My Heart Goes Out To You

July 15, 2008
By Karissa Raney, Portland, OR

Your young face is so delicate and naïve; a mere resemblance of the baby you were; a fleeting memory of the wonderful years we had together. When I look into your sparkling eyes, the young glow of it, I see the girl I was. I fear the pain you will experience, the worries you will have, the stress and responsibility you will have to carry. Can you make it in this harsh world? Will you conquer your goals and live your dreams? Will your first love be the fateful one? These questions I don’t have the answers to. However, I can give you my achievements and failures to guide you.

I remember when my parents finally separated after years of fighting. I was devastated. Never did I believe they would make that huge jump; I thought they would be together forever. Obviously, they tried to keep me in the dark about their fights, for a while they were successful. It hit me and I was down for several years. That was when I first took my steps into adulthood. I was only eight years old.

Matt McHowl was my very first crush. He was my best friend and a year my senior with a grand head on his shoulders and looks that could make any woman faint. He helped me through the hard times and helped me joy the good. I was awkward (like I’m sure most girls my age were), clumsy, and spent most of my “free” time daydreaming. He, on the other hand, was graceful, persuasive, and intellectual. We even each other out. As times passed, I found myself viewing Matt in a new light. He possessed a special air that attracted me to him. He wasn’t just my big brother—he was my secret love. The night I saw him as such was magical. He was walking me home after a late night of studying (math wasn’t my thing). Upon reaching my door, he kissed me goodnight and left just as suddenly. It wasn’t until I entered my room that it accrued to me he’d kissed me—not on the cheek, but on the lips. I spent the entire night daydreaming of him and the whole event. He gave me my first kiss.

Your first heartbreak is always the worst. I never saw it coming. Matt told me, over the phone mind you, that he was interested in someone else and he wanted to break up. How impersonal—breaking up with me like that over the phone! We had been together for three years, and he decides to end it like that? I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt. Four months, thousands of hours of crying, I wasted over him. My heart still never completely healed.

“Don’t lie; don’t cheat; don’t steal; listen to your parents; make your own path in the world…” This is what my mother told me when on my thirteenth birthday. I was too young to comprehend her meaning behind those simple words. Her eyes were wise and beautiful. I wished my eyes could be like hers someday.

What I know now are things learned over many years of experiences. I’ve learned to accept the good and bad times and rise above them, to open my mind to new ideas, accept others for who they are, follow no one, do my very best, don’t listen to people’s negative opinions, and be my own person. You are on your way to adulthood; soon, almost too soon, you’ll be making decisions that will change your life, and I wonder if I have taught you everything that you’ll need in the future. Some things, I know, you will have to discover on your own. I wish I could take all the pain, all the harsh words, and all the heartache and consume it for you instead. Nevertheless, I cannot. It would be selfish of me to do. You must walk and find your own path. Within your young eyes, I see so much strength, courage, and potential. Don’t let yourself fall because of people—including your friends—trying to test you. Be prepared, my dear, but don’t block out the total world.

I pray you will take the higher road. I know you may not want to; preferring to be in the crowd, but use your common sense and you’ll make the right choice. I wonder, also, if you will be the kind toward those around you, be a back-stabber, or attack everyone to prove yourself to the world. Goodness is something hardly seen in the teen world—violence, gossip, and drama replacing it—but would you still spread your love and goodness around? Would you stay true to what I’ve taught you—and to yourself?

Confidence is of the importance. Being confident in the way you carry yourself, using logic in conversations, and being confident in yourself will help you through anything and everything. Know that no matter what, there will be people who love you for who you are, if only you let them in. Do not make the same mistake I did.

My sweet child, you are thirteen at the stroke of dawn. The night’s passing faster than I’d want. You aren’t my little girl any long; you’re my young woman. Before I know it, you’ll be slowly slipping away from me. You’ll have your first romance, have friends and the drama that comes with them, and I will seem unimportant. The pain of this will past in time, so do not fret. I won’t turn my back on you or give up on you when you push me away, when you scream spiteful words at me to put me down; I will allow you space and pray you will come to me for advice and a free hug or kiss. I pray you will come to me when I needed. Over time, you will come to see that I am not the enemy, but really your friend. I can wait. My arms, my heart, and my door are always open for you.

Carry your heart wherever you go, carry it in everything you do—this is my final wish. Rap it around yourself like a warm sweater, a comfort in times of despair, a light within the dark. I hope that I will be in there. Remember, my darling—no matter what, what you either say or do, or even I—my heart goes out to you and will be there, forevermore.

The author's comments:
This was written in the voice of a caring and comforting mother, a figure every teen needs in their life. Orginally this little piece was an English assignment about giving advice to whomever we desired. After reading another similar piece that spoke from a parental tone, I decided to take my own twist on it. I hope it is to your liking.

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