A Letter to My Daughter

My dear Amber,
Our history is rich with letter writing. A letter for going off to college. A letter when conflicts between us needed the reflection inherent in letter writing. Letter writing when I thought cancer might take me from you while you still needed a mother’s wisdom. And now, I am writing a letter as you begin your next new adventure, your move one thousand miles away from everything you know.

I know that this move seems surreal to you at the same time you are excited beyond words. And I am just as excited for you. But this move will bring its own unique experiences and some will be joyful and some will be difficult. When the difficult moments come, I want you to remember something. Difficult moments do not mean you made the wrong decision or you have necessarily done something wrong. It means, my dear daughter, that you are alive. Because it is life that brings us joy and life that brings us pain. Sometimes pain is a natural consequence for a choice we have made. And sometimes pain, like cancer, comes for no reason at all.

Even if dark days come as a result of a decision you’ve made, you have the power to make that decision differently without ever having it define who you are. Every moment, every day has the potential for us to learn, grow, and do life differently. Every moment, every day has the power to move us from light to darkness to light again. Remembering that will make dark moments easier to tolerate.

I have loved you from the moment I learned you were growing inside me and that love keeps expanding as our time together marches forward. I love your sense of humor, your intelligence when you drop a logic bomb on me. I love your assertiveness when you say, “Let me tell you what I need.” I love how you hold me accountable when I step over a boundary with my “mom nagging”. I love your dramatic impressions of me as a mom when you were a teenager. That love will follow you as you begin the second act of your life. So, as you continue to experience the dark days and light days of life, remember that you have the power to learn and grow, because you are alive and you are loved.


Just a short time ago, I received the following letter in response to my blog post. I wanted to share it with you, my readers.

I loved your blog post. It’s funny because I just finished reading it after having one more girls night out with my friends. As I was driving home, I was thinking about all of the changes that are about to happen. In a way, it feels like right before leaving for college all over again. This is the furthest away from home I will be, I won’t know anyone, I’ll be starting a new chapter. Then I got the notification of a new blog post.. It was perfect and reminded me that while this is the farthest away from home I will have ever lived and I am starting a new chapter, I won’t be alone. I am taking all of my friends and family with me. I am taking laughter from my sister, determination from my step-monster, and bravery in the face of change from my mom. I am going with the love and support of my family and their utter belief that I will be successful in this new chapter. I am grateful for them and it reminds me to take time, even in the big changes whether good or bad, to be grateful for the experiences I’m in. The bad times make the good times better and family makes all of it survivable. So thank you to my family for the love and support and let the next adventure begin.