Almost Like God / by Rebecca Tillett

 A love letter from my father to my mother

A love letter from my father to my mother

When you're a small child, you're constantly looking for love, almost like God. It seems to exist, somewhere maybe. Maybe some people feel it, maybe they were even warming themselves in it in some faraway place I couldn't get to. But I didn't see it. It was so tricky, love; as soon as I thought I might have found it, I was wrong. Love wasn't screaming and tears and pain and unyielding agony. It wasn't solitary or demeaning or critical, and yet, that was all I found in the living people around me; my parents, my grandparents, many of my friend's families. Love had somehow morphed into security, comfort, apathy, and this is easier.

Every child wants to know that their parents not only love them but love each other. I have small fuzzy memories of what could have been love between my mother and father: laughter, tickling, pet names, but those small moments had all faded and died before I was out of elementary school. From that point on until my father shot himself, my parents were strangers to each other at their best and bitter enemies at their worst. And I was struggling with the being of the product of that failed alliance. And yet, I knew in the deepest and darkest corners of my heart that at one time, they loved each other, they had passion for each other and probably would have died for each other. I've only ached for being too late to have witnessed it. Instead, I watched hate conquer love. Every child of a broken home has, and they carry this around with them in their bones for the duration of their lives.

My American father met my Australian mother through unlikely circumstances in Queensland in 1980. They exchanged love letters when they were apart. And because of that, I have these small but significant artifacts from their past...my past, that prove the existence of love; love between them. And that's as good as God to me. Maybe it's even the same thing.