Dad died in an accident when I was about 6 years of age. I have been brought up by mom ever since, juggling job and raising me up. I am writing a letter to both of them.
This is a letter that you are not going to get to read, at least not for a long time. This is because I am not yet ready to discuss the contents with you in person. It’s not that we’ve not tried before, it’s specifically we’ve tried talking about it before. We feel so strongly about our own stances, which are mutually exclusive that things end up getting heated.
You’ve put in a lot of efforts, many of which are beyond what I would normally expect a parent to. In your defense, I can be a difficult person to deal with at times. Add to that I come from an entirely different school of thought. I am highly liberal and open about what and who I want. I have always wanted to be defined by my choices, choices which usually lead me to be away from where I am born. Your choices have always been to stick to where you are. I have always been about what I want and you about what you have to.
You do things which you think that are in the long run good for me. Quite a bit of your life has been focused on to shape a future for me, and look out for me. Having done it for so long, it has been your default programming. Which is why I think that no matter how old I get, you will always want to have a protective watch out for me. Remember in an entirely different situation of our life; someone had once said that no matter how much good you want to do for someone, you cannot force good upon them. It has been nearly 15 years since I had heard that, and the idea of it has seeped into me. I cannot write over here the details of the circumstances in which they were said, and I apologize because in doing so I am withholding all that you had to go through with.
What I want to tell you is that I am headstrong about my choices. As much as I like to think that I am gifted in terms of my intellect, I tend to make correspondingly huger mistakes. Some mistakes which on account of repeated occurrences, may take me months to recover fully from. But what good is my own life, if I do not pave for it myself? Even if it means making it difficult. I understand your concern for me, but our opposing manners of thinking have contributed to making you a little bitter. I just hope that in the near future we come to a better understanding of each other, and better acceptance.
Most of my memories with you have been pleasant. The times you got me chocolates, or took me to the park to play on the slides or let me choose the cookies that a spot of jam on them. Since the hospital you worked at was kilometers away from home, I could only get to spend weekends with you. When it came to parenting, you were always the easy parent while mother did most of the disciplining. I guess this is why I would want to more spend time with you. I know realize that as much as it was fun spending time with you, I needed to be guided in the manner mom did. Especially if it required strict parenting.
I remember that there were times when I took your easy attitude for granted, and was very unruly with you. Given that we did spend so little time together, I am sorry for that. Just before you died, you had quit your job to setup your own clinic near home. However that would not come to be, and the accident happened. To be honest, for quite a lot of time mom never let me feel that I had a parent short. She cared and provided in a manner that all my needs and quite a number of my wants were taken for.
Given that I was never overly attached to you, I didn’t miss you much. Mom did, for you were her husband. While her job and savings ensured that we didn’t miss a providing family member, your absence lead to other problems. Now that we were ‘alone’, your brothers continued to treat us in the second hand manner that they did. They graduated from that to taking a large amount of what was rightfully mom’s and belonged to us. You could have had the sense to warn her about the kind of dogs your family is.
Some time ago, when I was going through a difficult time I ended up staring at your picture in the house and a line from Harry Potter came to mind to me: “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.” The fact that a lot of this could have been different had you not died, makes me feel a little bitter. Sometimes I think how things could have different had mom had someone else in the family apart from me. If there would have been someone else to be there for her, would I have been able to feel freer? I guess it does sound incredibly selfish, but it is my manner of feeling pity on the living.
Dear Mom and Dad,
The irony of this letter doesn’t escape me. I choose not to share what I have written with mom because of my belief that we have tried too much of it already, and failed. I cannot share it dad, because quite simply he isn’t there anymore. When I speak to friends about their parents, their feelings are so much different than mine. D tells me how she feels happiest and safest with her head in her mum’s lap, while another friend tells me how he looks up to the advice his dad gives him. It is not that I don’t remember my happy times with you. I remember how we used play carom on the weekends, and dad would nudge one of my discs into the holes so that I would win. I remember how mum would make ice cream and slush for me when summers would come, so that I wouldn’t fall sick from eating some of the road side stuff. I remember dad holding me down, when I was kicking another doctor, dad had taken me to when I had had jaundice, and he had brought out the injection. The two of you would buy me a toy gun that made rattling noises to cheer me up. I even remember the hours mom would put in to make sweaters for me, or how she took care of me during the vacations I got sick.
But more than that, I do remember the times either of you got angry at me. The times when I was mad with either of you, and as I grew up the times, I get frustrated with mom. Kids like to cuddle up and sleep with parents, finding comfort in their presence. I have always found solace in being away instead. Mom remembers how I would roll away to the side of the bed when I would get sleepy, while other kids would roll to their parents embrace.
I guess this is how we are.
Written for Day 3 of the 30 Days 30 letters prompt: A letter to your parent(s).
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