Admittedly I don’t read Mandy’s delightful blog, Mandyland as much as I wish I could, but I dig this woman so much, especially after reading the letter below.
Mandy has had a rough year surviving a divorce with two young children and has not only lived to tell about it, has handled it with grace and dignity.
Her poignant letter proves that sometimes all we need to know is that no matter what curve balls life throws us, every little thing is going to be okay.
I heard that old song on the radio again. Do you remember it? Letter to Me? As I sat in the car and sang along, I came up with the idea to write a letter to myself and hope through some sort of magic, it will be delivered safely to my hands when I need it the most. If I had a guess, I’d say spring of 2012. I know that was a rough year.
First of all, I want to assure you – the Apocalypse doesn’t happen. However, all your friends will rave over the zombie cupcakes you’ll bake and you’ll keep canning and gardening. Just in case.
Whatever you do though, don’t buy a goat thinking you’ll make cheese. It’s a huge waste of time and that stupid thing will eat all your plants.
Now that I’ve eased your mind in that respect, let’s get serious. I want to tell you it’s going to be okay. I know you don’t feel like it will be and you’re annoyed as hell at all the people saying it to you, but it’s true. Everything is going to be okay.
The kids are going to be just fine. Joseph doesn’t end up a serial killer and Elizabeth won’t be a dictator.
In fact, do you remember how Joseph always said he wanted to be a firefighter when he grew up? I’m not going to ruin the surprise, but suffice to say, that same caring, loving little boy who wanted to help people is going to grow up to be a caring, loving man who does. I’m so proud of him. He came by the house for dinner yesterday and told me something I think you need to hear. He sat at the table, that six foot plus man who used to be a little armful, and said, “You did the right thing, you and Dad. You did. I don’t think there was anything else you could do.”
I teared up. I know you’re worrying right now about whether or not he’ll ever forgive you. Please know he never blamed. He never thought there was something to forgive.
As for our Miss Elizabeth…I’m not going to lie. Her teenage years were tough, but you’ll both get through it. A little battered and bruised perhaps, but if you can see her as I see her today, you’ll know you did a good job. She’s beautiful, strong, independent, and most of all, just like her Nana.
I know! You think it’s your worst nightmare, but trust me. It’s not. She has a big heart and a steely resolve. That girl conquers the world and she does it with her dimpled grin in place.
As for Chad, well, he’s going to be there. He’s still one of my best friends, coming over for Sunday brunch at least once a month. Does he have someone special in his life? He does. And don’t worry. You’ll get along just fine. In fact, better than you do with Chad half the time.
And I know you’re wondering if you’ll find love again. Don’t be a dork. Of course you will. And he’s pretty rockin’. Just remember, relax and trust in your heart. It’ll take a while, but you’ll get to the point where you’ll feel like you can trust another person, so stop freaking out. You are not going to be a lonely old woman with chickens and cats. Mostly because the cats eat the chickens, but I’m getting off track.
It’s going to take you most of 2012, but I promise you, by the end you’ll come into your own. And yes, you’ll keep writing. And no, I’m not saying anything else. Just trust me on this one. You’ll find love and a publisher. No. They’re not the same person so stop Googling single publishers.
Please remember to be kind to yourself. Cut yourself some slack. I know it’s not in your nature, but you need to ease up on yourself and stop feeling guilty all the time. You’re working full time. So what? The kids will be fine with it. You’re not going to miss out on anything. They know they’re loved and that’s really all that matters in the end.
I thought long and hard about when I wanted to deliver this letter. For a moment I almost sent it back to 2002 and told you to stop seeing that guy Chad and concentrate on the teacher for troubled youth. What was his name? Nevermind. It’s not important. What is important is realizing I don’t regret marrying Chad. I don’t regret it because it gave me the two more beautiful, precious gifts a woman could receive. When you’re feeling that tinge of regret, just remember that.
I’m going to end this letter without a lotto reveal – though now that I think of it, that’d be a great idea – instead I’m going to end it with the phrase you hate, the phrase that you’ll come to realize is true:
Every little thing is going to be okay.