An Open Letter to the Absent Parent

Dear absent parent,

You are many years too late.

I’m not about to judge the reasons or circumstances that pushed you away from your kid. But I doubt there’s enough justification as to why. You see these little kids have nothing to do with you, your problems, or any of these circumstances. I understand that life happens. And no, I don’t know what happened. But listen, your kids need you. They did not ask to be here.

Let me, first of all, be clear about one thing. I’m not drafting this letter to put you down or make you look bad. I’m writing this letter as a truth and as I draft, I speak for myself, my child, and a few single parents out there who need closure too.

How did you do it? I mean, how do you walk away from your flesh and blood? How do you sleep at night knowing there is a child out there crying at 2 in the morning, going to school, struggling with tying his tie, having a birthday, making friends, shying off when she menstruates, graduating, and getting her heartbroken? How the heck do you do it? Your child is a straight-A student or perhaps struggling with mathematics, he’s athletic or struggling with an illness. How do you think they feel that they can’t share any of this with you?

You made a promise; spoken or unspoken. Perhaps you thought it through long and hard but still, you made a promise. You promised to be there. To stick around whether you’re together with your child’s other parent or not. Stick to your promise. You see every time you fail to show up, part of their heart breaks a little. Every time you fail to do something that you promised, they hurt. We may be here to assure them that they are loved no matter what, but a part of them is still lost. Show up! And follow through with your promises. Some of these kids will grow up believing that they are not worthy of love. You are messing up your child without realizing it. Or maybe you do realize this. Show up!

By the way, do you ever wonder how they are doing? Or perhaps you shut off that love valve. You imagine that they don’t exist. Does it bother you at all? Should I even talk about financial support? How do you feel when you can’t even send money for clothes or medication? I’m still in awe by the fact that someone can shut their feelings and turn their back on their child: flesh of their flesh, blood of their blood.

I get it, life is tough. It’s tough on us too. I was unprepared too. Unbalanced, unhappy, and yes, there were days I felt unloved. Heck! I was struggling too when I started. But I stayed. I forced myself to smile and laugh at their jokes. I struggled to make it through because, for some good reason, kids have a way of bringing you back to who you are – a parent.

See, I’m not about to judge your actions. This letter is only for closure. And I’m not drafting this so you could ask for forgiveness (if you have the gut). I’m not the one who can forgive you, your child can. I’ll raise him as well as I know. I have a whole village behind me. I’ll tell him my version, and give him the chance to ask for yours. He’ll decide whether to forgive you or not. I pray that he does because I don’t want him to hold on to something that weighs him down.

Sincerely,

The parent who stayed

A Letter to My Future Husband

Dear Future Husband, 

I don’t know when you will stumble upon this long note. Whether it’s before we meet or probably after, I have a few things I want you to know. But first off, I have to tell you how special you are to me. 

Throughout my years I have prayed for you – a good and loving man. I have asked God numerous times to send me a man who values family, appreciates love, and most importantly, a man who puts Him above anything else. Somedays, I felt I was asking for something impossible, but then I knew I was talking to God, the God who makes the impossible possible. Darling, you are loved by me and I can’t wait to build a home with you. 

I hope you are every bit as smart as I see in my dreams. That you are kind, strong, and full of life and that everyone around me will love you as much as I do. I’m not the easiest to deal with but I hope every day our love will grow stronger to overcome all the obstacles that come with a lifetime commitment. 

I have so many reasons why I’m drafting this letter to you; top among them is that I can’t stop thinking about you. I can’t stop thinking about the future and how happy I will be with you by my side. Let me draft this note to you as a promise that I will be the best version of myself for you. I will be the woman I aspire to be for you. 

I’m also writing this to you because you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. I need to let you know how to love an impetuous, and strong-willed woman. I think you need to know how to love someone like me. So should I start with the good or the bad? I’ll let it flow and you’ll decide if it’s good or bad. 

I’m simple with complications here and there. You don’t have to impress me with money or other luxuries but flowers on Valentines’ Day are something I will never say no to. Don’t take me out every weekend. Let’s stay in, cuddle me, and make me forget about the tough week we had. Hold my hand and let the world know I’m yours. Kiss me. Call me beautiful. These things are enough to keep me glowing throughout. 

I’m a sensitive person. Love is a big deal to me. I don’t know about lifetime commitments because I’m about to share one with you. I however have enough relationship experience to know when things are flowing and when they are not. Numerous times I’ve thought of giving up, but then being strong was my only option. I’ve been put down so many times yet, I’ve done my best to pick up my pieces. My motivation? I’ve always wanted to know how it felt to not give up on myself. 

I’m an introvert, but it doesn’t last long. Once you crack me open, I’m outgoing and love fooling around. I keep a serious face to those who don’t know me because I don’t want them to know how vulnerable I can be sometimes. I hope you can keep up with my goofiness. 

I am stubborn and can be crazy. I can get angry in a split second. I can be over-dramatic. Don’t ignore this part of me. One minute I want to make love to you, the next you’ll be sleeping in the other room. Some nights you will wake up in the middle of the night from my sobbing and worry. Be gentle. I apologize in advance for my craziness. 

I’m not a guru when it comes to love, but those around me are a continuous source of education. So this is my promise to you; I promise to love you until we’re 80. I will hold your hand because I know how painful it feels to let go. I promise to support you in whatever you do. I’ll prepare meals that will make you want more. I promise to make love to you whenever the heat in our bodies increases from all the love. 

I trust myself to know that you are right for me. Your love brings out the best in me and the future version of me that I am working hard to become. I hope I am the exact woman you have in mind and my flaws are as beautiful as the woman I am too. My prayer is that our love will be strong enough to overcome the challenges that come with making a lifetime commitment. Darling, I love the person that you are, your strengths and your flaws – I love all of you and I can’t wait to be your wife.

With Love, 

Your Future Wife