Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Letterbox

Today I wrote a letter. A letter to someone who was close to one of my girls, once, but who never sees her now. A letter which is supposed to give an annual update on this child's doings.

How do you squeeze twelve months into a few short paragraphs and a handful of photographs? I could paint the picture of a sad miserable, dreadfully disabled child, or I could draw out a happy, carefree little sprite. I could fill the space available with descriptions of battles and clashes of wills, arguments and disagreements, or wax lyrical about all the lovely times.

I try to put a little of everything in, but then I wonder what this person wants to know. Do they want to know things are hard; would that help to know that seeing this child would be too hard for them? Do they want to think things are perfectly wonderful, that they aren't missed or needed? Am I sharing too much truth, will this person spend the next year worrying about the things I have mentioned? Or have I shared too little; am I short changing them?

And what of the child? What does the child think I should write? If that's too complicated a thought for now, will there be a time when the child wants to know what I have written, and what will the child think of it when they do? Am I writing this letter for me, for my child, for this other person? Am I causing them pain by writing it? Is a letter better than nothing, or does it keep the pain alive?

And in writing this letter, I have been looking back through the last year of this blog. So much in it - no wonder I'm tired. And so much which never found its way here - and again, no wonder I'm tired. A year in the life of two little girls. Progress, development, change. Illness, deterioration, pain. Holidays and hellishdays, hopes and history. The general just-about-see-a-path-through-most-of-the-chaos life we seem to live. I'm not complaining (well, not much); this is the life I chose, and I'd choose it again in a heartbeat. I'm just not sure it's necessarily the life I'd choose for the girls. But I'm reasonably certain that's not the message I want to get across in this letter.

The deed is done, the letter is written; I think it's reasonably honest and I hope it's well received. And the picture at the top has nothing to do with this; I just liked it.

Bedtime.
Tia

6 comments:

Alesha said...

...and ultimately, it's the life God chose for us. Even those of us who made the actual decision to say "yes" or "no" about having these little ones in our homes.

I often look back and think, "If I had known then what I know now..." but I know in my heart of hearts, it wouldn't have made any difference. This was my Heavenly Father's choice for me, and it is what's best for me and the child. That makes it easier for me, when the difficult times come.

We've never had to write these letters. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to choose what to write and what to leave out. I guess, ultimately, how it's received in is God's hands, as well. No matter what you say, it will be received according to the attitude of the reader. Thankfully, you don't hold any responsibility there, amen?

And I like the picture very much. :)

Alesha said...

...and ultimately, it's the life God chose for us. Even those of us who made the actual decision to say "yes" or "no" about having these little ones in our homes.

I often look back and think, "If I had known then what I know now..." but I know in my heart of hearts, it wouldn't have made any difference. This was my Heavenly Father's choice for me, and it is what's best for me and the child. That makes it easier for me, when the difficult times come.

We've never had to write these letters. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to choose what to write and what to leave out. I guess, ultimately, how it's received in is God's hands, as well. No matter what you say, it will be received according to the attitude of the reader. Thankfully, you don't hold any responsibility there, amen?

And I like the picture very much. :)

Doorless said...

Love the picture. I used to write to the Elf's father and give him pdates. It was always difficult and I;d enclose letters. When he volunteered to give up rights to her he asked he get a letter every 6 months and he used to remember her Birthday. He stopped three years ago and the last letter I sent him after that came back unopened. I no longer write.
The Princess 'Birth mon used to write on holidays and she said it was because family made her feel guilty for giving her up. She quit after the 2nd year. I found it sad in each case for the girls but it feels like maybe their parents got on with living.
I am glad I was chosen to parent these special children.
I am glad you were chosen. God is good!
Love the picture!

Kris said...

I just found you through Alex's mom's blog who was linked from No Hands But Ours- I am so glad I found you, your writing is compelling and I'm a newly adoptive mom to an almost 4 year old with spina bifida and working the system, meeting her needs, etc is challenging though I admit, she has this incredible, beautiful, happy spirit that is so bright it's hard to ever feel bad on any given day. We've yet to meet with her specialists... those appts have been rescheduled for next Monday and my peds office I'm not thrilled with, it's taken up to 3 weeks (still going) to get her wheelchair and that's due to their mistakes.

Anyway. I'm saving your site. And doing some more reading.

HennHouse said...

I just love what Alesha said...

My name is Linzi said...

Hi
I don.t remember how I found your blog I just did and I am so happy I have. You are a wonderful writer, your have a good balance of the good and bad times we all go through. My baby, my first child suffered a severe brain injury at birth so he has his own little mix of problems but I am so lucky to have my little man. Thanks for giving me another insight into our special little world.
Linzi
www.thebotwithfivenames.blogspot.com

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