Someday, maybe you will both read this. If and when you do, I hope this letter finds you both happy and healthy. There are no words that can completely explain what it is that I feel for the two of you, everything you mean to me, and all the ways you have changed my life and me as a person. But I shall try.
When I first found out I was pregnant with Dylan, I was in shock. I literally took four, maybe five, pregnancy tests. They all came up positive, and I was still in disbelief. At one point, your dad and I went to the drug store and I took one test (the third, I believe) in the bathroom at the store. Back in the car, I read the results to your dad. It was positive, of course. I tossed the stick in the backseat and told your dad to go get me another one. My shock remained through most of my pregnancy. I remember at one point my mother telling me I was the most in denial pregnant girl she’d ever met. I was about 6 months prego at the time. It’s really not crazy, though, that I was so surprised. Your dad had already had a vasectomy… that apparently didn’t take. I was 29 years old, had been previously married for a short time, had not been on birth control in years, and had still never gotten pregnant. With all the “Fertile Myrtles” in our family, I was beginning to think I couldn’t have kids. But, no, I was just destined to have you beautiful babies with your beautiful father.
The time when which Dylan was conceived and born was also the hardest time of my life to date. My father had died of a sudden heart attack less than six months prior to me finding out I was pregnant. Your grandpa was a kind, dependable, strong, trustworthy, honest, hard working man who loved his children and grandchildren very much. Probably the biggest heart ache of my life thus far is knowing that my sweet babies were deprived of having such a wonderful person in your lives.
Someday, you will hopefully know the joy and sacrifice of having children. It’s not easy. It is constant work to take care of someone else to the best of your ability, worried always that you’re doing something wrong and are somehow going to decrease the chances of the ones you love growing up to lead healthy, happy, and functioning lives. These are the things I worry about, at least.
You both changed me in so many ways. Because of you, I want to live a healthier and more fulfilling life. I want to be a role model and example for you, and I want to take better care of myself so that I can take better care of you. I mean this in every aspect: physically, spiritually, financially, and so on. I want to make sure you know that you can follow your dreams and make your life whatever you want. And I want to be the living example of this that you can look to and be proud of. In all these ways, your sweet, innocent beauty inspires me to be the best that I can be. You have given me a worthy reason to love and live life to the fullest: my love for you and my want for YOUR LIVES to be full of love and fulfillment.
This is my endeavor, but I am far from perfect, as you know better than anyone. I apologize now for any way that I have or will fail you. I can promise you to do my best, and that is really all that I am capable of. I will try to be creative in the ways that I show you that you can live this life and find much joy and happiness. I will do my best to exemplify for you healthy habits and healthy living so that it may be an integral part of who you are. But I am not perfect. And I do not expect you to be, either. What I do hope for is that you take responsibility for yourself someday, both for your achievements and your mistakes. No one is perfect. It does not matter how many mistakes you make in life, I promise you that I will always love you. So will God, so will the Universe, so will many others around you. Everyone makes bad decisions. Everyone messes up. Know that I believe in you, no matter what.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
The key to making mistakes is to admit it, learn from it, make it right as best you can, ask for forgiveness if this is appropriate, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and then move on. If you can do these things, no mistake is in vain for it was, if nothing else, a learning experience. I hope to raise you well enough to make you strong in character so that you will know to avoid making those kinds of bad choices that are hard to come back from. But, even if you do make some awful mistake or if the world seems to fall apart, keep trying, believing in yourself, do not give up on yourself or the world around you, and you will succeed. I promise. You can be happy. You are loved.
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist
I love you. I want you to know how much love there is in the world. Even if you ever get to a point when it feels like you have nothing, you have lost everything, or the ones you love have all forsaken you, I want you to know that this is not true. There is always someone who is willing to show you kindness and love. There are always people who are worthy of your trust. There is beauty all around you, though there may be times in your life when you have to look hard to find it. But do look for it. For this is what will help save your soul and bring you happiness: believing in and having the ability to see the love and beauty around you
“Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”
~Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata“
I get to see your beautiful smiles everyday. They are infectious and bring joy to many. I see the beauty in your hearts. I see the brightness of your souls. Even as children, you are smart, sweet, kind, and strong. I am so grateful for you.
I write you this letter for many reasons. One being because tomorrow is never guaranteed and God forbid it happen that I am not around to tell you all this someday when you are old enough to understand it. I will do my best to take care of myself to help ensure that I am here for you for a long, long time. The main reason I write you this, though, is merely because I love you so much. You make my heart want to sing. You inspire poetry in my soul. And I want you to have these words to read whenever you may need them. They are true. I want you to know how beautiful you are, how beautiful the world around you can be, and that you can be happy. That is what I want for you more than anything; for you to be happy, and I hope that you will try to spread that love and joy to those around you. I will love you forever. I will be with you always.
There is so much more that I have to say to you, but I will save it for another letter. Hugs and kisses to you, my luvs.
Your Mama and Biggest Fan,
Sandra Lea Highfill