I could not have asked to be born to better people in the world. You might not have been the best parents, but you were far, far, far from the worst. You did the best you could. I wasn’t an easy child to live with and train for the world, and for that I’m sorry.
Dad, you know how I feel. I wrote a letter to you telling you just how much I loved and admired you before you passed away. I know Grandpa didn’t understand why I didn’t return home to take care of you after Mom died. I’d like to think you understood, that you were proud I was serving my country, even after I left the Navy.
I’m sorry you didn’t get a chance to walk me down the aisle. For years I felt the pain of never finding someone who loved me, but now it’s more a regret that you didn’t get to experience it. Maybe you were right. Maybe I was looking for someone “just like my old man” (as you put it). That person just doesn’t exist.
Mom, you had a heart of pure gold. You were the nicest, kindest person I ever met. I mentioned this once to Margie’s sister-in-law; she said Margie had said the same thing. (And you thought she didn’t approve of you!) You left a legacy of good works in our little town, often behind the scenes and without glory. When Dad died, a woman came up to me at the reception and said, “You had such wonderful parents.” And even though you’d been gone for several years, she added, “Including your mother.”
I know you felt absolute responsibility for Dad after he had his stroke, and that your peace would come after he died. One night I lay in bed thinking about all the things we’d do. Then a thought entered my head, What if Mom dies before Dad? I shook the thought away. God wouldn’t let that happen. I was wrong. You were the glue that held Roger and me together. Without you, we’ve become estranged. That probably makes you as sad as I am.
I think back to the times I disappointed both of you and my heart breaks. That I didn’t take you to Capri when you came to visit me in Italy. That time I missed my flight from Providence and decided not to come home rather than catch another flight. I should have been more thoughtful of you, but I am selfish at heart.
I wish I’d been prettier, more well-adjusted and self-confident, anything that wouldn’t have made me an outcast growing up. I wish you could have felt the joy of your daughter succeeding and being well liked. But I was hard-wired a certain way, and acted in a manner that didn’t draw people to me. You deserved better.
I’ve done okay in life, and am reasonably happy. Yes, there are things I’d like to change. But I can’t change Roger, who was constantly judgmental of me. Nor can I change the past. I can only change me, and if I can be more like the two of you, the world might be a better place.
I love you, Gailann