A letter from my first baby girl...

Mother's Day. I celebrate being a mother, everyday. I never imagined what saving the life of my first baby girl would mean to so many. God truly blessed us by bringing us together again, weaving her family with mine. Wayne, my precious son, only wanted to know if I was okay when he found out I let her go when she was born. My sweet baby girl, Krista, was delighted. She always wanted a sister. As Mother's Day approaches, Rebecca, my first baby girl, shared a letter with me & I wanted to share it with you...If you want to learn more about how a few moments of teenage indiscretion changed my life, and theirs, order a copy of my story, PROVIDENCE FOR A FIRST MOM. Available at PROGRESSIVERISINGPHOENIX.COM and wherever books are sold.

Dear Mom,

While Jim Brickman's BY HEART was meant as a song about a romantic-love commitment, since I met you, it's always been about you. That first summer I met you and I went home early, I listened to this over and over and over. Even when we were estranged a few years later, by my choice, this song remained about you. You are my missing piece. I don't always show you these strong feelings but every day I'm not with you in person, I grieve you. I know it's not fair for you to shoulder the burden of my loss, when you have lived with your own. It's grief because it comes out of nowhere and can take my breath away, twist my heart and bring me to my knees in a heartbeat. My eyes well with tears so easily. Your handwriting in those old letters, your face in photos, thinking of how it felt not to know you, being ashamed of how I set you aside, when I'm sick and someone else is bringing me an ice bag, seeing white Keds like you were wearing when I misbehaved in New Orleans, cooking with Tony's, the ring next to the Deschutes in Bend where we had our photo taken, at the Pacific Coast, when I sing praise music, when I look in the mirror and see my body like yours in that hotel room so long ago. Logically, I know why we live apart. Emotionally, I will never get over losing you the first time. It was the right thing and I've learned to manage my feelings. I never could have recovered enough to be a loving, mindful person without your influence. My mom and I would not be as close if it hadn't been for you. Not in the obvious way of never being relinquished, but in the more subtle way of me realizing everything she has done for me when you have brought it to my attention. The admiration and love you have shown me that you feel toward her. I admit I punished her for not being you. My feelings could swallow me whole, if I let them. When I am in the darkness of my depression, I cannot think of you for even a moment. I am afraid of the way I love you. Of the way I need you. I never want to overburden or suffocate you. I am overwhelmed by how proud I am of you. Yes, it's amazing that you wrote a book about relinquishing me and it was published. Yes, your career of caring for patients is admirable. Your commitment to the Marine Corps is noble. What I am most proud of after all these years is the example that you set for me, a life of faith, self-care and always striving to be the best you, you can be. It is so hard to recover from your past and yet you never stop trying. I believe that you will stand in front of that mirror and love yourself the way I love you. You will tell yourself, "I am enough. More than enough.”

Love, Rebecca

When you go

I'll stop the clock

I won't ever

Let this moment stop

Time is stealin’ you from me

But it can never take this memory

'Til the stars fall from the sky

'Til I find a reason why

And darling as the years go by

'Til there's no tears left to cry

'Til the angels close my eyes

And even if we’re worlds apart

I'll find my way back to you by heart

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