Saturday, September 1, 2012

For My Son Sach on His 15th Birthday

My Dearest Son Sach,

You're 15 years old today, and I am so happy to see you growing up and becoming a truly lovely young man. Of all the many, many good things I have in my life, I count my children as my greatest blessings.  They are a gift to me from God. I sometimes wonder what I ever did in my life to deserve such lovely gifts, but then I remember that gifts aren't earned, they are given freely, and for some reason God saw fit to give you to me.

What a wonderful gift you are to me. I am so grateful for your kindly ways and loving heart. I know it isn't easy being a teenager, and some days you feel like you really want to be left alone and the world encroaches into your space and everything is annoying (oh wait, that's how I feel!!) but thank you for the kindness you show me and everyone else at home with your patience and understanding. It is very much appreciated. You have a way about you that naturally draws people to you. While you may not perceive yourself to be a people person, you have a talent for working well with others and helping those who need assistance. I see that in you all the time.

When you were very young you were always trying to make your voice heard. It seemed even then that your older brother spoke for you and so you eventually became quite comfortable being fairly quiet. It was only when you had something truly important to say that you spoke up, and people listened because you made sense. I hope that you will continue to find your voice and make your opinions heard over all the noise that exists around you. Certainly our home can be a circus with all four of you speaking up, and often I notice that you stay quiet. Still waters run deep... I know that is true with you. Your mind is always busy working and I know you have ideas and opinions on many things. Speak up, I love hearing you share your ideas. They are a window into your soul, and I know deep inside you is a fascinating logical thinker who is a very intelligent person and for whom much of the noise around him is rather pointless and immature. Someday we will all grow up together, I promise you :)

I look back at your infancy and early childhood and I remember that those were difficult times for me trying to manage two young boys and failing health at the same time. It was when you were very young that I was finally diagnosed with Crohn's after 3 years of symptoms. I remember how tired I was and how little energy I had and yet I wanted to do so much with my two little boys and I always felt that somehow I wasn't giving you enough time and attention. I think all mothers who have more than one child feel this way. I look back and sometimes I wish things had been different with my health and I had done so much more for you and with you.

I don't know why illness came into my life and robbed me of the best years of my life, but I do know that even though I was unwell, and had many ups and downs, at the end of the day it was always a joy having you and your siblings in my life. I felt guilt ridden then, and to some extent I still do now.  But illness is out of my control, and no one can predict how things will unfold in the future, and so I have learnt to be more accepting of the way things are, and to be more forgiving of my own failings.

I look at you now and I am amazed at the person you are and you are becoming over time, and I know that God has been at work in all our lives. My own weakness has been a testament to His loving kindness and care in our lives. I am grateful that while on many occasions I was in hospital or just resting at home your father was there, and with his love and guidance also you have grown up to be a sweet and loving person. It gives me great comfort to know that your life thus far, and how you grow further, is not entirely dependent on me. I am relieved that despite my limitations you are doing well.

No matter where you go in life, no matter what you do, no matter who or what you become, I will always love you. You are mine, a gift from God and yet you are not mine to hold on to forever. I must let you go to find your own way in life. Always remember that who you are is enough. You do not need to be as sociable as your older brother or as chatty as your younger sister, who you are is who you are. And you are wonderful. Within you lies a deep thinking person who will bloom in his own time and make his own mark on this world. Follow your own path, make your own way in life. I expect nothing more nor less from you.

Do stay loving and patient and kind, for these are the hallmarks of a real man. And don't forget how loved you are, and how much joy you have brought me over the past 15 years that I have had the privilege to be your mother. I look forward to continuing on our journey together, and come what may, I will always be here for you. I love you, Sach. Always have, always will.

With much love and affection,