The Power of Love and Respect

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**Scholarship Submission**

Dear Diary, (3/22/2013)

I can’t BELIEVE I have to do this!! It feels so awkward. Mrs. Post what are you thinking? Okay, today guess what assignment we have to do, granted I know it is valentine’s week, but we have to write two letters TO OUR PARENTS!! Mom’s is about how we love her and dad’s is about how much I respect him. I know that in my particular case I love mom and dad and… well I guess I respect him but why would he care. WHatEver. I just do it and get it over with.

Dear Mom,

You are a wonderful mother, (even though we fight like all the time) and I greatly appreciate all the help you have given me on projects (okay fine this is true) and the motherly wisdom you have given me over the years (much of which I either ignored or was actually useful… well… everything up until yesterday I guess ended up being much more true than I would like but her most recent advice is obviously ridiculous!) I love you so very much even when I do not always show it (just because this is true doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel like a fresh slice of mozzarella cheese, this is what I was worried about)

Love your daughter,


Well that was strange but I guess I did mean everything I said it just…

Okay, moving on to dad. I feel so bad for some of my friends, one guy has a dad he absolutely despises and from what I heard I don’t blame him. But, why respect, that sounds so guy to guy. Imagine MR. fancy suit with a finely pressed bow tie and dancing coat tails meeting, as far as I’m concerned, his twin brother. Why should a daughter need to say any such thing, in an ancient form of communication at that! I might as well get the quill and ink out.

Dear Dad,

You are an amazing dad and I greatly respect you for it. (this still feels weird and like I’m not saying anything) …(respect and thanks and more respect and more thanks and I’m starting to feel like I’m in dire need of an old English thesaurus, probably instead of a hard back a scroll back.)

Respectfully your daughter,


Dear Diary, (3/25/2013)

I carefully slipped those letters under my parent’s pillows. Hopefully I’m asleep by the time they find them so that I won’t have to deal with whatever they think. Wait I hear something…

Hmm, my parents actually came in to thank me for the letters. Mom’s eye even had little silver trails under her eyes. Even dad seemed touched. Maybe they are just being like any good parent and just saying it meant something when it really didn’t.

Dear Diary, (3/26/2013)

Today Mrs. Post told us a story about a girl in a previous class who did this same assignment. She came up to Mrs. Post and asked if she had to do it for her dad. He had been absent from her life for a while, why would she say she respected him when really she felt betrayed. He DIDn’t DESERVE to be respected. He is the adult and should make the first move when he was the cause of the hurt. The pain of a father just ditching his daughter is unimaginable. Mrs. Post insisted. So, since it was an assignment, the girl did it and sent the letter off to this worthless father. Sometime later, at the end of the school day. She was leaving the class room. There stood her dad. His hat in hand and wearing rugged clothing. She stopped, stunned, and as he walked toward her she saw a beautiful red rose in his hand. Tears started to slip free as she rushed to her dad and wrapped him in a huge bear hug. All from one silly letter.

Dear Diary, ( 3/22/2016)

I still remember this “silly” assignment my high school teacher made us do. Later I asked my parents if those letters actually meant anything and I discovered that safely tucked into my father’s gun safe where those same two letter’s. Those gangly words tripping from my pen onto a plain college rule paper were precious to my parents, a sparkle of appreciation in the midst of many a fight and consequence. In reality those words were just as impactful as the girl in my teacher’s story. I just already had my parents. But, the power was still there.