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Dear Mark,

August 27, 2009

Today your three biological grandchildren are headed off to meet their new teachers.  I thought about you this morning.  Isn’t that strange?  I rarely do.  But today is another day that you won’t be with us.  You won’t see my children dress in their best clothes, nervously comb their tangled hair, and pile into our aging Honda Odyssey.

You won’t see me today, either.  Today I am dressing in my best clothes, too.  I am nervously combing my hair as I think about meeting my new students.  I’m a teacher, Mark.  And I’m good at it.  This is one of ten million things that you don’t know about your daughter.

I wonder about you occasionally.  How has life treated you in the thirty years since you left me – chubby-cheeked, poor, and just learning to walk?  Do you ever miss your little girl?  Do you think of me on special days, Mark?  Or have you hidden my memory in a deep, locked place in your gut?

Sometimes I wish I could spend the afternoon with you.  I want to ask you questions about your health history and your family.  I want to learn about your passions and your struggles.  Are you a writer, too?  Do you devour books like me?  Are you insecure?  Are you bad with money?

What did you deposit in your baby girl before you left? I wish I knew.  I want to look in the mirror and find “Mark” in my nose, my light eyebrows, and my too-big smile.

But I will never find you, Mark.  Either in my face or on my doorstep.  And, most days, I’m at peace with that truth.  But, sometimes – always unexpectedly – your hazy image pops into my mind and I think of you.

And I wonder what you’re doing this morning.  Maybe today is special for you, too.  Perhaps you are putting on your best clothes.  And nervously combing your hair.

Sincerely,

Jessica

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 27, 2009 7:03 am

    he doesn’t know what he’s missing, Jess. your letter is beautiful.

  2. August 27, 2009 11:11 am

    I agree with TJ, he’s missing out big time. (((HUGS)))

  3. August 27, 2009 1:03 pm

    Girl! How sad for him. Sad for you as a little girl, but for the woman you are… you have The Father to look up to. This was very powerful!

  4. August 27, 2009 8:30 pm

    Just a {{hug}} for you Jess. Mark didn’t know what he was missing.

  5. August 27, 2009 9:26 pm

    Jess… Wish I knew you well enough to hug you, offer you a cup of joe and stare off into the unknowns of this next school year. Thanks for opening the door for me to get personal on my blog also.

  6. August 27, 2009 10:20 pm

    Mark would be so proud of you if he knew who his little girl has become, just like Your Father is!!!

    You looked beautiful in your “best clothes” today and my son Andrew can’t stop talking about how his brother got the best teacher in the whole school!!! We are thrilled to have you teaching Josh this year. Meeting you was such a blessing today!

    Hugs,
    Renee

  7. August 28, 2009 1:09 pm

    Ditto TJ. You are such a beautiful writer!

  8. August 29, 2009 2:11 pm

    First, this is beautiful, Jess. Raw. Honest. Beautiful. I love how you write. I miss my dad…but for different reasons. He died when I was eighteen. There’s still a hole.

    Second, and on a less serious note….Renee!!! She is one of your moms? How sweet God is. Girl, you will be so well prayed up this year! 😉

    Praying for your new school year!
    K

  9. Mark Wilczynski permalink
    March 29, 2012 1:48 pm

    I spent the day arranging for a caregiver for my parents and preparing for a big trial. Seems trivial now.

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