Posted by: scintillatingspeck | November 9, 2012

Exquisite parents.

Parents.  Who doesn’t have conflicts with their parents?  I’m no exception.  This whole culture is so messed up, we are set up to suffer through conflict with this most primary of relationships.  Sometimes the conflicts become irreconcilable.  Sometimes parents inflict grievous wounds upon their children, and vice versa.  It’s wrenching to witness.

I struggle daily with my own relationship with my child, trying always to discern the right words to say, the right actions to take, when to let go, when to step in, how to be patient, how to really listen, how to make myself heard.  How much more empathy have I gained for my own parents through being a parent myself?  It’s unquantifiably enormous.

Knowing how fraught this parent-child relationship can be has made it all the sweeter to have received some emails of late from my mother and father.  And it’s highlighted even more in the face of my father-in-law’s continuing dying process.

My father and mother struggle with finding the right words to say, too.  And yet they are finding words.  They are more than sufficient.  They are offering up everything they have.  It’s hard, knowing they read my words here, wondering what kind of impact it has on them.  They are essentially telling me, We love you, and we can take it.  Bring it on.  We are here.  We don’t always know what to say.  We’re here anyway.

This is the essence of unconditional love.

My dad wrote to me:

I just finished reading your blog posts for October and now have an idea of what you are going through. My heart goes out to you and my love for you is as strong as ever.  I am always there to listen to you, although I may not be able to provide any answers. I hope you will be able to resolve some of the issues confronting you and understand that it may be a long process. Communication is not one of my strong points – but I can listen well and offer suggestions.  I wanted you to know that I am ready to help you in any way I can. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you weather the storm.


My mom wrote to me:


spero che il mio silenzio degli ultimi giorni non ti abbia messo dei dubbi sul mio affetto e sul mio costante pensiero per te.
Scrivere per me e’ la cosa piu’ difficile che ci sia,me ne rammarico ma a stento riesco a superare questo ostacolo.
Ho seguito tutte le tue e-mail,facebook e blogs e quindi penso di avere una idea piuttosto chiara del difficilissimo momento che stai affrontando sia personalmente sia assieme alla tua famiglia.
Io sono presente e se posso essere di aiuto sappi che puoi contare su di me.
Ammiro il tuo coraggio, la tua chiarezza di idee,la tua sensibilita’,la tua bonta’, la tua generosita’e abnegazione per i tuoi familiari.
Ti voglio un bene infinito ,spero di riabbracciarti al piu’presto.


(I hope that my silence in the last few days has not given you cause to doubt my affection and constant thinking of you.
Writing for me is the most difficult thing there is; I regret it but I’m hardly able to surpass this obstacle.
I’ve followed all of your emails, Facebook posts and blog posts and therefore I think I have a pretty clear idea of this most difficult moment that you are confronting, both personally and together with your family.
I am here and if I can be of help, know that you can count on me.
I admire your courage, your clarity of thought, your sensitivity, your goodness, your generosity, and your selflessness for your family.
I love you infinitely; I hope to hug you again as soon as possible.)


Mom and Dad, please forgive me for displaying your words here; I hope you will trust that I do it in service of the greater good.  Your love is so potent, I need to spread it around.  Your words are perfect and redemptive; they ring out like bells, resonating through the air even as the landscape floods and burns.  The waves of sound reach me at any distance.


  1. Such a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your parents’ words (and thanks, Jen’s parents, for writing them in the first place). The love comes through loud and clear, and it’s inspiring.

    Made me all weepy.

    Love you, Jen.

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