Vision perception - Memoirs
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Memoir Bytes: – Love Notes and Other Words

Childhood Scribbles

Vision perception - Memoirs

 

Whenever I’m asked when my passion for writing evolved I always remember that my journey began through writing love notes for the people I loved as far back as I can remember as soon as I learned how to write, which is stated in my bio.

 

As a child, I had so much love in my heart and empathy for others going as far back as I can remember. It’s rather odd when I think back to my childhood because “I love you” words weren’t familiar words in my home, leaving me feeling uncomfortable to say them. But writing from my heart to express my feelings was easy.

 

Memoir love notes

I wrote:

I love my mommy and my daddy. I drew pictures of them and wrote: This is mommy and daddy.

 

My mother died four years ago October. When we sat ‘shiva’ in the mourning period for her at my brother’s home, my sister-in-law brought out some photos my mother kept in a worn out looking makeup case. I was still feeling a million unresolved feelings that day and wasn’t too interested in looking at them at the time. But last week I went to visit my sister-in-law and she told me she had cleared out her basement and found some photos and items I may want. I came across a few of those cards I wrote my parents along with a few of those ‘love notes’ I had written.

The notes I found had me wondering why of all the many things I’d written as a child, my mother had clung to these very few items my sister-in-law gave to me. Where were all the rest gone? And the note that moved me most was one poem my father had written to my mother. Besides how touching and beautiful that poem was, it broke my heart to read it. It had taken me back to many memories of my father asking me to help him get back together with my mother.

 

Memoir love not from Dad

It reads:

E – Is for you’re Everything to me

L – Is for my Love for you

I – Is for If I had you

Z – Is for Zilch when I’m without you

A – Is for I’ll Always want you

B – Is for you’re Beauty

E – Is for my never Ending want for you

T – Is for the Time I wait

H – Is for when I’ll Have you

 

After my tears subsided, it dawned on me that my father must have had some instinct for writing. Nobody in my family had ever displayed an interest for writing. I knew I was a blacksheep in many ways, and often wondered where my passion for writing came from. That love note was a reminder that I had inherited my compassion from my father. But did I also inherit the secret passion he had for writing?

 

Paper Towel Love Note Cover:

To Mommy from Debby (I love you inside the heart)

 

 

 

Unfolded scrap of paper towel: Inside:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Sugar and honey are sweet

But you are the sweetest

(I love you inside the heart)

 

One more I found written on a piece of cardboard. This card reminded me of the numerous cards I’d written each time my parents broke up when my little heart was aching and the only wish I had in the whole world was that they’d reunite.

Memoir love not to mom

Front of card: To Mom from Debby. I love you Daddy

Back of card: I love you mom I love you dad.

 

Memoir love note 2

Inside that card left side: Dear mom I love you and daddy I am always going to be fair with you and daddy

Left side: hugs and kisses mom xxxxxxoooooo hugs and kisses dad xxxxxxoooooo – look on back

 

I remember another card I’d made during one of their separations, which I never did see again, but the memory of that card stuck with me till this day. It said:

 

I have a mommy and I have a daddy but I don’t have a mommy and a daddy.

 

I remember that card well because I was afraid to give it to my mother and had left it lying around somewhere. She eventually found it and I got slapped for writing it.

 

Such was my tormented childhood growing up with a mother I idolized as a young child and a father who lived apart from us more than he ever lived with us. My heart ached for my father because I had such empathy for his broken heart. As I grew into a young teen my resentments began to grow for my mother as I learned to understand her manipulations and watched the games she played on my father. My love for my father never faltered. I took care of him as a child as I did till the day he died. A heaviness in my heart that even 27 years passing never lightened.

One other sad note – my atrocious handwriting remains the same. 😊

 

 

 

 

 

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

61 Comments

  • Joy Lennick

    Hi Debby, I feel your pain as I believe in good and bad luck and felt myself so, so fortunate to have parents who stayed together and were loving. Whichever way you look at the situation, it’s the children who suffer. It might sound odd, but at one time I even felt guilty that I was so lucky.I/we (‘im indoors…) made up our minds to do all we could to make our brood happy,(he also came from a broken home) and have three sons we’re proud of. I’m sure we made a few mistakes but at least we tried hard…Love is all. Hugs. xx

    • dgkaye

      Thank you for sharing Joy. It’s true, parenting doesn’t come with a manual, and parents nowadays have learned so much from the last generation of what ‘not to do’. Sadly, children do pay the price when terms are good, just worse when they live their life on the seesaw of ‘what’s going to happen tomorrow.’ Your children were lucky to have sensible and loving parents. <3

  • Stevie Turner

    Oh, what a lovely post, and so much heartache in between the lines. When my mother died I also came across love letters my father had written to her back in the 1950s before they were married. So glad you have your keepsakes. x

  • sally cronin

    A very emotional and heartrending post Debby. It demonstrates how the hurtful words from childhood or adulthood stay with us and form invisible scars that still remain unfaded. The light is the fact that you have chosen to share these hurtful memories and have inspired those who also suffered in this manner, or those who perhaps might be putting the same burden on their own children. We will meet one day I am sure, but I am also certain that you are a strong, beautiful person who shares much kinder words and loving friendship despite those years. love and hugs.♥

  • lisa thomson

    Aw, Deb…these notes are so sweet and heartbreaking in ways too. But the beautiful thing is you know where you got your compassion and empathy from. It’s wonderful you were able to maintain such a healthy relationship with your father. It’s torture to not understand the status of your parent’s relationship! Marriage or divorce, at least we know what these are as youngsters but to not know from year to year whether father will be home must have been absolute torture.

    Aside from that I’m happy you have these notes. It says something that your mother kept them all those years of her life in spite of the difficulties between her and her children? I hope I’m understanding that right.
    Thanks for sharing such a profound part of your childhood with us, Deb. You’re not afraid of being vulnerable xxoo

    • dgkaye

      Thank you so much Lis for your wonderful words. Although, I do question why out of the soooooooo many notes I wrote only these very few were kept, and she never even told me she had them through the years.
      My father was the prime example of an unsuspecting victim with a big heart who got snared by a narcissist. It’s funny how no matter how many years pass, childhood events still leave their mark. <3 xoxo

  • John Maberry

    I share your pain–I too left notes like that for my mother. I suspect many kids do. Of course today they probably send them on Instagram. LOL. My pain is what a rotten son I became until a year or so before she died just before my 16th birthday. But pain is pain, all the same.If she were alive today, she’d be nearly 110! I wish I had any notes from then–all were lost in one move or another. But I still have the memories. 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for sharing some of yourself here John. Regrets are always tough. Somehow we soldier on and supposedly learn from our pasts. I knew I’d written numerous cards and notes, but in my life, I never knew my brother ever wrote anything. This is truly affecting for me. 🙂

  • D. Wallace Peach

    This is heartbreaking, Debby. I can imagine little you wanting so desperately to fill your family with love and close all the gaps that a child can’t possibly do alone. I’m so glad you have these cards and messages though, because a much as they bring back hard memories, they show something innocent, hopeful, and determined, a faith in the goodness of love that you’ve carried with you into adulthood.

  • Balroop Singh

    Aww…Deb I love those cards and notes you have written, you must be such a loving child, craving for affection. I am glad they were kept by your mom…for whatever reasons…probably she too loved you but could never say so, as she didn’t want to lose control…self-obsession is quite weird and it is quite challenging to understand such persons.
    Thank you for sharing such beautiful childhood scribbles. Love and hugs dear friend.

    • dgkaye

      Thank you so much for your wise words Balroop. And you may just be right, makes sense, for a narcissist to give a compliment or show any type of empathy, they often look upon that as taking something away from themselves. <3

  • Adele Marie Park

    Things found that remind us of how we felt as a child, Becca has found some of those old things this week as well. Very emotional and throws you back to that exact time. <3

  • Jeri

    It’s fantastic of your to share this. My mother never kept any such things, but my grandma did, and for that effort of hers, I am truly thankful.

    • dgkaye

      Isn’t it bizarre how so much of our young work disappears from that last generation? I was truly shocked when I found these remnants, so few out of many. Makes me wonder why those were kept and not others. I guess we’ll never know. 🙂

  • Hilary

    Hi Debby – I never did that … though could have done … but I too wonder where my love of writing has come from – not obvious, but too late to find out – I’ve ‘worked out’ the whats, whys and wherefores … probably relatively correctly – life is as it is. I’m glad these came to light – our light can shine out now … take care – cheers Hilary

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Hilary. I wonder if many writers question where they got their gift from. But I also know that a writer doesn’t always inherit their craft sometimes they become writers because they were born with a gift or developed the creativity out of a need to. 🙂

  • Miriam Hurdle

    I feel your pain, Debby. I said to my daughter that in a divorce situation, it’s the children who suffer the most. Many children felt guilty about their parents’ breakup and even thought that if they were good, the parents would get back together. At least I was able to tell my daughter that it was not her fault, it was mommy and daddy who didn’t get along.
    You loved your parents genuinely and innocently. You wouldn’t have done differently. As a teacher, I had my students wrote letters and notes of love to their parents during holidays – Valentine’s Day, Christmas… Kids were taught by other adults such as teachers to love their parents.
    I kept all the notes, and projects my daughter made, even some school assignments, essays written. It was my (adult now) daughter who said I could take photos of them, then recycle them.

    You did the only way you knew how as a child. I’m happy that you processed it and came through it. Writing about that is the best way to process your feelings and experiences.

    This is a wonderful post, Debby!

    • dgkaye

      Hi Miriam. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here and some of yourself. You are right in saying that teachers teach love and compassion, especially to the younger kids. And I believe teachers have a good eye for those kids who suffer in silence too. I know I had 2 teachers in primary school who at the time I felt were my saviors in the ‘hurt department’. Teachers are very special people. <3

  • Norah Colvin

    Love notes from children – aren’t they the most precious thing. Your notes are beautiful, Debby and reflect the love that children give unconditionally to their parents. How sad it is when that love, which should be taken for granted, is not returned unconditionally.
    My granddaughter wrote a similar note for me last week when we were out together for the afternoon. It’s a treasure to me, as she is, and is on my pinboard now, along with many other letters from my children, grandchildren, and children I’ve taught.
    Don’t worry about your handwriting. That’s what keyboards are for! 🙂

  • Sherri Matthews

    Aww my dear, sweet friend, how your post pulled at my heartstrings. My heart goes out to little you, and how very much I resonate as that same girl, idolizing her mother and adoring her father and terrified I would lose one or both. I wish we could have hugged each other back then, and told each other, we would one day be alright and come through the hurt. These feelings sit with us life long, but we learn ways to manage the hurt and pain as the years go by,don’t we? I used to write on everything too, little letters and poems and stick figures, just the same as you. I have missed being here so much. I had this bookmarked, determined to visit you this week, but next week I will visit your travel posts over at Sally’s, long over due, now I’m on a major catch up with everything and myriad tasks. Now that I’ve written my book! Yes…I’ve done it! But more on that later. I am not surprised you were filled with such empapthy and love then, as you are now, because it’s intrinsic within you. Beautiful post, Deb, and much Love & hugs to you… <3 <3 <3 PS I need to clean up my social media too, long ignored over at Twitter, and will get back to sharing over there, including this post, once I've done that next week. My list is long, but I'm crossing off one by one lol!! xoxoxoxo

    • dgkaye

      Thank you for your sweet words Sher. Yes, it seems no matter how tightly we try to pack away some memories they are so easily triggered by the past coming to visit sometimes. It seems so many of us bear crosses.
      As for the catchup, don’t sweat it Sher, this mercury retrograde has many people’s lives upside down at the moment. Take it slow like I am, one day at a time. And don’t forget to breathe! And I’m thrilledddddddddddddddddddddd for your book!!!!! I await your news! Love and hugs dear Sher, and keep that seat belt buckled up! Lol <3 xoxoxo

      • Sherri Matthews

        So true, Deb, as we both know. Arrgh…I didn’t know aboutthe mercury retrograde – is it worse as a Virgo, I wonder? Just when I thought I could let go a little, my middle boy got laid off his job of 8 years last week, right before we were due to spend the weekend with him for his 30th birthday, which was actually on Thursday. He’s already got 4 interviews lined up next week, but poor lad, he’s a worker, has never not worked since leaving college and works to pay his rent/bills/food. So…I’ve been giving a lot of moral support this week and lots of other ‘stuff’. So I am buckling up for sure, my friend! One day at a time for sure… But…thank you soo much for your encouragement and excitement of my book…I was so excited to tell you! I’ll get a short post up before Christmas. There will be more work to do after I get it back from the editor, but I’ve got this far, woo hoo! And breathe lol! Thanks again, sweet friend 🙂 <3 <3 <3

        • dgkaye

          Arg Sher, I’m sorry about your son. Keep positive thoughts, you know – ‘when one door closes ….” kind of thoughts. 🙂 Retrogrades are good for endings and starting fresh after. Dec. 7th this terrible retrograde (for many) will leave us, although wane slowly into Christmas Eve where we can all breathe a little easier.
          Can’t waittttttttttttttt to hear more about your book!!!!! <3 xoxo <3

          • Sherri Matthews

            Thanks so much, Deb. My son got a job, starts in the New Year, so relieved! I’m just now trying to catch up with well overdue blog visits and getting that post up. Glad to hear things are easing!!! Love & hugs to you, my friend 🙂 <3 <3 <3

  • Jacquie Biggar

    Bittersweet memories, for sure. So many children of broken homes turn angry and bitter. I imagine it was difficult to be the peace-keeper.
    You had a drawing talent as well as your writing skills!

    • dgkaye

      So true Jacqui. But drawing? Lol, sad to say that those stick people I drew, I still draw like that and still can’t color in the lines. LOL 🙂 x

  • Jennie Fitzkee

    Thank you for sharing this deeply heart wrenching post. My heart aches for every child who reaches out to their parent, wanting to be loved, and trying so hard to make things work. You did a fine job when you were a little girl, Debby, everything you could. I think your writings are just wonderful, and they help more people than you will ever realize.

    • dgkaye

      Thank you so much Jennie for your uplifting words. Coming from you it means a lot, especially that your specialty is early childhood development and how you nurture your little students. I do hope you are right that my words could actually help someone else. <3

  • Darlene Foster

    Thanks for sharing these with us, Debby. Sweet that you still have them but bittersweet as they bring back sad memories. They show you have been a loving person all your life and have dealt with the blows. xo

  • Hugh Roberts

    Such a touching post, Debby. Thank you for sharing it with us. I wonder why your mother did keep those notes you wrote? And why did she did not keep the others? My parents divorced when I was 12. I can still remember my father’s words when he told my sister and me that ‘Your mother doesn’t love me anymore.’ To this day, one of the saddest things that have ever been said to me.
    Like you, until you told us in this post, I’ve no idea where my love for writing comes from. I’ve asked my 92-year-old aunt if anybody else in the family had a love of writing, but she claims not.
    Hugs to you.

    • dgkaye

      Some answers we will never know Hugh. And you are so right, it is very painful for a child to be emotionally caught in their parents’ love woes. It’s heartbreaking when a parent pours out their hurt to their children as if there’s anything we could do about it except hurt. It’s so wrong for parents to get their children involved and cause them to hurt with nothing they can do to help.
      I truly believe it’s our life’s experiences that leads many writer to the pen. <3 xx

  • Chuck Jackson

    The innocence of childhood defines who we really are. If left untouched by the evils and hates of the world, it would be so much easier to convey the love that began in childhood. I can hear the pain in those notes, begging for your parents to end their discourse. At least at this point in your life, you have risen above it all. Many do not. Thanks for sharing. HUGS

  • Deborah Jay

    I think it’s wonderful to see how much love you had in your heart, Debby, when you weren’t the product of a loving family – just goes to show having love and compassion isn’t only possible for those who are shown it.
    You’ve made me sad on one level, though, to think that these sort of childish notes (terrible handwriting or not) won’t be available for the current generation to look back upon, as they do everything electronically, from such an early age.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Deb. And I so agree with you. Electronics have certainly taken away the ‘personal touch’. There’s nothing like receiving a handwritten note, card or loveletter. <3 :)

  • Janice Spina

    That’s amazing that you have those letters, Debby. I don’t have anything I wrote as a child. Everything was lost when we moved.
    Looking at these must bring back all the hurt unfortunately. It’s nice to see you were sweet and loving even if you were not naught to be that way. God bless you! Hugs xx ❤️

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Janice. I wish I had all those things I wrote when I was younger too. But at least I can write in hindsight which gives me a new understanding and appreciation for things. <3

  • Liesbet

    Oh, the memories. Debby. Bittersweet. Now and then. I am glad your mom held on to some of your notes, though. While she might have never showed it, she must have had some emotions in regards to your love cards. I hope you can find “final” closure with her – no more tormenting. I feel sad reading about your dad. Sigh. So many women are manipulators. And often, they get away with it. Are they not familiar with the words respect, hurt and bitch?

  • Mabel Kwong

    A bittersweet post, Debbie. On one hand you can feel the love for your parents, but in between there is some love lost. It does sound like a challenging childhood. But given your mother had all the letters over the years, they must have meant something to her. And I guess all these years your dad kept hoping for the better…and I think in your mother’s heart there was a place for him. Maybe you were a blacksheep of sorts (I know the feeling) but I think you made your presence be felt in a good way.

    You know, that picture of your face in the eye…that reminds me of the character Poison Ivy, but a good one at that 🙂

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