Dear Charlie

He stole my heart from the moment I saw him, and he knows it. I love him more than words can say. I once worried that, as a product of a divorce, he would struggle with understanding what love is and what love isn’t. But at two and a half, my son (like all children) already has a better understanding than most adults.

Still. I’ve learned so much in my 31 years. Though he’s his own little man and will have his own experiences, I want him to take the wisdom I’ve gained from my losses. He’ll love better because of divorce since I’m happy to say I know more about love as a divorcee than I ever did as a wife. So, today, on what would have been my nine year wedding anniversary and sixteen years together with my exhusband, I’m writing a love letter to my son in the hopes that he won’t make the same mistakes we did.

Dear Charlie,

Love is described in the Bible, played out in the movies and is painted with words in poetry…you already give it and receive it in such a beautiful way. I once thought I knew all about love. Then I met you. Soon after, I went through so much hurt and trauma, and a while ago, I let go of a love. Through this letter I’m sharing my new perspective, which will undoubtably change and hopefully improve with time, in the hopes that you’ll gain insights from the mistakes I’ve witnessed and become the sort of man that loves in a way that would make God proud.

Love is kind. Sometimes our inner demons or outside circumstances can make us rude and inconsiderate. I’m a bit feisty and was once one that sought control at all costs. Love isn’t that way, though. Remember that when you fight with a loved one, one person may win, but the relationship loses. Choose kindness every time. Be a sweet gentleman.

Love is patient. I loathe waiting. I want what I want, and I want it now. Love isn’t always like that. There’s another person involved …timing and circumstance dictate pace. With love, you don’t rush. You take it slowly in hopeful anticipation and daily appreciation.

Love isn’t self seeking. Often you’ll hear people say that if you’re not happy with your loved one, it’s time to look elsewhere. However, life can give us moments of seemingly insurmountable struggle- instances that make happiness almost impossible. But there’s this thing called honor that binds you to a loved one so that you work through trials and tribulations. Your two heart surgeries made for a very sad situation – one in which your dad and I weren’t “happy” per se. No one is happy seeing a child hospitalized, yet I felt love would conquer. Sometimes to weather a storm, you have to let go of your own needs and wants in order to truly appreciate the rainbow afterwards. It saddens me that I was left to hold the umbrella alone because my partner wanted clear skies. Sadder still that when the umbrella blew away, I had to choose dancing and singing despite the hurt. But at the same time, my heart knows that not everyone is capable of dancing in the rain. Son, be an umbrella holder for the people you love. Sing in the storm. I hope you can go through some unhappiness for the sake of good because real love stays regardless of the forecast. Even in the worst downpours, you can always find sunshine because love is the light that comes from within.

Love isn’t prideful. Adultery is disgusting, and to most, impossible to forgive. The betrayal and embarrassment is indescribable. I never thought I’d be willing to move past this level of wrongdoing. But we love as humans and receive love from humans, so it’ll never be perfect. You owe it to yourself to forgive just in the we pray, “forgive us of our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” You will not be judged by how others treat you, but rather, how you treat them. That’s why forgiveness is more about oneself. Resentment and anger are heavy loads to bare, but grace will carry you above any amount of hurt.

Love is sacrificing. When you fall in love with a woman some day, you’ll be inclined to think of all the things she can do for you. Instead, think of all the things you can do for her. Love is about how you can show kindness to another especially when it means you must go without. Society will tell you to put your own needs first. Take care of you. I agree, but not in the way it’s meant. A good man, the sort I pray you become, sees putting others first as the ultimate thing he could do for himself because the Bible commands that we love in the way God loves us. Stay up to listen even when you’re tired; feed another first even when you’re hungry; and bring a smile to her face even when you yourself are sad.

Love is terrifying. It is beyond scary to think that you could love someone to the degree that they become one with you. Someday, you’ll be with a woman, and just when you think it’s easy and fun, you’ll see that love isn’t just facing the good times, it’s also facing the bad times. It’s not so scary to love a person in perfect health or wealth. But what happens when the money is gone and illness comes into your life? When you’re old and gray? Trusting your love to endure these obstacles requires putting down your fear. When times get tough, don’t leave her. Instead, be brave. It’s better to be brave together than an independent coward. Love isn’t always easy, but it’s always right. Choose the harder right over the easier wrong.

Love is rewarding. If I captured all of the laughter I’ve shared with loved ones, the sound could be heard across the world. The warmth from all of the comfort exchanged could light a fire. In this way, it’s always a good idea to give love. You get back ten fold what you put in. It may not always be in this life or even with the person you’ve given it to, but love always wins in the end and makes you a better person along the way.

Love isn’t nice houses and diamond rings. Love is family. Right now, that’s me and you. I pray happiness and joy for all your days, but especially a love that’s true and honorable. Be courageous, my brave heart. Grow to become the sort of man the world needs.

Love,
Mommy

 

 

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