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generations by gilad

I love you and you will always be my child. I have been trying to stretch and grow to accommodate your view of life, but I realize that I am uncomfortable at times. Perhaps, it is because I am out of my comfort zone trying to be inside of yours. When I raised you, I had hoped to give you good character and kindness. Given your origins, independence, intelligence, and strong opinions could not help but be part of your nature. Sometimes, those opinions hurt me. You know I am sensitive and I was an easy target. But, still, I love you.

You have chosen to live your life differently than I have chosen to live mine. I try to keep my door open to you whenever you want to walk through it. We have made, and continue to make, different choices. I did not want to choose sides. I thought that I could lean over and hold on to all of them…. I want to be a part of your life and hope that you will grow to love me and include me in yours. However much I think we are the same, there is still too much difference. I am grateful that you are happy, but your version of happiness does not look quite like mine.

Will we grow to understand each other more as you grow in years? Will you choose me willingly, or reluctantly, to be a part of your life?

With every fiber of my being, you are like a limb; I could not imagine my life without you. When you are hurt and sad, I want to fix anything that happens to you. I want to comfort you and be the one who can make you stop crying or heal your pain. That fierce desire to care for and protect you will never change. But, you have found a love, that no parent can compete with, who reaches a part of your heart that I never will. As you grow, the brilliant colors are being added to your personal landscape.

What I am realizing, is that I want to walk with you on your path always, but you are walking on a road that I cannot follow. I am proud of you for choosing what you believe in and being self-sufficient. You are a wonderful friend and caring to those whom you love and cherish. You do not do everything the way that I do, nor do we have the same long term ideas, even though I wish we did. Please don’t judge me so harshly when you ask me to love you unconditionally.

Wanting to keep you near, but having to let you go is harder than you may think. Giving you roots, and wings, sounds easier than it is despite the gratitude that I feel as your parent. I can tell you that you were very wanted and are greatly loved. I did the best that I could at the time and continue to learn every day. If we are lucky enough, both of us will continue to improve until the last day of our lives.

With all my many words, ideas, and ideals, I still cannot seem to say the right thing. We do not agree on the method despite sharing the theory. We struggle to communicate at times. I am not perfect, and as special as you are, neither are you. We are two humans hoping to heal the future and right the errors of the past. While humans tend to focus on the bad, I hope that you will recall happy memories as well.

I hope you can grow to respect me and my feelings. I know that our relationship can be fragile despite the many years that I raised you. While you may not feel the same way, or understand, I promise you that you are a part of me always. As long as you are living, my baby you will be.

Remember, once I was your home.

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Thank you so much for stopping by! It means more than you know.
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74 Comments

  1. This is a beautiful letter. I hear and feel you. Thanks!

    • Thank you Eric!!! You have no idea how much your comment means to me. When we write so personally it can be hard to see it as others do. I appreciate your view.

      • I know this to be exactly how my mother feels about me and my siblings. As adults, we have chosen our own paths and journeys and she is not always a part of what we choose to experience. Nor does she always understand our decisions and opinions. You have captured her perspective warmly and well.

  2. Thank you so much!!

  3. Like you, I love my children unconditionally, but that doesn’t mean I embrace all the choices they make or philosophies they follow anymore than they do mine. Oh, these slippery slopes called parenthood….love you, my friend. Beautiful letter.

  4. Beautifully written, so heartfelt. I feel for you as I do understand how hard it can be to maintain relationships when different paths are chosen. How to fit into each others life. I hope you both will find that place of meeting in the middle, of understanding one another.

    • Thank you so much. As a person of family and faith, you know there is a path we try to lay in hopes that they will walk upon it. But man plans…..

      • oh yes, I have more than one friend who has had these struggles- they eventually have found a place of meeting, through a great deal of tolerance and “accepting what they cannot change” I hope you both find that place too.

  5. I can relate to your letter. Actually, when I think of your words, I feel as if I could have said them myself. I am finally accepting the fact that our oldest is flying, and happy. Is he doing what we wish? No. It took me a while, but I have learned to shut my mouth and let him live as he wants. The hard part to accept is that we may not be much of a part of it. I so understand.

    • April, thank you for validating that you could relate. I had to think carefully and edit when I wrote this. If only it were as easy to delete some of the painful and difficult reflections. I am still having a tough time adapting.

      • Our individual situations may be different, but I’m pretty sure our feelings are the same, and it’s heartbreaking.

      • April, I share your pain and thank you for sharing mine.

  6. Dear Sweet B, you have become wise in your experiences and your encouragement means so much. Slippery, indeed!

  7. Parenting adults can be equally as difficult as parenting a teenager. Babies are a walk in the park by comparison. I felt every word. I have lived most of them.
    Be at peace my friend.

    • Thank you Suzanne. It is so very comforting to hear of another mother with this experience and these feelings.

      • I believe there are times that I just want to shake them. But it is their life – not mine. And I raised them to be independent and to make their own choices.

      • I get that shaking thing, ugh. I hate being so helpless at times.

      • I know. But what do you do but make the best of the situation?

  8. Reblogged this on Eric Tonningsen's "Awakening to Awareness" and commented:
    I don’t often reblog, however, this letter spoke to me. It could easily have been penned by my mother. We still don’t see eye to eye on some things yet our love and respect for each other only grows stronger. Thanks, EQ, for a beautiful post.

    • Thank you so much Eric. I am truly flattered. All the Best!

      • I hope you didn’t mind my sharing this. I like to think I know some of my readers well enough, to sense they’d also appreciate your words. I trust the extra comment traffic brings you good feelings. By the way, some have left comments on my blog that are intended for you. Time permitting, please read and feel free to respond to those as well. πŸ™‚

      • Thank you so very much Eric!!! I am greatly appreciative and your broad audience and comments are a gift. I will go and look at them. Thank you so much for sharing positive validation.

        theempathyqueen wrote: > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ WordPress.com

    • Eric – thank you for reblogging this. As a mother, I completely understand these feelings.
      Dear Empathy Queen – I feel your words very deeply, What I wish for you is that you arrive at a place of peace with the wonderful contribution you made to your child’s soul by providing a safe place for him/her to explore and express whatever it is that is chosen in any given moment or experience. It is difficult and painful at times. My two sons are very different and that is indeed why your lovely words have touched me so deeply. Blessings to you.

      • Carrie, thank you for your gracious remarks and empathy. My children are so different and I am amazed that they all came from me?!! Nature and nurture an d I still want to be the “right” mother for each child. It does affect me deeply.

  9. I think the best compliment that can make a child of his mother, erect his own way to go to be independent and strong enough to stand alone. You have done a wonderful “job” … you have a wonderful, strong kid. And your child has a strong and upright mother. Congratulations …. you both.

    Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

    • Vera, your words are like a love letter to me! Wow! We tried so hard to teach empathy, kindness, tolerance, understanding but it can come back to bite us sometimes. I don’t know if my children feel they way you expressed, but your encouragement and support mean a great deal to me. Thank you!!

      • I wish you and your family all the best. You live out of your heart and thats the best, what you can do. The heart knows…ever!

        Good night πŸ™‚

  10. Beautiful. I’m glad Eric re-posted this. I have no children of my own, and I’ve often wondered what my mum and dad would pen about me.

    • Geraint, I don’t know what you are like or what choices you have made in your life. I can only say for me the parent/child connection is never over even if they are out of the house. But we must make choices and biting my tongue does not always work.

  11. Wonderful! I especially love this part “Please don’t judge me so harshly when you ask me to love you unconditionally.” So true!

    • Thank you! I am so glad that you get this. We are expected to be and do so much that is beyond difficult. The idea of what unconditional love is, and magically expected, regardless of situation from children can be so difficult. I get hurt too. I really appreciate your writing to me.

  12. A wonderfully expressed letter, I so know of which page you write this from, as a daughter whose Mother I wish could have read this letter..
    Many thanks…
    Blessings Sue

    • Sue, you touched my heart. I am so blessed to hear from you as the adult child with the view from the other side. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to make a comment. It is very appreciated.

      • Your letter really touched me.. so thank you..

      • Thank you for your empathy and gentle praise. I really appreciate your reading the post.

        theempathyqueen wrote: > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ WordPress.com

  13. This is a powerful essay of words that I can relate as a son and as a father who is currently experiencing these emotions and circumstances. This is really a great posting to your blog.

    • Thank you so very much! I am so glad that you can relate, when we struggle sometimes we feel so alone caught in the great sticky web of parenting adult children.

  14. Reblogged this on Retirement Lifestyle Blog and commented:
    This is a powerful essay of words that I can relate as a son and as a father who is currently experiencing these emotions and circumstances. This is really a great posting to your blog.

  15. Wonderful. So very well expressed. When a loved one suffers, we suffer all the more. Undoubtedly, parent’s love is the most unalloyed and pure form of love there is.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I appreciate your compliment. Our love as parents is so deep that I don’t think our children can ever comprehend how truly encompassing it is.

      • This happens when they have children of their own!

  16. Heartfelt and touching letter. It speaks to the relationship many of us have with our families. Thanks, Brad

    • Brad, thank you so much for reading my post and your compliment. I was afraid of posting and decided to take the leap.

  17. Thank you for this. I need to call my mother tomorrow. Thank you.

    • Lucky Mom! Having a child who loves you enough to call and say Hi for no reason at all is amazing!! You are a good person.

  18. Beautiful post very touching and true. Thanks for stirring my deepest emotions!

    • Thank you Liz, what a lovely compliment. Truly, I wrote it from the heart and am so glad that is how you read it.

  19. A really lovely letter. Thank you for saying what many of us feel at one time or another.

    • Thank you Cynthia. It really helps to know I am not alone. Now, if I could get all of my children to read it with an open heart and mind……

  20. Very touching! Motherhood is the most beautiful, sometimes hurtful experience we have in a lifetime. I think I’m there, too, caring my pain every day and trying to understand what I need to learn from it. I’m glad you’re out there. It helps me figure out that I’m not the only one to struggle with expired dreams. Well, dreams are kind of setups, expectations that will hurt a lot when are not fulfilled. As you wonderfully said, I need to be myself and carry this bitter feeling on my own path.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Camelia.

    • Camelia,
      I am so honored that you shared your feelings and views with me. They are very special and you expressed it accurately and beautifully.

      It is hard to carry around and it does weigh us down. I keep trying to remember that, but it does not make it easy.

  21. Beautifully written post!

  22. Reblogged this on theempathyqueen and commented:

    In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “To Be Resolved.”

    The resolution that I continue to seek is how to parent, and build a relationship with my adult children from a distance far away not to block their view, but let them see that I still keep a light on in the window.

    Since this is a major goal in my life, I am reprinting this post from July 16, 2014.

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  23. You are free to love without taking responsibility for choices. Love is just love, after all.

    • I guess that is part of what needs to be resolved……..my many empathetic responses.

  24. Beautiful x

    • As the authority on Kindness, thank you so very much. I truly appreciate your comment.

  25. Reblogged this on The Retiree Diary and commented:
    Some wonderful words and thoughts in here. They require quiet reflection on the part of our young adult children and ourselves. A great blog post. Cheers!

    • Thank you so very much! I am very flattered and genuinely pleased that you could empathize with these feelings. The love for our children is so much greater and deeper than they can absorb. Its a lifelong journey for each of us.

  26. Amazing. You went down deep into my soul and pulled out the jumbled words and put order to them. You expressed the exact feelings and verbiage down to the last comment of the book my son and I read all the time. Wow. You are a blessing to us all. Cheryl

    • Cheryl, thank you for your extraordinary compliment. I wrote what came from my heart with joy and tears. If it touched yours, it means more than you know. I don’t know what book that came from but I promise I did not plagiarize. πŸ™‚ I greatly appreciate your comments. Wishing you All the Best!

  27. This is exactly what I needed to read today. I am at my all time low. Thank you for sharing. God bless you always.

    • Afsaneh Moshfegh
    • Posted September 14, 2016 at 5:11 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    I loved reading this letter. It felt like it would come right out of my mouth. Was written so eloquently.

    • Thank you. I tried to get everything in words and hope that some of it will eventually get through.

  28. It was like these were my words. My heart hurts. I TRULY feel your pain.

    • Thank you for your empathy Dana. I poured every bit of my heart into these words and then thought about them even more. Hopefully, it will help all of us. I understand the pain of trying to communicate our love to our children.

  29. The empathy queen said it best when she said:
    “Remember, I was once your home”.
    Well written…straight from your heart!
    Thank you for sharing, if I may say…one of your most treasured letters.
    Surely your daughter must know how much you will always love her.
    Hands down to you!!!! Take care my friend.
    I’m another one of your greatest fans!

    • Regina, I am so very flattered by your generous compliment. I hope that my children know that they are loved but adult relationships are so delicate and memory is fragile. But, yes, it was indeed all from my heart. ❀ Thank you so very much.

  30. Wow,you have summed up a mother’s heart!Very well expressed and absolute verity.

    • Thank you so much. This letter was absolutely written from the depths of my heart, spirit and soul. I am so very appreciative that it resonates.


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  1. […] I wrote my post, A Love Letter to My Adult Child, I received many comments and saw the search words that others used to find it. I wrote that letter […]

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