Open Letter to My Parents
There comes a point in your life when you start to feel your own mortality. You start to look back on all of your experiences and you realize that you are on a different journey. You are an adult with a family and you are a part of your children’s journey now.
I often wonder if I am where I am supposed to be. Have I lived a fulfilled life? Did I make my parents proud?
One thing I know for certain is that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my parents.
I find that we often regret not saying things to our loved ones until it’s too late. This is an open letter to my parents, my pillars of support, and the ones who have always been there.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I want to start off by saying that I love you more than words can ever express. If it is possible, I want to express my deepest gratitude for the immense sacrifice that you made for all of us. Packing our whole lives into 2 suitcases, and getting on a plane to a different country is the epitome of unconditional love.
I can’t even imagine the horrifying things you’ve seen and experienced in a time of a civil war, the violence and death. By saying that, I know that you left behind your entire lives. Everything you’ve ever known, your careers, your extended family. Your own parents.
I look back on our early years here in Canada as landed immigrants. I see things much differently now. The incredible sacrifices that both of you made to get us ahead. The jobs you worked to make sure we were taken care of. The abuse that you undoubtedly had to endure because you didn’t speak perfect English.
Our childhood was so happy, I hope you both know that.
We didn’t always have everything but, we never went without. We had a clean home, meals every day, clothes on our back, and an abundance of love. When you gave us the things we really wanted, we appreciated it so much. Knowing what I know now about being a parent, I know the sacrifice it takes. It’s no surprise that those little things, whether it was an experience or a toy, I still remember them with deep fondness. You taught me how to value, and that will stay with me forever.
Now, those tough years.
Man, they were tough. I know that I’ve said it before but, I’m sorry for the grief I brought you both. The things I said, I didn’t mean, the things I did, I wish I could take back. While I know it may pale in comparison to other situations and teen/parent relationships, I know it was hard for you. It was a time that I learned that you both were imperfectly perfect, that you had flaws too, and made mistakes. For anything you may feel bad for, I forgive you and it is forgotten. Just know that I’ve learned from them.
Thank you for being there through my darkest moments as an adult. For supporting me through the worst times and being there for the best times.
For helping me get my education and college degrees with a toddler at home. I couldn’t have done it without your help. For teaching Gabby how to read, write, and draw while I was gone at school. Years later, for doing the same with Mimi.
Especially for being an active, solid, and constant presence in the lives of Mimi and Gabby. From the moment they were in my womb, to being in the room when they were born, to being there on a daily basis. I can never pay you back for that.
It’s hard to think of a time when you won’t be in my life. Just know that when that inevitable day arrives, that you’ll be in my memory forever and always with love. I will think of you every single day until my day comes. I will honour you in every way I can, by being a good person and by making decisions that will make you proud.
I’ll carry with me the lessons that you taught me.
There are so many I can think of but, I’ll always remember to give happily and without expectation. To always make decisions with my heart but, use my head first. That family is the most important thing in the world. To be kind and love each other. To forgive each other and always be there for one another.
Thank you for showing me what love is through your own relationship. That it isn’t always perfect but, when you find the one that you love, you hold onto them. 43 years of love shows that and seeing you both today, I can see that love between you both even more. It gives me hope that Darasak and I can have that same love too. I look forward to celebrating even more years of love with you!
One of the biggest things I will take from your example is that you never stop being a parent. Not until you’re no longer of this earth. You both are the personification of this, you have always been there without fail.
I will continue that with my own girls. I will love them with the same unconditional love you gave me and continue to give me.
Love you forever and always,
I always say that if you have the chance today to tell someone how you feel, you should. Every day is not a guarantee. I don’t often get personal here but, when I do–it’s pretty sappy!
Have you told someone how you feel lately?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.