March 19, 2013

This is lovely. I’d love to hear your letter to yourself written in the voice of someone who loves you. Go~!! xo jen

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  • Reply marika March 23, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Letter from someone who loves you.

    Dear Marika,

    At a time in your life when you didn’t have a lot of reason to trust others, you trusted me. Your trust gave our hearts wings again and we haven’t stopped flying since.
    Your smile lights up my entire being. Your laugh is like music to my ears- that infectious belly laugh that lights up the room. I haven’t heard it enough lately.

    You have a heart bigger than the ocean.
    You let so few in, but look what happened when you let me in.
    We created something bigger than ourselves- which holds more love than we could have ever imagined (this family). Our love grew exponentially into what we now have- this big crazy house of 8- in all our beautiful dysfunction.
    Extended families often don’t live together like this. I know it hasn’t been easy for you to live within this big family unit, still guarded from your own experiences. Despite your initial and sometimes continued discomfort- we might have never all come together if not for you.

    Never has anyone loved me like you do. Unconditionally and unwavering. When I look all around you I wonder how you grew into such love despite your circumstances. You could stay angry (i still see flashes of it) you could be sad (you still fight it sometimes) you could feel sorry for yourself (yes, you do this too at times as much as I know you hate it and I’ll call you out on it every single time bc i won’t let you do it!),
    but you get up anyway- every single day. Despite the fact that your back feels like it is breaking and you don’t know when and how you will find relief- you get up every single day and love our family with wild abandon. You were born to be a mother and you show up for the job every day no matter how bad you feel with a grateful heart. Our children no doubt feel your deep love for them and it shows in the way they love us back.

    You held the hands of the dying. You watched life slip away and you watched life begin. You cared for people who were at the end of a long life, and for those taken too soon, and for babies so tiny you could hold them in the palm of your hand. You quite literally have had the lives of others held in your hand. I held you many times while you sobbed, grieving the lives of those babies and the dream those families lost when their babies died in their arms or when they had to make decisions that no one ever wants to make. I remember having to catch my breath the first time I stepped into the NICU when you started your job and I will never forget when our little Minnie had her own stay in the NICU and our child’s life was in someone else’s hands. It was then that i realized the depth of what you did while you were at work. I watched you care so deeply about your patients even to your own detriment because that is what you do. You can’t help yourself. You care about everyone. And that is the healing part of you that wants to save the world.
    And there is nothing stopping you from doing it- except you.

    Your light has only just begun to shine because you let others steal it away from you for so long because you didn’t know any better. Well- now you do.

    And even though your back injury has taken your job, you have found other ways to heal others. You will always be a nurse not because it is what you chose as your profession- but because for you- being a nurse is about healing. Healing of all kinds- not just in a hospital. You are a healer. But don’t forget. Don’t forget that sometimes you need others to help you heal. Accept it from others. Seek it if you need it. Ask.

    You never ask for help. Let others help you. Sometimes we can’t make it on our own ( i can’t help the U2 reference because if anyone can speak to your heart through song- it’s your beloved Bono <3)

    A farm girl from Missouri came into this family and made my Grandma’s chicken soup like you had been making it your entire life. Our family lights candles every Friday night because you won’t let our Jewish heritage be forgotten. All stemming from a little girl who loved Jesus (and learned to love him again after church confused and ruined you) who got an All Things Jewish catalog in the mail and knew this was part of her somehow and never let go of it.
    And I know that it isn’t just a ritual for you but your love for God that drives you to bring our family back. We would have already begun to lose it by now. You taught our children the Shema after working on it yourself listening to recordings and transliterations in your broken Hebrew with a Midwestern accent .
    I see my Dad flash back to his parents house in Brooklyn (like the scene in Ratatouille) when he takes a bite of your soup. You spring out of bed extra early on Fridays to make us the most amazing challah and to make one to give away- sometimes not knowing who you will give it to but pouring love and prayer into it as you mix and knead the dough. I see how much joy it brings you to give to others and it makes me love you more. I love you is never enough to tell you how much I love you. I will spend the rest of my days showing you. I think you would agree I do every single day. That is how much I love you.

    You are an unstoppable force. I see a young you when I watch our daughter, with chutzpah coming out her ears. That is still in you. Sometimes you know it but most of the time you doubt yourself.
    Stop doubting yourself. You are a force for all that is right and beautiful with the world and you can’t let anything stop you- past or present- from letting your light shine. The world needs your light and they need to know what you have to say and what you have to show them. I see you come to life when you have your camera or pen in your hand and you see beauty in things that others have thrown aside as “ordinary”. The world through your lens is so beautiful despite all it’s faults and pain. Stop holding it inside. It isn’t helping you or anyone else trapped inside that giant heart of yours. You can’t hold it all inside and the world needs your love. I need you help teaching people to love themselves AND each other as God loves them. You are already doing it but you and I both know you have much more to give. No more holding back. Do not be afraid. Give it away.

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