~* a letter to my daughter *~

When I come to a hard place or a new challenge, I often find inspiration and hope only when I get quiet enough inside to pause and notice what’s around me.  It is usually at these moments that I find something in a book or article or quote from a friend that helps.  Today I found such inspiration in a letter to Hannah which I scribbled on the back of an envelope 18 months ago.  I was using the envelope as a bookmark while reading “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach.  Inside the envelope was a “dinner time schedule” written by Alex, which not only listed his preferred foods, but was also a powerful statement of his feelings & desires concerning our family and the struggles we were going through.  These letters reminded me today that I do not need to be afraid because LOVE is real and all is possible. 

Have you ever felt completely filled with the desire to communicate something important to someone you love, but for whatever reason you knew they would not be able to hear or understand it at the time?  Next time that feeling wells up in you, try writing it down– scribble it on a napkin if you have no better option– and then tuck it away in a drawer for later.  Write to someone else, or write to yourself.  You may be amazed at how your words will come back to you when you need them most.


April 12, 2010

Dear Hannah,

I’m writing this to you on the train home from work.  You probably will never read it, but I felt compelled to put these thoughts on paper.  I am reading a wonderful book called “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach.  It is about learning to accept all parts of ourselves and to really feel calm in our hearts & minds no matter what is going on around us.  Right now at home things have been so hard for us all.  Daddy & I are having a rough time, Alex has been out of control.  Money worries occupy my mind, we are separating & trying to move forward & make it all okay for you & Alex. 

You are almost 5 and you are a wonder.  You are bright & beautiful, a joy to behold and to be with.  I love you so much.  You cry to me that you are afraid of Alex’s outbursts, that you miss me or Daddy when we are not with you.  You say you’re afraid a lot.  I want to do nothing else but hold you on my lap and rock you and make it okay for you.  I am writing simply to tell you that I believe the things I am learning in this book will help, that somehow I will find out how to calm everything inside me, to find hope, to make it better.  Just as I had natural childbirth so I could be there for you when you become a mother someday, so too I feel I am meant to learn the things I am learning so I can share them with you.

You are so little, yet so big at the same time.  My “baby” who is destined to shine a beautiful, strong light in the world.  I would never tell you this directly– because no child should have to feel so much responsibility– but sometimes I think if it were not for you, my beautiful girl, I would give up and run away.  You are the reason I keep trying, keep working.

I love you and Alex beyond what words can express– up to the moon and back.  For Alex I try to keep my body strong and my creative mind sharp so I can hold him and find solutions for his challenges.  But for you, little one, I try to keep my spirit positive, to nurture my soul and the little girl and the grown woman all wrapped up inside.  For you, Hannie, I pray that God will help me find a way to do what others may see as impossible tasks– to find a way through this hard time to a place of true internal peace where there is no fear, no sadness or loneliness, only a deep security and true love.  I will show you by my example that LOVE is real and you do not need to be afraid.



Preface to Alex’s letter:  Keep a few things in mind as you read the following.  First, we often ate dinner together at the coffee table in the living room while watching movies (“Alvin & the Chipmunks” was the favorite at the time).  Second, Alex was just starting to learn prepositions.  And third, for whatever reason, this half-Italian kid had recently decided he was not eating pasta anymore– he made that pretty clear.


Dinner Time Schedule

(subtitled:  Dinner with Mommy and Daddy)

Name                Alex                 

With a fork and knives and spoon

What are we doing in here

For at the black table for dinner on plate

At dinner at chicken and rice and blockly and carets to eat for your hots dogs

for at the ketchup and salsa

And cut the bread into haves

From at the syrup please

From at the mustard please

With Hannah and Mommy and Daddy For at the Both Here

From at Both Please in the living room

From at Simon Alvin and Theodore

Where are Both Together

For sit on the couch with Mommy and Daddy

for brown pillows

At dinner

for Not noodles

Say Story Please From At Dinner Time Please.

(The last sentence was written larger than the rest and Alex drew a big box around it.  This story expressed something important for him & he wanted to make sure we read it out loud & really heard it.)

Today I am grateful for written words, expressions of love, hopefulness, moments of insight into Alex’s world & the connections I have with both of my children.  What will you write today?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Happy 11th Birthday Alex « Autism Home Rescue

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