What I Have Makes Up For What I’ve Lost

Cassidy - Lake Elsinore, California
Entered on November 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I’ll never be able to comprehend the lack of love my mother displayed throughout my life, nor do I have any desire to because I think it would upset me tremendously. However, I am curious as to why she would allow her focus on pain drive her to abandon the most important and precious aspects in life; how she let false pleasure veer her from what she already had.

Hurt often needs to be numbed like when the dentist works on a tooth, but when it’s a matter of the heart, focusing on pain can drive people to numb themselves in the most destructive ways. I have been taught that alcohol deteriorates the liver, causes problems with the pancreas, and manipulates the mind but I had no idea that it could diminish the heart and any love that once flowed from it. Throughout my childhood, I had always longed for that nurturing care the dictionary says a mother should provide. I always hoped for that relationship between a mother and daughter that only they can understand. However, now that I am older and reflect on the past, her love has hardly any value to me. She is not worth investing all my emotions into. As much as I have tried and wish I could, I can’t change her. I’ll never be able to and I’ve finally come to that realization. For years, I have let myself get caught up in her lies and have found myself lost in her counterfeit affection. I have always focused on the misery she has put herself and our family in, always in irresolute hope that she might one day come back and assume the mother role she once set out to fulfill. I have now come to accept that I am fine without her. I can’t rely on hope that is without potential or let her life devastate my own. I must now change my perspective and appreciate what I have and what has become of me because of her weakness.

I appreciate and admire my father who raised four daughters almost single-handedly for most of my life; the father who worked several jobs and still had time to make each day an adventure using what little we had at the time. I am grateful for his constant love and his willingness to take on a second role by doing my hair and making a lunch for me every morning before school. He is my hero who cared for me when she had no desire to. For him, I want to be the best person and daughter I can be and I am going continue to live in a way in which he will always be proud of me. Although this will never measure up to to the sacrifices he made for us, it is how I am capable of repaying him.

I thank my older sisters who had to take on responsibilities far beyond their maturity. I appreciate their love and care during desperate times and I am thankful for the strong relationship that we now have because of the adversity we’ve endured and conquered together. I am grateful for the examples they are to me and for the mother-like qualities they possess and display in my life and now, in their own families.

I truly value and must thank the tender woman who voluntarily stepped into one of my dad’s shoes and took on the role of being a mother of five in an instant; the woman who temporarily put aside her own goals and ambitions to complete and care for our family. I thank her for her patience and guidance and I am grateful for the concern and love she has for each of us. I truly admire her and I hope to inherit some of her remarkable qualities some day.

And finally, I appreciate what I now believe. I believe that when we lose hold of an optimistic outlook in our situations and our personal conditions, we can risk losing what we have that is most dear and precious to our hearts simply because we forget to focus on what is positive. Even though I don’t have her, I have been given enough to help me through each day with a smile on my face and enough to know that I am okay. I now know the kind of woman I will not be, but more importantly, the kind of woman and person I will be.