The Letter I Will Never EVER Send by Melissa Rosella

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Dear Vince,

I came to the Landmark Forum to forgive you for blaming me for my mom’s mental illness. It’s been 22 years.

I’d like to apologize for all the resentment I’ve been carrying around towards you. You were doing your best with the skill set & knowledge you had at the time. You wanted to fix her & it angered you that you could not do so. Vince, you are not responsible for mom’s mental illness, not at fault for a single moment. You can’t prevent genetics & neither can I.

Will you please forgive me for not being more kind to you, for not being more gentle, & for not showing compassion towards you?

I’ve been wrapped up in my own pain. I’ve failed to see it from your perspective. What was it like being married to my mom- a woman who went from a vivacious, active, & alert go getter, to a flat affect, delusional, voice hearing, & self- harming woman that chanted hymns all night & drove with her eyes closed?

I’m sorry that I failed to see things from your view. It must have been awful & it has to be hard for you, still, as mom is still struggling, mentally, & now dealing with debilitating Parkinson’s & dementia.

It was wonderful seeing you & mom these last few days. It was hard, at times, for me, so I know it’s hard for you to live it, day in & day out. Mom does her best. You have your own struggles, as you can’t see, hear, or walk very well. Just do your very best & ask for help when needed.

Forgive me for not considering your feelings. I’m here now to listen to you & we can heal together. It truly was so great seeing you, again, after all these years. Your mind is still so sharp at 82. You surprise me.

I’m certain when mom became schizophrenic, it was hard on you. You wanted to fix it, but you can’t fix genetics. You must have been scared like me. What was it like for you- to be married to my vivacious mom & suddenly, almost overnight, you wake up to a completely different person & then are forced to have her committed to a mental institution because she is harming herself? That must have been hard.

I’m sorry you had to go through that. I’m sorry for my lack of compassion & understanding.

I remember how special you made our Christmases together. You made a huge soot footprint, on the cranberry velvet pillow, next to the fireplace. My eyes got really big, as I was certain Santa was real.

I love your delicious homemade meatballs, your polish stuffed cabbages, your boysenberry cheesecake, & your yummy meatloaf.

I love playing ‘penny in the pot’ with you. Maybe you can show me your coin collection next time I come to visit. I know you love to collect coins.

Thank you for buying me a laptop, recently. It allows me to write & hasn’t been taken over by my husband and kids. It houses all my most vulnerable & authentic writing pieces. Your generosity is much appreciated.

I love you and wish you no Ill will, Vince. Please forgive me for not being kind, for gossiping about you, & for my lack of empathy. I’m certain it has not been easy for you. & yet, you’ve stayed with my mom for 28 years.

I hope you felt my love for you, these past few days, when I deliberately kissed your cheeks everyday & wrapped my arms around your neck upon leaving & returning.

I hope you heard me, today, when I told you that I loved you from the doorway, as you were being helped out of your wheelchair & into the front seat, to go to the doctor. You did not reply & that is ok. I just want you to know that I care for you.

I will meet you where you are & focus on the good. I want to move forward & leave the past in the past & build a closer relationship with you.

Thank you for all you’ve done for me for the last 28 years. There have been many good times, lots of laughs, & lots of fun had.

Thank you for accepting me & embracing when you married mom. Thank you for making holidays special, for taking us on multiple fun-filled vacations. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me over the last 28 years. I care for you & always will.

Until I see you again,

Mel

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