An open letter to my son Justin Amador on his 18th birthday

If anyone who knows Justin Amador comes across this letter, I beg you to please let him read this. I have not been with him since December 27, 2008, through no fault of mine. I have been estranged from him all this time and only want him to know I wish him well. I do this with the hope that somehow it will reach him.

 

18 December 2013

Dearest Justin,

I hope this note finds you well and happy on your 18th birthday. I can only hope that this reaches you and that you read it with an open mind.

Little did I dream that I would not be sharing it, or the last 5 years with you, but do know that I have and always will love you. Leaving you was not my choice, and I’m sorry that you believe everything your father has been telling you since you were 6 years old, when I had to return to work full time because we had no other source of income. I’m just sorry that I could not stay with you all those years because I had to provide everything for a family where I was expected to do everything, from being the breadwinner to being the homemaker with no help at all. Even then, I still tried my best to spend as much time as I could with you and provide you with as many positive learning experiences as possible, all of which have helped you become successful in school here in Canada. I am hoping that, as you have grown and matured, that you are able to think and reflect on things and see them in a different light.

I can only trust that everything I have taught you as a young boy has stayed with you…and from what I hear, they have. You have a personality and identity of your own that is not the same as your father’s. I hope that you are able to find what is best in the world, in life, and learn from that. I hope you are able to choose what is best for you regardless of what others say, but also that you are smart enough to listen to all the advice you can find. I also hope that you persevere and work towards earning a University degree so that you can achieve great things. I sincerely hope that you pick up a moral and realistic work ethic because all things can be achieved through hard work, perseverance, and open-mindedness. Please be kind and honest to girls, respect them, and protect them. They are not men’s playthings and they are not sex objects. They are not there for the pleasure of men, but rather, there to be partners. They are not there to serve men, but rather to share. If you respect them, love them with all your heart, share the burden of living, and help each other in every way you can without expecting the other to do everything or always keeping tally of who does what, then you can have a happy and healthy relationship with them, especially whoever it is you choose to be with. Always remember that you are no better than anyone else. What some have, others don’t. Be fair to everyone. Be open-minded. Don’t judge. And above all, don’t condemn. I only wish that you are never put in a position where you are manipulated, then shunned, judged, condemned, and hurt where you are most vulnerable by someone you thought you could trust.

Please forgive me for having stayed away, but neither you nor your father have made anything easy for me. I cannot bear confrontation and the accumulated emotional and psychological pain have been too much for me. I also knew that you would only become more reticent if I persisted in trying to contact you until you were ready to hear me. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive your father for all he has done and not done, but I do forgive you for choosing the way you did simply because there was no way you could have known my side of things, nor could you have known why your father behaved the way he did. If you knew exactly why I did certain things, you would understand what really happened, but there are some things about parents that children are not privy to. Perhaps, when you are in a serious relationship with a woman, you will finally understand. I pray for that time.

With much love,

mum

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