Letter to my Daughter

There is not enough air in the room. My heart heaves and my mouth refuses to summon a prayer-it is too dry.

My thoughts are too restless, too random.Suddenly, they go back to the time when I had you, my beautiful daughter, and my thoughts become suddenly settled.

If I had words to describe the feelings I have for you, then my words would automatically burst into song-one word would fit into the other perfectly as they blended into beautiful lyrics.

If only you could see my love for you in my eyes when you looked at me, instead of “the woman who gets in my way”. How can I get in your way? I allowed you out in the first place!

My friend Mary tells me it is this attitude that drives you further away.

My life has been all I ever hoped it would never be  -too many dreams deferred ,too much unbridled hope ,unfinished thoughts, procrastinated actions .But my joys have been swift,unprecedented,umatched,welcome.And for that, I am  grateful.

This is not an unfettered tale of lost hope or faded dreams-you will see enough of that in your life without me drumming it home-and what would I tell you if you asked me if lost hope was ever found, or the colour of faded dreams?

Absolute bliss.Happiness.When they laid my beautiful daughter in my arms-what joy.

You have gone to visit your friend Sarah-to be honest, I have never liked Sarah (What mother likes their thirteen year’s daughter’s worldly, all-knowing friend, who dresses like a tramp and smells of cheap perfume?)I asked you to stay, help me out of bed, and help me prepare some porridge. You looked at me as if I was a stranger asking for help, then you said;

“I have to go.”

There is always a point in a parent’s life when she asks herself “Where did I go wrong?” This was one of those times. I looked at you and realized that I had created this monster.

When you were a toddler and refused to wear your red socks and I said,

“It is alright mummy, you don’t have to.”

Or when you were ten and rudely answered your teacher and I said;

“Teachers are blood sucking failures. Who can blame them with the meagre salaries they earn?”

Or when you were twelve and you were caught fondling with a boy and I said:

“That is not my daughter. She knows better.”

I have created you. And I don’t know how to un-create you.

I am writing this letter because I thought I taught you all life’s lesson not realising that life had a little handbook of its own , whose lessons were rigid, uncompromising.

I want you to know that life will whip you, mock you, bring you down then laugh in your face. The lessons will be long and hard, because life is a brutal, thorough, relentless teacher.

There will be good times, beautiful times even, but they will be far-flung, far between that the bad times will overshadow them.

I can picture your face as you read this letter. You will pick it up and say:

“What does she want now?”

And after reading the first sentence, you will say:

“Trust her to try to make me feel guilty about leaving her alone for one second.”

You will not believe me when you read that I love you. And that is the reason I am looking anxiously at your face as you read my letter, hoping that for a glimpse of assurance.

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Author: Faith Oneya

Lover of the written and spoken word.

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