A Mother’s Day Letter

A letter to my mother.

Carleta Anne Selzler

Carleta Anne Selzler

What would I say to the woman who raised me and died when I was just getting to know her?

I really don’t know. The thoughts that come to my mind aren’t the happiest. My mother was an alcoholic and she was a mean drunk. My dad was an alcoholic as well and between the two, my childhood is full of horrors that no child should ever have to endure.

When I was in my late twenties and early thirties, God gave me a wonderful gift, the ability to completely forgive and love my mom (and dad). It wasn’t within my power, because there was a lot of pain associated with her (them) – so God had to do it. I was happy to hang on to my anger, bitterness and pain. But it wasn’t doing me any good and HE knew it.

So forgive I did, and love I did also. But just when I was getting to really know and love my mom, she died a very painful death associated with esophagus cancer. It was heartbreaking to watch her go through this pain, but I really gained a knowledge of who she was and what she did for me during it all, so here it goes.

Dear Mom,

I am so very sorry that we never had the chance to do mother/daughter things together. The few we did, while house hunting after we moved back to Oklahoma, were so much fun. You were a vibrant, intelligent and beautiful person. I wish that I had gotten to see more of that side of you instead of the person you became when alcohol entered the picture. I bet you were a lot of fun.

When you were sick and I was taking care of you, you looked into my eyes and whispered, “I’m sorry you have to do this (bathe her). I used to do this for you and now you are having to do it for me.” I remember telling you that it was okay, that it was my turn and at that moment, my heart melted and I loved you dearly!

You may have not been the perfect mom – but then who is – but you were MY mom and I miss you today! You did teach me some very valuable lessons on child rearing. The importance of hugs and kisses goodbye, the necessity for proper discipline, the importance of family dinners, how to keep a clean house – and most of all, that alcohol destroys families. You may not have meant to teach this last bit, but I learned it anyway – and because of that lesson, I never allowed it into my life.

I was so very angry at you for the harm you caused and for not protecting me from other unspeakable harms, but I am so looking forward to the day when we can catch up in heaven and do the things moms and daughters were meant to do. Of all the things I am thankful for, you turning to the Lord in your last days is one that I am most thankful for!

When I was suffering from PTSD, I realized that all my scars made me who I was at that moment, and that was the mother of my three beautiful daughters. Because of what I went through, I strived to NOT repeat a pattern of abuse that had gone on for generations. I may not have been anywhere close to perfect, but I did manage this one. Also, my scars made me more patient (not perfect) and more compassionate and for that, I thank you.

I am intelligent, creative a bit of a neat freak and I know that I inherited all these good qualities from you. So Thank you and I love you. Happy Mother’s day!


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jaye Robertson
    May 12, 2013 @ 18:50:39

    Very touching words! Thank you for sharing your story.


  2. stuffitellmysister
    May 13, 2013 @ 14:58:14



  3. tchistorygal
    May 17, 2013 @ 00:17:18

    It is hard to forgive parents because somehow they were supposed to be perfect. I struggled so much to forgive and love my father, and when he died at age 63, it was a relief for me. Now, looking back, I have seen so much worse, and I can see how unloving I was. We can’t take any of it back, but we move on. You and I have moved on, and our lives are full and blessed. 🙂


  4. lifeofaministermom
    May 20, 2013 @ 04:04:21

    Beautiful, honest, and so heartfelt! Thank you for sharing!


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