cluttering the net since 2001

dear pap and gram

Friday, Feb. 20, 2004
excerpt of a letter I wrote to my grandparents…edited for use here

Recently I was referred to an author by the name of (intentionally deleted), his current book (intentionally deleted), has been on the New York Times bestseller list for months and months, if not the entire past year. I saw his recent request on his website for interesting family stories under the subject like “When I learned what Family is All about.” I sent him a brief synopsis of my family situation. He contacted me and he and I are going to meet in March to discuss things. He is going to include the story of my father and I reconciling in his next novel. I suppose he’s interested in it because despite everything my father did or did not do, I still chose to forgive him and spent the next 2 ½ years having a nice relationship with him because of my willingness to forgive. He also touched on the fact that my mother has had no dealings with me for nearly 15 years. It will be 15 years this year. I cannot believe that. I think about that number and it doesn’t seem possible and yet it is. 15 years???? Wow. We did a brief telephone interview so he could outline the in person interview that will take place and during that interview he asked me if I felt this event has impacted my entire adult life. Absolutely. He then asked me if Bucky was affected adversely. I don’t think so. I think there’s always been that gray area for him of knowing I have a mother somewhere, but he doesn’t understand or truly know the entire matter. I don’t think he lacks for anything because of her absence from his life. If she has no love she’s willing to give, then how can he be missing out. I wish he had a grandmother, just as I wish I had a mother but I cannot move mountains and I have learned to walk around them instead. I can say it doesn’t bother me any longer, but that would be a lie. I sometimes lie in bed at night and wonder how things in my life might have been different had this event never happened. I do think it contributed to the demise of my marriage in some ways because I have always had this emptiness that nothing else has been able to fill. Incidentally this is something I feel bf can relate to because he’s also fairly young and has lost both of his parents to illnesses. He knows what it is like to live your life without parents at a fairly young age. It will always haunt me that I have a mother, but I don’t have a mother do I?

So basically, two exciting things about this, this horrible story will be in a book for all to see and hopefully my story will help someone else to forgive a family member and heal and move on with life, and I get to meet a bestselling author. Incidentally I read his bestselling book before this. Really strange how some things are just meant to be.

I’d like to state emphatically that I never have thought my father was anything less than extremely flawed. I just have a much brighter outlook where he is concerned because he had the guts to say he did something wrong and ask for forgiveness. My mother on the other hand, I could crawl through the depths of hell on my hands and knees while having gasoline poured over my entire body burning up in flames asking for forgiveness of her for something she herself did and it would not alleviate or change a damned thing. For this reason I do not hate her, nor do I wish her bad, I simply do not and will never understand how a mother can irrevocably turn her back on her own child. I will always be deeply wounded by her ability to stand next to me and ignore that I exist.

I will speak about my story publicly if necessary and I say this because I have done nothing wrong to her and though I will never badmouth her, I will also never understand. Mr. (author) asked me if I hated her to which I quickly replied, “no I never have and I never will I just don’t think there’s much that will change, this is just how it is.”

Funny how I didn’t start this letter intending to write about this, it just happened. I suppose because I am going to talk about this and it might be something that comes up in the future. I also intend to have my story published with my name as Kristy Ch********* as well. I just feel it’s the best thing. This way I cannot be contacted by the public as I have no numbers or anything listed that way and I just would rather do that as a tribute to my Dad than do something using ex’s name. I know that few people understand the nature of the relationship I had with my father during those two and a half years and most people feel it was all a scam etc. I can only say that I am glad I forgave him, there is a peace within that came from that action and from those 2 ½ years. I used to care what people thought about it all, I no longer do. I know I am a better person for all of my life experiences.

Recently ex asked me for forgiveness again. He did this last year as well. Ironically he tells his girlfriend we don’t speak when in fact we do speak often. When he apologized again to me stating he knows that he messed things up but felt that he couldn’t ever fix things between us and gave up, I finally accepted his apology. The power of forgiveness in my life is amazing. When I finally forgave him I also let it all go. I’ll never like the things he did to me, but I can learn to let them go and move on. I am working on this part of my personality. I don’t always let things go, must be the Italian anger in me. I don’t know. I just know that again a huge burden was lifted from me when I finally told him I forgave him and meant it. I don’t wish him ill, and I suppose if I had the choice of picking a man that was a wonderful husband but a crappy father or a crappy husband but a wonderful father, I would have picked the latter for Bucky’s sake so perhaps I didn’t come out of it unscathed or without my own pain, but Bucky is lucky because he still has a mother and a father that love him madly and work together to make sure he has everything he needs. There are divorced people who never get to that point, so I have learned to be grateful for all that I do have instead of spending hours thinking about all that I don’t have.

I think about you guys often, I know you don’t know that, but I do. I certainly miss homemade spaghetti and polka’s playing on Sunday. I have this really vivid memory of riding in the green Buick with Pap on a sunny day, the sun was streaming into the car and the polka’s were playing and I only recall that he picked me and my sister up from our house and we were going to your house for what must have been Sunday dinner, I remember how happy I felt inside, I remember how I always thought that Pap had this perfect hair like out of a 1960’s black and white film that all those handsome men have. I remember feeling so content and so at peace. I have a lot of those small blip type memories. Always a pot of something hot on the stove, always a warm greeting, I miss those times. I think about them a lot. Mr. (author) asked me if I felt I had a strong sense of family even after what happened. My immediate reply to that question was, “yes because I had these great grandparents who definitely made up for anything I might have lacked growing up with an alcoholic.” I love you guys and I love the fact that I have these wonderful memories. They are something no amount of money could ever match.

Ya know, I still can remember Aunt Kathy having a cheerleading megaphone. I remember being a little girl and thinking she was just the total best thing ever. I remember going to all the stores shopping for her career clothes, riding in her gray buick with the black interior. I had a lot of good things to look up to growing up. I recall my Uncle Dave telling me once in a letter that sometimes in life you are going to disappoint people and sometimes they will disappoint you but the only thing you can hope to learn to do is try your best. Even now I know he’s a part of me, all those letters, all those exchanges, he formulated a lot of good things within me. I often wonder what might have been had there been more time for it to happen for him. I don’t know why I think about these things except that I know I am the sum of all things that happened in my childhood. I remember writing to him about my first boyfriend being all excited about it and he told me “there is no boy that can love you more than you can love yourself.” He was a wealth of wisdom for someone so young and to this day when I think about his age at that time compared to my age and the way in which he spoke to me it still amazes me. I suppose he learned it all the hard way. I have a vivid memory of lying with him on that big black furry couch you used to have and watching the Adam’s family shortly before he enlisted in the service and left, again that feeling of complete contentment is what I remember the most. I know that he had his faults, just as my father had his own, and I myself have my own list. In the end, I have learned the value of accepting people entirely for all that they are. I love my mother and I always will. I love her because I remember all the years she endured my father’s misgivings and wrong doings in the interest of what was best for us. I have a better grasp on all of it, but I doubt I’ll ever have the chance to explain these things to her as she is not willing or open to such things. I hope she is well and happier these days, I would say even in light of it all, that she deserves those things as much as I do.

Again, I didn’t plan for this letter to be what it is, and I hope it is received well despite that. I love you both and I do think of you often.

Tell everyone I said hello and be well.

My love, ……………………………
12:12 p.m. ::
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