An Open Letter

Post by Doris McCraw

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I lost my mother in February of 2011. I still miss her, and thought I would share a letter she might have written to me about how to be a loving person and live in this world without letting define or defeat me. So, Mom, I hope you are looking down and smiling for you were a great teacher.

Dear Daughter,

First, I want you to know how much I love you. I know as you travel this world there will be times when it will not seem worth it. Times when you just want to give up on yourself and the world. I taught you better than that. In case you have forgotten or perhaps need to have a handy reminder, I’ll give you my thoughts about how to survive and thrive.

I will start with, forgive yourself. You won’t be able to forgive any one else if you don’t know how to forgive yourself. I know, you did some bad things, but remember, you were doing the best you could at that time. That does not mean you get to do them again. To do so is only going to make you feel worse about yourself. Sweetheart, give yourself a break and get on with your life. Don’t let the past ruin your future.

Remember the story of Mr. Flemming’s father. He chose to not like a whole race of people, but would and did hire individuals. As long as those individuals worked for him, they were treated like everyone else, including sitting at the table with everyone else and he would be angry if anyone made unflattering remarks. I’m not saying you should dislike a group of people. What I am saying is, respond to people as individuals. Do not let yourself get caught up in the rhetoric of if one, then all. Treat others like you want to be treated, even when they don’t return the favor.

Get over the idea of “it’s not fair”. Life isn’t fair, but it is good. Life and living will be what you make it. When you get caught up in the ‘not fair’ mindset you miss so much of the wonderful parts of life. When you get down, or are feeling put upon, give yourself ten minutes to feel sorry for yourself, then get up and do something productive. Let the hurt go. It may not be easy, that’s for sure. You can forgive and not forget. Think on that one for a while.

You can do or be whatever you want, just remember there are consequences. Consequences are not good or bad, they just are. You are totally responsible for the decisions you make about your life. Yes, you may have people who will help you, but you are the only one you have to live with your whole life. Make sure you’re the kind of person you want to be around.

I know there are many other ‘rules’ your could probably stand to hear, but these are a good use to help you survive and thrive. I wish you well, know I love you and whatever happens do your best to be happy, to be alive, for that is the true gift.

Love, Your Mother


Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Amazon author page:
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27 thoughts on “An Open Letter

  1. This has the feel that you’ve included lots of things the two of you probably talked about through the years and decades. I was close to my mom and had lots and lots of discussions with her when I got together with her — everything from faith to the sister’s kids to my newspaper career.


    1. MIke,
      Relationships with parents can be close or adverserial. Like you, I’m so glad that my mother had grace to allow us to become friends. It was special. Thanks for sharing your mother with us. Doris


    1. Thank you. If people wouldn’t think I was crazy, I’d admit I still play/ have these conversations with her. I really do think she was looking over my shoulder and nudging me while I was writing her letter. Doris


  2. A great letter that should go to anyone, daughter or son. Down to earth and useful, your advice resonates with me, and I bet for anyone. What a blessing that you and your mom must have known each other so well, and been close. I’m going to share it with my daughters and facebook friends. Thanks Doris.


    1. Neva,

      My mother wasn’t perfect, as she would tell you, but she was very special. I know she would be happy that you shared her letter with others. She was always a giving person.

      Thank you. I hope her wisdom helps others. You do her a great honor. Doris


  3. Doris, that is just wonderful. My mom was very “old school”–SHE was THE MOTHER. But she’d helped raise 10 younger brothers and sisters, and by the time I came along though she had a lot of knowledge, she really had trouble allowing me to have my own personality going from childhood to puberty. I know that’s a hard time for a lot of parents, and she was no exception. She was one of the most forgiving, loving, and compassionate people that ever lived. And neither of us was perfect, either, of course. I miss her ever single day of my life, no matter what turbulent times we went through in those teenage years. She and your mom had very similar philosophies. Your letter really hit home with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheryl,

      I am glad you had a mother who could do all she did and still be the loving, kind and compassionate person she was. I think our mothers might have had some really good converstations. For me, what makes my mother’s story so special, she lost her own mother at age 7 and was raised in foster homes, sometimes with her other six siblings and sometimes not. I still miss our conversations and sometimes I know she is looking in and happy for my success as an author. She was one of my biggest supporters, no matter what I was doing. I know she is honored that her words touch others, she was just that kind of giving person. Thank you for sharing your mother with me. I would have liked to have known her. Doris


  4. Loved this letter. What a treasure your mother left you. I especially agreed with the part about living with consequences. And by the way, I’m almost finished with One Hot Knight. I have enjoyed each story. All well written. One of the many things I liked about your story is the setting. So nice to get out of those cold, damp castles! That said I couldn’t pick a favorite or least favorite out of the bunch. It’s a great collection of medieval stories. Thank you for sharing your mother’s wisdom with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Patti,
      I thank you. While we had our moments of discord, I have been so thankful she was in my life. One of the reasons I think I was so successful in my social work(criminology0 career was the wisdom she gave me. Like you the consequences /responsibility lesson has been the one to move me forward in life.
      I am so glad you are enjoying the summer medieval anthology. I don’t like cold castles, so I look for a warmer climate when I start one. I felt so priveledged to be in the company of such wonderful authors. Doris

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a great letter that should definitely be shared. The mixture of you as the writer thinking of approaches to life, and the memories of your mother have made this a very pragmatic letter. It’s how I wish everyone was treated.


    1. Thank you Nancy. I know my mother would be proud to have her thoughts shared. I believe she was looking over my shoulder as I typed. I also believe she would agree with you, this is how everyone should be treated. Doris


    1. You are welcome. Mom was complicated, but her lessons were not. She offered so much, and wasn’t even aware of how much she influenced so many people. I felt like she was there as I wrote this. I think she would be pleased. Doris


  6. What an inspiring post, Doris! I’m sure it must have been insightful as you wrote in your mother’s voice. I’m sure many of our mothers would have written words in much the same vein. Yours is precious!


    1. Sarah,

      I think one of the greatests gifts she gave me, she allowed us to be friends, true adult friends. We had our moments when I was growing up, but I was and am still so thankful to have had her in my life. Doris


    1. Joe,

      She was a very special lady, and she didn’t even realize it. Not that I didn’t tell her she was, for I did. I consider my self a very blessed and lucky person. Thank you for seeing her beauty. Doris


  7. I love it. I still hear my mother’s voice in most everything I do. She was very straight forward and believed things should be a certain way, and we should behave a certain way, but it was never high pressured. I never wanted to disappoint her, yet I probably often did, but she never let on. She just loved me with all the love and compassion a person could have. I have always and still strive to be half the mother she was. Our parents really do influence who we become, they can give us good examples or they can give us good advice, but it’s up to us to heed it. Cher’ley


  8. Gosh I had one of those really long soulful comments, and then I lost it somewhere out in cyberspace. Wonderful letter, I should do that. I still hear my Mom all the time. Her voice helps me make decisions in my life. I always wanted to be 1/2 the mother she was, and now I want to be half the grandmother she was. She was the most unselfish person I ever knew. She loved her children more than life and she loved life. Cher’ley


    1. Cher’ley, both comments showed up. I think the greatest gift we give to the world and our parents is to share the wisdom and love they shared with us. Like I’ve noted in other responses, I truly do believe she was looking down as I wrote her words to share with others.

      We have much to be thankful for. I look forward to reading what your mother shared with you. Doris


    1. Thank you, S J. I know I will keep her words and spirit with me forever. I feel so blessed to have had her in my life, not that we didn’t have a few ‘rough’ patches. Doris


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