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Dear Ms. Feverfew –

Not much to say today, except that this last week was Homecoming there at your school & I was wondering if you went, if you had fun, what your dress looked like, who your date was…those kinds of details. Or maybe you didn’t go (I know I certainly missed my fair share of school dances!!!) and you stayed home instead. If that’s the case, what did you do? Did you watch your favorite movies instead? Gosh…what are your favorite movies?

It’s strange for me to think that you are about the same age I was when my world started to unravel, when the center simply could not hold any longer. Even though it was the summer between my junior & senior year that my sister died in a horrible car accident there on I-15, I was only 16 at the time – just about your age. Her funeral was held on the first day of my senior year. Lets just say things just went down hill from there. That’s the same time that all of the abuse crap from my bio-father came out, the same time my younger sisters went off the deep end with drugs and alcohol, the same time my mother started accusing me of being a whore & telling me the only reason a man would ever date me was to “get into my pants.” That’s the same time period I decided school was just too much for me and so I dropped out, even though I only had less than a semester left and a 3.85 GPA. That’s the time period my neighbor who happened to be the Relief Society presidents son and was 29 at the time (I was 16), raped me and when I told my Bishop, he disfellowshipped me and didn’t let me graduate from seminary because I wasn’t “worthy.”

Wow, looking back at that, it’s a wonder that I survived at all. I certainly hope that your senior year is a little more peaceful than mine. Perhaps this was one of the driving forces for my heart-wrenching decision to place you for adoption.

At that time, I could not conceive of ever being able to provide a life that had a different story than mine and I thought I was protecting you from all of that. I know differently now – I know that I am a damn good mother and could have protected you from many of the evils I had to face. I didn’t know that then though. I didn’t know at that time I could protect you from my biological father. Since I have had the chance to parent Captain Knuckle & The Good Professor, I know now¬† I can because I do on a daily basis.

Maybe someday I will get to tell you how sorry I am for not trusting myself more but for now I have to take solace in the fact that I am doing what I can with what I have.

Much love,

M.

So many what if’s…

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

My new neighbor has a daughter who is a junior this year in high school, just like you. I watch her coming home from school every day and wonder what it would be like to have you coming home to our house every day after piano/volleyball/English/math/science/life.

I watch Rachel interacting with her mom and wonder…would we be like that? What would our relationship have been like? Would you give me a hurried kiss on the cheek as you run upstairs to change before heading off to Young Women’s for the evening? Would I have to holler for you to come back downstairs and finish dinner before you left and ask you to please pick up your socks in the bathroom on your way back down?

So many what ifs, you know? Sometimes if feels so strange watching other girls your age. I have always done it and wondered…how much are you like others your same age? I would like to believe that you are brilliant, articulate, sociable, breathtakingly beautiful, ambitious, well-read, and most of all kind.

So tell me, what are you like at 16 years, three months, and one week old?

M.