Dear Mum.

12 Aug 2015

Late Saturday night 19-2-1977

Well, it's finally time to let me out of the nest to test my wings. I am excited but I know thru all the arguments I will miss you both. I hope that my absence will bring us much closer together. I am impatient, not tolerant, and short tempered but I do try hard to be nice to you. I do LOVE you no matter what terrible things I may say to you.

Please think nicely of me as your daughter. I feel I am leaving at the right time and I will make a goal of my life. But if I don't I'm sure I'll be welcome back even thru the bitter disappointment.

Luv Kisses



I found this letter written on a small piece of paper, scrunched up among a box of stuff from my family home that I hadn't looked at for 7 years since we sold the house. My parents never threw anything out. Just over 100 words written when I was 19 on the night before I was leaving home to study a 4 year degree, 5 hrs away.

I know that we are encouraged to live in the now and not to be burdened by the past but sometimes memories sneak in to the now. When I first read my words my tears stained the already fading paper because I heard a different Leah than I remembered.

People often say, "What would you say to your younger self knowing what you know now?" I want that 19 year old to talk to me and teach me how to be confident while knowing her limitations.

The 19 year old Leah, knows she is very difficult, knows she may not cope without her parents, but she is willing to have a go, take a risk.

I am pleased that even at 19 I told my mother how much I loved her despite how I behaved. This was very poignant to me as by the time I really realised how much trouble I had been to my mum when I had children of my own, my mother had dementia so I was unable to truly thank her.

Eighteen months after writing that letter I was back home living with my parents after being so depressed, my dad had to come down to my university and pack me and my belongings into his small car. It wouldn't be the last time I came back home after testing my wings and falling back into the family nest.

I am gradually starting to see some light in my past. I had hoped I grown out of being impatient, not tolerant, and short tempered, but my partner assures me I haven't. Maybe time for another letter!

What could your younger self teach you?


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