By Lynne Hendricks

To my darling daughter on your Wedding Day.

Today is the day that I am sure you have planned and waited for your whole life. I am so sorry that I am not there to share this 
day with you. I can picture you in your silk gown with pearl beading, your hair tied up, with the curls cascading down the back. I 
wish I was there to see your father walk you down the aisle and to see you having your first dance with your new husband.
In my absence I have prepared this letter for you and I do hope that it will answer all those questions you had, so many years 
ago. All those questions that I avoided answering, well you deserved to know the truth then and you deserve to know the truth 

I know that this does not make up for me not being there and telling you all of this in person, but this is the best I can do under 
the circumstance. I will start with my last happy memory I shared with you, just before I got ill. That day more than ever I knew 
that I needed to tell you the truth, but I did not want to dampen what little time we had left together. So here goes.
The first memory that comes to mind for me is your Senior Prom and the excitement in your eyes as you emerged all dressed 
up and ready to go, waiting on your date to arrive. My heart came to a complete stand still and your beauty took my breath 
away. You were absolutely glowing with happiness and I did not want to spoil that moment for you, but I was being eaten by 
fear that day. Fear that I would lose you.

I am sure you remember that we had our fair share of arguments over whether or not you should go. Once those arguments 
were settled your attire for the evening became the focus. I did not approve of you going and I certainly did not approve of the 
dress you wore, but you and your father had this power over me. I could not resist your persistent manner. You over powered 
me with the love I have for you.

For weeks after that night you could not stop talking about what a wonderful experience it had been, about how you and your 
friends danced and talked all night long. In fact you crept into our bed as soon you got home, to share your love, joy and 
laughter with us. My heart went out to you that day and I came very close to revealing all my fears for you, but I did not want to 
take your moment away from you. It was yours and I wanted you to glow in that moment for as long as possible. Instead I let 
you go to experience life…

High school is another memory that stood out for me, I could not believe that my little girl was growing up and getting ready for 
high school. High School was so much different from Primary School. It held so many dangers, with drugs and alcohol and 
boys and the new trends that were evolving at the time. I am sure you remember me bringing up the topic of home schooling. 
The fear in your eyes, you thought that I had totally lost it. Yet you indulged me and you listened to what I had to say, and you 
did put up a good argument as to why main stream schooling would be good for you.

Again you and your father convinced me that main stream schooling was the way to go. During your first year at high school 
you flourished and matured so much that I hardly recognized you. I could not believe that you were my little girl all grown up, 
making her own decisions. You were taught things about sex and puberty that made me blush and you did not have any 
qualms about sharing this knowledge with your father and me. You certainly taught us a thing or two. All I could do was stand 
back and let you fly, even though deep down all I wanted to do was scoop you in my arms, run to the bedroom to hold on to 
you and protect you from the world. Instead I let you go to experience life…

Another great memory was your first day at school, only six years old. So small and so fragile to my eyes, but you were ready 
to take on the world. You woke early that morning and ran to our bedroom to wake us. You were so scared that you would be 
late on your first day and miss out on meeting your new friends. Seeing you all dressed up and ready for school brought tears 
to my eyes. I could not restrain myself that day. I scooped you up and bawled my eyes out.

My little girl was going to school. You made me promise not to cry. In fact I was not even allowed to get out the car and walk 
you to your classroom. You and your father took that walk without me. I still remember you turning to wave to me, as I sat in 
the car, tears streaming down my face. I did not think I could love you any more than I did at that moment. Instead I let you go 
to experience life…

My best memory of them all was the day you came into this world. This was a day filled with tears and pain. Oh the pain, I did 
not think that I would survive the pain. I could feel my insides giving way, as my body was preparing for your journey into this 
world. The pain was unbearable, I could hear my heart beating in my ears and if I could have climbed the walls at the hospital I 
certainly would have done so. Finally the Doctor told me that it was time and he asked me to push. It felt like my insides were 
all coming out.

The Doctor reassured me and asked me to push once more and I could feel you slide out. A few seconds later I heard your 
first cry. The nurse brought you to me so I could look at you before they took you away to be examined. You were the most 
beautiful creation I had ever seen. I never imagined that I could ever love someone as much as I love you, just a few seconds 
after meeting you for the very first time. I was in agony until they brought you back. I wanted to hold you, to love and protect 
you from that moment on. Instead I let you go to experience life…

The night you were conceived, this was my day to shine. I was so happy. It was my Prom night and I was going to the dance 
with the love of my life. I still could not believe that he had asked me to the dance. He had hardly spoken to me all year, but I 
was in awe of him and did not hesitate to accept his invitation. I got dressed early and sat in the lounge for almost a full hour 
waiting on him. He fetched me and took me to the Prom in his car. We danced and talked all night long, just as you and your 
friends had done. When it was time to go home, he drove to a deserted park. Just so we could spend some time alone.

I was shy and he coaxed me to join him in back of the car. Reluctantly I gave in and joined him. We sat at the back for some 
time talking about our dreams and aspirations, now that we were done with school, and then he forced himself upon me. He 
took advantage of a young naïve girl, who was in awe of him. He raped me. I did not tell anyone and you were conceived.
It was months later when I could no longer hide the swelling of my belly, that I spoke up and revealed what had happened to 
me. By that time I had isolate myself, cut my ties with my friends and kept to myself. I felt so ashamed, yet the moment you 
were born I knew that I had to protect you. I would not let the same happen to you. I was going to keep you close to me and 
protect you. I should have lived my life…

Now to answer your questions, where are my wedding pictures? I destroyed them all. I was nearly nine month pregnant with 
you and did not want any reminders of that day. Why did I not enjoy going out? I still feared what people would think of me, the 
poor girl who got pregnant after she was raped. Some even questioning if I did something to evoke the rape. Why did I find it 
so hard to let you live your live? I did not want you to experience what I had endured on my night to shine. All I wanted to do 
was to protect you and keep you safe. No woman should ever have to endure rape or abuse of any kind.

Now I am sure that must be a bit confused and wondering who your real father is. Well that is not a mystery at all. The man 
you have known and revered all your life as your father is indeed your father. I married the man who raped me. His family was 
so angry at him for his actions and made him take responsibility.

They made him marry me. I was still so in love with him, that I agreed without hesitation. Despite all this, he was a good 
husband, a good father and a good provider. More importantly he gave me you, the one person in the world I loved more than 
life itself. I would die for you. I lived my life for you.

Today my child I say to you. Fear not the world. Live life like there is no tomorrow. Enjoy each moment of it and remember that 
I loved you then and I love you still.

Your loving mother.

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