I’m writing you this letter because I have nothing else to offer to you other than my words and I will never gather the courage to be this painfully vulnerable in front of anyone. I would like to write to you in hopes that you know just how important you are to me while I still have the chance to express it.
The truth is, I have seen you transform into this incredible woman through the past decade. I remember you as a naive, free-spirited, timid woman but now you’ve truly blossomed into something beautiful and to witness this metamorphosis, as your daughter has been a privilege. You went from not knowing how to turn on a computer to working in IT. In every instance of my life, you have shown tremendous strength to turn every misfortune into opportunities. I wish that I could show you, the woman that you are through my eyes to make you understand how far you have come. There is no greater teaching than living it through example and that’s exactly what you did. The greatest inheritance you will be leaving me is this memory of your transformation, a gentle reminder that I can be anybody I want to be, if I try.Your personality is infectious and I think of all the things I have watched, your ability to light up a room with your presence is the most fun to witness.
I’m sorry for saying all those hurtful things I said to you growing up, for being extremely inconsiderate to you on multiple occasions and to keep triggering you with my dark humor. It’s because sometimes, I forget to look at you as a human rather than a parent and this realization has really helped be a better daughter. You deserved to be understood and you most definitely deserve a better daughter, a daughter who will pee on time and a daughter who gets a merit seat( now don’t go all it’s-not-a-big-deal-stop-punishing-yourself-for-it on me, self-depreciating humour is my defense mechanism)
The past decade has been about me observing you turn into this incredible woman you are today but the next decade is about my story of grappling adulthood which I will assume arrogantly that I would come to you for guidance, support and assistance. I want you to know how grateful I am for our relationship even though we are disgustingly co-dependent, you are my rock. As long as you’re beside me, I could never lose vision because of how honest our relationship is, I just hope we never lose what we have because I want to tell you everything I do in my life all day, every day. Everything I am is because of the discussions you made me a part of. By asking for my opinion, you gave me a voice. By giving me a voice, you empowered me and I’m forever indebted.
As I start university I realize that as big of a deal as this is for me, it is a milestone for you as well ( Considering you cried the first time I got my eyebrows plucked). These past few years, I have challenged and tested you. I was trapped in my own struggles and I took them out on you. I told you I was misunderstood, to see what you could understand. I told you I didn’t care, so I could see you’d still be there. You didn’t recognize me, but you stuck around because my mother knew I was still in there somewhere.My English teacher once said that if I can’t look at myself in the mirror, eye to eye than I’m not living life with integrity but I disagree, sometimes our conscious can be stunted but I always want to look at you, eye-to-eye, without shame, guilt or anguish to reflect upon because you are my moral binder, even though your logic at times makes me wonder how someone so smart can be so ignorant.
I wish you would stop trying to fight my battles for me, as my mother I understand your natural instinct to conceal me from the darkness in the world but I’ve seen enough to realize the importance of independent thinking. It’s common for a parent to want what’s safe for their child, and not what’s best. The two aren’t always the same. Whatever I do in my life, I will hold responsibility but allow me to enjoy the freedom and burden of inherited responsibility.
To the woman with the most emotional endurance, I wish you the most glorious year of your life. Happy birthday, Amma.
Your only daughter,
Here is a thing my heart wishes the world had more of: I heard it in the air of one night when I listened To a mother singing softly to a child restless and angry in the darkness. Home, Carl Sandburg.