

  • Anonymous says:

    I dont know you but Robin Kall, my dear friend retweeted your blog and I read it…very powerful. Being a mom is THE greatest job in the world. I have 5 sons (21-28) and my heart swells as you described every time I’m with them. You FIGHT and you hug them every chane you get…none of us knows how long we have but what you DO have are your children so live and love today…and if we get tomorrow…start all over again living and loving. I’m praying for you. Kathy.

  • Sarah Adams says:

    They know and live your love everyday.

  • Beautiful. You are a wonderful person, Lisa.

  • Sloppy, drippy, wet-shirt crying.
    If I can feel the love you have for your children, rest assured *they* are feeling it.
    They’re blessed to have that love. They’ll know it’s depth forever. A child knows honesty… and your love is honest love.

  • Yes, from what I know about you through your sharing on Twitter and on your blog, you are the most wonderful mom, wife,daughter, and friend.

  • Crying. So sorry for you, your children, and your husband. So unfair all the way around. I never got my bachelor’s degree, never mind a PhD and I probably never will. Too soon to know about writing those books yet. I haven’t given up. Just postponed.

    Hoping you get the best possible news today, whatever that may be.

  • Erika Robuck says:

    No, no, no quitter here. Being the kind of mother you are is truly the most honorable and perfect fulfillment of your purpose here on earth. I’ll never forget that my aunt told my cousin when she had her kids and considered leaving her law practice to raise them that it would be a waste of her education. My cousin never left, and now that they are older, she regrets it horribly, and honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever forgiven my aunt.

    What could be more important that to bring light into this dark world through good children? The time of human innocence is so horribly brief in any life, and savoring and nurturing that goodness is the most important task any of us could ever, ever have. It is a true gift to be able to have children and to raise them.

    You are an inspiration, and writing this to your children is just one of the many incredible gifts you’ve given them over the years, and will continue to give them. I had dinner with a friend last week who lost her mother to breast cancer when my friend was 16. I asked her to talk to me about the experience, and she said that she just wished that her mother had written letters to her. Follow your instincts and continue to write them letters.

    You are perfect. xo

  • Greg says:

    Must concur with many others here. You are prioritizing and itemizing, you’re not quitting. Someone who accomplishes what you have has not quit, they have re-evaluated goals, aspirations, wants and needs.

  • coastalchick says:

    Ok now… I know you aren’t a quitter and you sure as hells bells aren’t going to quit now my friend. I agree, you made different choices, found new adventures to explore, but you did not QUIT. Parenting is a commitment, it trumps all other choices. You are not a quitter because you are BadAssLisa. xoxoxo

  • Wonderful – humbling and perfectly said. Thanks, I’m so glad I read this. – Moskowitz

  • Tami says:

    You. are. amazing. Like you, I have three WONDERFUL children who make my heart soar every time I see or think about them. A mom never quits – she may take a different path then bc (before children) but there is no other place to be than on the path with your children.

    Blessings and Hugs to you my amazing fummer friend,
    Tami

  • I cried my whole way through this. I agree with your other commenters.

    I will also say, you are a great blogger. Regardless of the gaps, long or short, you have kept this blog going, and it’s an informative, moving, beautifully written blog. I have learned a great deal from you, reading this blog. I have learned technical, medical things about cancer. I have learned the personal side of what it is like to live with breast cancer while raising three kids. I subscribe to few blogs, and of those I usually skip an occasional post. I never skip your posts. Blogging is not nearly the commitment that parenting is, but you are blogging through a grueling time right now, continuing to educate and to move your readers, and that is not nothing.

  • Pam says:

    Beautiful. Love to you.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi lisa, Aunt Connie here…. Loved your blog . I know my Lisa fought for her life because of her children. They know this and still feel her love. I mourn her and my sister daily,but gain strength in her memory. I think I will try cranberry ice this year. I know the goblets Barbara used. Fabulous. Love, Connie

  • Anonymous says:

    My heart breaks as I read this…I am one of those children left behind in a sense. But you are a fighter, don’t think you are a quitter. Even before my mother said “goodbye” she was not quitting, she just was resolved but not in a negative way, in a way that she knew she had no regrets that she was a fantastic mother and her bond with her granddaughter is like no other. Her last tears were those after seeing my daughter’s picture. She knew she was “leaving us”…minutes later she passed away and I starred into her eyes until the last heartbeat. I will never forget my mother’s love. Just never lose sight of hope even at the last moment….. I wil keep you in my prayers.

  • onibabamama says:

    Beautiful. I don’t think children can understand the love a parent has for them until they become parents themselves. It is a boundless love.

    Best of luck to you and your family.

  • Dida Gazoli says:

    Beautifully written. My heartstrings are humbled and lifted by your story and the legacy of love you are passing on to your children and their children. Not one of us is promised another day — living each one with endless gratitude and love is no doubt how you’ve chosen to live the gift of your day. Blessings to you and your family.

  • leela says:

    Dear Lisa

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear Lisa, I am not ill and therefore cannot share your experience. I applaud your bravery and wish you well with all my heart. The question that rises for me is the pressure that you may be putting on your children by giving them the feeling that they are the most important thing in your life. Love can be an enormous pressure. It can be suffocating. It can be a prison. Who can ever be worthy of overwhelming declarations of love. And not feel pressure to return it. Yet will never be able to do so. I myself have two children, 30 and 33 now. I love them as you love your children and always will. It will never end. But I try not to impose the burden of my love for them onto them. To let them be free. Give them the feeling that I am the most important thing in my life and therefore give them the freedom to feel that they can be the most important thing in their lives. The hardest thing to say to someone who tells us that they love us is “no”. Yet are we not putting our children into that situation when we tell them of our overwhelming love for them? My mother is 92 and in a nursing home. I think of her, but not always. She is alone now most of the time. I cannot save her from her loneliness. In the end, we are alone, and we need to give ourselves what we need. We may not be able to do so physically but we must learn to do so emotionally. That way we are not a burden to the children whom we love as we do.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your attitude would not be confirmed by children who lose a parent. Just ask them – all they wish for is more time with the parent who died; more time to experience the unconditional love and support that a parent provides (uniquely) in an uncertain world that can be intimidating to children.

      Sure, once they enter adolescence they no longer appreciate a hovering parent, but until reaching adulthood they need love and support as much as ever (if not more so). Please don’t confuse gradual weaning from parental supervision with a resentment of parental love.

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