Unsent Letters • 08.13.2015

My little girl, my oldest little girl, was diagnosed with cancer back in August 2015. A papillary carcinoma on her thyroid gland. It was found quite by mistake, and with God’s arm around her shoulders she survived.

This is the letter I meant to give her five months later when she turned 18.

I reckon it’s been lost all this time..

 💞

Autumn Michelle,

You know, when you were born I was still a little girl in so many ways. I didn’t work or drive or even live on my own. While I had been without my own mom off and on for a few years, I’d never really had to take care of myself..

Then you came along. Tiny and helpless and completely dependent on me to do things for you that I’d never even really thought to do for myself. It was time to grow up and I was so scared..

I was so afraid I would do the wrong thing..

I’ll never forget the first time I clipped your little fingernails. I caught the skin on one of your thumbs and you bled while I cried. It felt like such a tragedy.. Such a small mistake but it felt like the end of the world.

You were so incredible, I would sit and stare at you for hours on end and write poetry for you to read when you were older. I had so many hopes and dreams for your future and I just knew someday you’d grow up to be better than me..

And you are.

From your very first coos I knew you’d sing me a song. From your first wobbly steps I knew you’d go a whole lot farther than me, and you did. At barely two you could say all of the alphabet and actually carry a tune. You’d stand in a laundry basket and tell everyone to “shh, shh, ima show you something” .. I can still hear you breaking into Somewhere Over the Rainbow like it was yesterday – I wish I still had that video Nick made.. I can still smile knowing you turned out better than the test of us did.. 

You had the face of an angel and a smile that could chase away the shadow of my darkest days. Nothing has changed. I look at  you and all too often i still see that little girl; quiet and sweet and always so damn well behaved. Nana always says that you were born an old soul and she could see it in your eyes.

Your uncle Jason’s eyes…

When I look back over the years, both good and bad, I see so many things I’d go back and change. So many choices I would take back if I could… 

But I always always loved you and I did the best I could – even though sometimes it wasn’t enough. If I could live an extra life and all the time that comes with it, I still don’t think  I’d have to make up for the times I couldn’t be around when you were little.. The hundred moments that I’ve missed and I can’t ever get back. Your first day of kindergarten and losing your front teeth and starting gymnastics and probably a thousand other little things I didn’t even know I missed.. 

I’ll bet you remember then all.

It’s been ten years since I decided to start over. I moved here with your sister and a dream and not much else but I still made it. I hadn’t seen you in a year and you were angry with me for so many things i could never make up for.. but you still came. It was a visit that turned into a year and then a decade and I’ve loved it. 

You were and when your dad didn’t come back for you after that summer was over but we got through it. And when you had to start all over with no friends in a new school we still got through it. You got glasses and got your baby teeth and you grew out before you grew up and if course we got through it.. One day I realized we had gotten through it all. From grades and boys to birth control and cancer and then some.. 

I will be forever grateful for the chance to watch to grow up. You have always been so much more than I’d imagined you’d and you still amaze me every single day. Soon enough you’ll find. All grown up and on the run with a life of your own and I’m not ready…I

I already miss you. Is that terrible? The older you get the led you need me and I guess that his it’s all supposed to be. 

I did my job.. 

I raised a smart, independent woman with the ability to do anything she sets her mind to and I couldn’t be more proud..I

I love you, 

Mom

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Freelance Work 09.06.2016

A corporate email response in regards to a software application deal 

Dear Sir, (For Privacy)

To answer your questions, please let me say first, that in my opinion, the integration of the Smart Watch is going to be the next logical step in portable gaming. With the mastering and ease of virtual storage, whether the customer prefers using the Apple, Google or Microsoft operating systems, there should be an app for that.  Simply put, the idea goes something like this – By enhancing the remote control sensors that already come standard on every television in the world, we could potentially give an added NUI feature to the increasingly popular Smart TV. To pair this with data and movement tracking programs currently being used by virtually all cellphones and video game consoles on the market today would open up an incredible number of opportunities to grow the convenience and portability our every day gamer typically looks for. 

 In comparison with the Xbox Kinect and the Nintendo Wii, instead of holding a wand or controller, which would then interact with the console through a sensor bar, the watch IS the controller, sensing and interacting directly to a compatible application downloaded on a Smart TV. Using the Cloud, user preferences, account information, achievements and saved games would be accessible with a simple voice or remote command. There would potentially no longer be a need for hard drives or controllers or fragile (and expensive) gaming CDs, thereby creating an effortless gaming experience with the physicality of a kinect-style console and the access of a cellphone.

 I am open to any comments or suggestions you may have and look forward to hearing your thoughts on this one. 

 I appreciate your time, 

Unsent Letters – 08.21.2016

DISCLAIMER : I am going through some personal things and am needing a place to vent. These are the letters I’ve written along the way. If you have any advice about things, please feel free to keep scrolling because I’m not looking..

August 21, 2016

To My Autumn Michelle,
I’m dating this letter because I don’t know when I’ll finish it and I don’t want to forget where I began.. It’s been four days since you were here, and aside from a couple of meaningless texts we haven’t spoken at all. You probably think I’ll call you when I’m done being mad and so you’re waiting.. I hate to say it, but you’ll be waiting a while.. I can’t do it. I can’t keep going the way we’ve been. I don’t know who you are or how to talk to you anymore and I’m tired…

Still, there are some things I need to say and I’m just going to say them..

I’m sorry for the things I said when I was mad. Not necessarily for WHAT I said, but for HOW I said it. I won’t apologize for having feelings.

I’m sorry for making you feel like you were ever not enough. You’ve always been so much more than I had ever dared to dream.

I’m sorry that you didn’t feel like you could trust me when it really mattered.

I’m sorry for making you grow up so very young, though that should show you who it was that ever really had my back.

I’m sorry you were so unhappy here..

Thank you for always being someone I could be proud of, I’ve never doubted that you would be amazing.

Thank you for never giving up on me. Lord knows you probably should have more than once.

Thank you for just being you most of the time… That was all you’ve ever needed to be..

I want you to know that I’m always proud of you. Of your strength and of your determination and of the way you keep going no matter what. You’ve always been an old soul, as your Nana would say, and you’ll go far in life, no doubt.

I wish I could fix what’s been broken between us, but I don’t even know where to start.. What I do know, is that I don’t want to do this with you. I just can’t seem to get it right no matter what I do, and so I’m thinking it might be time for me to take a step back. I don’t think you have any idea how bad that sucks for me but I don’t know what else to do. I miss you more than you could ever imagine, and I have for a long time..

The other day when you left for Alabama I was really hurt. I know I didn’t marry your dad but I still love his family. Kelly was my connection to the Hartman’s too.. I had my own relationship with her and I’ll miss her. Maybe I could have handled the whole thing better, and I’m sorry for that, but I was just so blindsided by the way you did a total 180 out of nowhere. One minute you didn’t really want to go at all, and the next you were practically running out the door. I’m so sorry Gracie wanted to be with you more than she wanted a nap. I felt like I actually had to spank her so she would leave you alone and it really bothers me. I shouldn’t have to apologize or make excuses for how she feels. You’ve been a constant every day of her life and she doesn’t understand why you’re gone. She only knows you promised to come see her sometimes. She cries for you often and I can’t help it. It is what it is.

I don’t know where you and I fell apart and I’m not sure I know how to fix it. You’re right, you’ve been unhappy for a long time and I didn’t want to see it. I did the best I knew how.. And for that reason, and so many more, it’s time that I let go…. I hope I taught you enough about life, and that you’re not too proud to ask for help when you need it. I heard you loud and clear when you said that you won’t be calling me for anything so I hope you have someone. Thanks for listening. I will always love you (a million red m&m’s)

Mom