No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A letter to an old friend

Dear Old Friend,

We were once like sisters. So alike, you and I, that our first cars were the same, right down to the key. But mine was more rusted than yours. We learned to flirt together. We learned to make ourselves HAWT together. We skipped school, ran the streets, and had parties when your parents were out of town.
I remember the day you told me you were pregnant, and I think surely I felt as much fear for you as you felt for yourself. Immediately I became your protector, your guardian. Remember that time I pulled over to get out of the car and yell at the other driver for being an idiot and didn't he know I had a pregnant woman in my car??! We were just kids ourselves back then. Not even out of high school yet. We grew up together, and together we figured out that this whole teenage motherhood thing is a lot more difficult than either of us had realized before. It didn't really matter that the Dad didn't want to be around at that time, you had me, your family, and a host of friends. I was there for the ultrasound and to hear the heartbeat. I was there when she was born on Valentine's Day.
We grew up some, but we also took paths that more responsible people would not have taken.
Still, through trying times, through heartaches and upheaval, we remained as tight as sisters.
I was there when your second and third daughters were born too. They all called me Aunt Fortune Cookies and ran to greet me with big smiles every time I came to visit.
You were the first person I ever told some of my darkest secrets to. And you were one of the first people I ever told I was gay. I still remember your response, do you? You smiled and said "So what?! That doesn't change you. You're still my Fortune Cookies, and I still love you. As long as you're happy, I'm happy for you. Is she cute?"
And right away, you accepted this change in my life. When I told you about my family's reaction, your response was that you and your family would always be my family and that you could not understand how a parent could do such a thing to their child.
I've always loved and appreciated you for that.

About a year ago, that Valentine's Day baby of yours, now a seventeen year old young lady, sent me an email. She said she had some big problem and really needed someone to talk to. She simply could not face you or her Dad with it, and hoped she could talk to me.
I read that email many times. Many thoughts ran through my head.
She's pregnant, she's on drugs, she has some incurable VD, she's suicidal... I always was quite the worrier.
I thought back to when I used to hold her in my lap and recite the alphabet or test her on her math. I thought about the times I held her while she cried herself to sleep. I thought about the time her father took over custody of her and how she would cry and cry and cry when it was time to go back to his house and how it broke my heart. It took a lot of courage for me to finally write back to her to find out what was going on with her.
As you know by now, your daughter simply wanted to tell you the same thing I told you so many years ago. She's in love, and it's with a girl. My reaction? Relief. I was relieved she was not failing school, doing drugs, knocked up, etc.
And I told her about when I told you about me, and how you responded. I told her that I thought she would be surprised by her mother's resilience and love for her.
That is why it makes me so sad and pained to hear from her what your response has been.
Your daughter is your daughter, no matter who she loves. I hope you will remember that, and remember that you once knew that love is love and that it is never wrong when two people love each other. I hope your Valentine's Baby and you can find some resolution, my dear friend, because ignoring her partner will only push her away from you. Asking her to deny who she innately is will only make her miserable. I have tried to contact you to talk about this, but to no avail.
I want you to know that there are many groups out there for parents such as yourself, that can help you with understanding what is happening and how to handle it. Groups like PFLAG, and they have chapters everywhere, I bet there's even one near that little ole town you live in.
I know you still have my number, so won't you please use it if you'd like someone to talk to?

With much love,

4 cookies cracked:

Karen said...

You are so lucky to be able to help someone who is in need. Your letter gave me chills.

Jessica said...

Again, please write a book! :) I am so moved by your letter. I'm glad she could turn to you, and I know her mother will come around too.

Camlin said...

What I find heartening is that this young girl has you to turn to...I hope her mother comes around!

Stacey said...

So sorry to hear this. I hope her parents come to their senses.