Because I'm not really sure where to find you . . .

. . . I'm going to post my response to your email to Natalie here, too. I'm sure hoping that you'll see it. I really want you to know, I understand.

Dearest Anonymous,

Thank you for reaching out--in what was probably the best way you could come up with in that moment. Your words have given me an opportunity to look into my own heart and this is what I saw:

There have been days when I, too, have felt 'left out' and misunderstood--and in those dark moments,
I haven't always been able to be my best self
or to find the perfect words to say,
"uh, I'm having kind of a hard time over here . . ."

There have been days when my pain was so acute,
I've said things I didn't really mean-
(and Oh! how I've wished that nobody else heard,
and I could just have a quiet 'do over').

There have been times when I've judged harshly
before I really understood . . .

When Natalie and Gavin were growing up, I used to always tell them this:

"Sometimes . . .
you have to look really hard at a person . . .
and remember . . .
that they're doing the best they can.
They're just trying to find their way, that's all . . .
Just like you."

And do you know what young Natalie would usually say?
"Mom. Shut up."

(I was really good at talking too much--
especially after it was time to shut up.
Yeah, I know, you noticed.)

Anyway, dear Anon, thanks for helping me see these things.
I sure hope you're feeling a little better today.
And I hope I've seen clearly here.
I've prayed to be able to.

I love you,
(Natalie's mom)

[the quote came from my favorite movie: On Golden Pond.]

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