A letter to... my lost sons
Dear Tim and Harry
When I got married in the late 80s, I couldn’t wait to have kids. So when you were born, Tim, I was delighted.
Eventually, you came along, too, Harry, and Tim loved having a little brother.
Someone to play video games with, kick a ball about in the garden.
When you were tiny, you adored your mum, too. Always wanting kisses and cuddles, crying for me on the first day of school.
But while I loved being a mother, as time wore on, I was less happy as a wife.
Your dad worked long hours, while I brought you both up.
I tried to plan exciting trips and days out.
Once, we went to the seaside and had a ball playing in the arcades, eating fish and chips.
But it couldn’t all be fun and games.
I was also the one who had to ask you to do chores, make sure you’d completed your homework.
‘Has she been nagging you again?’ your dad would ask when he got home. I hated being the baddie. And, over time, your behaviour towards me began to change.
‘Pass me the remote, Sandra,’ you asked one day, Tim.
For a moment, I was stunned into silence.
‘I’m “Mum” to you,’ I said firmly.
But from then on, Tim, you became distant.
I thought it was because your dad and I often argued.
Eventually, the bickering got too much and I asked your dad to move out.
But he wouldn’t go without a fight.
In fact, several fights – which he picked in front of you boys.
‘Let’s not do this in front of the kids,’ I’d beg.
One day, he broke down sobbing in front of you both.
‘You’ve broken Dad’s heart,’ you shouted at me, Tim.
And with that, my own
heart broke, too. When Dad moved out, you both stayed with me.
He’d visit, but sometimes cancel at the last minute.
‘Dad isn’t coming today,’ I’d tell you.
But you blamed me – especially you, Tim. So when you turned 18, you went to live with your dad, didn’t you?
Refused to see me.
I was devastated, my own son had abandoned me.
‘Whatever I’ve done, I’m sorry,’ I begged you. But my pleas fell on deaf ears.
Harry missed you like mad, spent weekends with you and your dad.
A few years on, I remarried, and you Harry seemed to get on with my new husband.
But, soon after, you came home from school one day and called me Sandra.
Just like Tim had done. Please, no! It was deja vu as you isolated yourself from me. I knew I was losing you. Then, one day, I caught you with your phone on loud speaker, letting your dad listen in to everything I said.
I was only making your lunch, felt betrayed.
‘Can you take me to the bus stop?’ you said.
And as I watched you pack a bag, I knew you weren’t coming back.
That was over five years ago now. I’m still trying to get in touch with you. I’ve missed so much. Christmasses, birthdays, graduations...
Not seeing you both hurts a little more every day.
I don’t blame either of you for leaving, I just want you both back.
To be part of your life. So I’m writing this letter to tell you I’ll always be here, whenever you need me.
After all, there’s nothing like a mum’s unconditional love.
Miss you so badly,
As I watched you pack a bag, I knew...
It hurts a little more each day...
Memories of when you were young