When was the last time you wrote a letter?
With the gentle encouraging and support of Nichole (In These Small Moments) and other friends at BlogHer, I am proud to introduce a new weekly feature on Letters For Lucas called Letters For You.
I am urging friends to write a letter to someone, anyone; your unborn baby, your teenage son, your mother, your best friend, yourself at 15 or yourself at 80.
Tell someone something you have always wanted to and haven’t yet. Share a story, confess a secret, express your pride, offer your gratitude or spread your wisdom. Say something you didn’t even know you needed to say.
Letters should be funny, sarcastic or sentimental. They are yours.
I’m hoping this will be an opportunity to open your heart and share your soul. And who knows, after you write it, you may want to send it.
Each week, on Wednesdays I will feature a different letter.
Please let me know if you are interested in participating by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m excited to give you the very first Letters For You letter from Poppy (Funny or Snot).
“I wish I were Sophie” is my middle kid’s mantra. She contracted Jan Brady Syndrome right around Christmas. I welcome the opportunity to reassure her that she is my most interesting child as well as my most annoying.
Perhaps you remember her. She wasn’t being annoying at the time, she was playing dead.
My forgotten middle child there on the bottom of the public swimming pool at which you were life-guarding. I was swimming laps with my oldest while my husband was holding our youngest in the shallow end. We each thought the other had our four year old daughter who could not swim and was not wearing a life jacket.
I was under water when I heard your whistle, specifically counting my strokes. Like a marine mammal hearing a high pitch warning of impending danger, instinctively I just knew. Time stopped as I flew from the lap pool to the general swim pool just as you were breaking the water’s surface with my blue lipped little girl in your arms.
In those few moments before I knew she was going to be OK, I made eye contact with my husband who was just as confused. We were both trying to process how this could have possibly happened.
It didn’t take long before she started coughing up water and you handed her to me. I read somewhere that even abused children desire their mothers. It seems the same principle applies to neglectful mothers. My frightened child, and the most independent of my three, clung to me all day as I did to her. Then I started the torturous “what if” game.
What if you were distracted by a boy, a text, self consciousness about your swimsuit?
What if somebody engaged you in conversation near the lap pool and you didn’t move to the general pool in a timely manner?
We, her loving parents, did not know she was missing. What if you had not seen her?
I would have never forgiven myself.
I don’t forgive myself now.
I can only make sure it never happens again by being hyper vigilant around water. Shaking the whole time, I took her swimming the very next day to perhaps avoid a lifetime fear of water. I also signed her up for another round of lessons.
We came into visit you a week after it happened to thank you again, but I am afraid it was still too fresh to do anything but present you a small gift with tears in my eyes. A gift in exchange for a life seems so stupid. I want you to know, three years later, that I am on my knees thankful that my breach of duty came with a second chance. I am forever grateful to you, our life guarder, that you were watching when I should have been.