It’s been nearly 15 years since you left. I’ve seen your face only three times since.

But one night this past August, I needed answers. I needed YOU.

For the first time in 15 years I made the call I had been wanting to make for so long but couldn’t. I was brave enough to take that first step. I made the call to a number I wasn’t even sure was yours, partially hoping you wouldn’t answer. But you did. There I was, driving in my car, not knowing where to begin. The fact that I had to start our conversation with “This is Becca, your daughter,” tells a person everything they’d need to know about our situation.

The pain and anger that had built up from all those years created a fortress of hatred… and it disintegrated on the first ring. I unleashed everything I had, the tears, the yelling, everything. And I felt a weight lift, but just like a tsunami, there’s always a second wave. As soon as relief set in, your answers brought the pain back.

You let me vent all the thoughts and feelings of a little girl left by her mom a decade ago when she needed her most. You only interjected with the occasional “I’m sorry” and “I know baby girl.” And at the end of my tear-filled, runny-nosed address, I finally asked the question. The question that would make or break my heart and love for you.


A simple enough question. But, I can imagine for a mother trying to explain her 15-year absence to her youngest child, it was one of the biggest questions of your life. A question filled with hate, sadness, longing and most of all, confusion. After many excuses, I became more demanding for a real answer. And that’s when the heartbreak became worse than I would have thought possible.

“I don’t know what to say. I really don’t have an excuse or a reason

And just like that, I knew all the unforgiving feelings toward you were just. It was confirmed that what I had been feeling in my heart for years, was true. There was no reason. It wasn’t a lack of love. It wasn’t because of me. It wasn’t something I did. There was nothing I could have done to have prevented it from happening. And you had no excuse.

That second wave nearly drowned me.

Now, months later, I can say that although it hurt like crazy, I’m glad I called. I’m glad I got to say what I needed to and that I got an answer, even though it wasn’t the one I wanted. I was expecting some big reason or apology for those 15 years. I’m not really sure what I expected in all honesty. But, I feel good. Surprisingly, that statement is true.

After everything, every late night up crying, every awkward pause when someone asked me about my parents, every time I missed having someone to call “Mom,”— I can still work on forgiving you, despite everything.

And because of you, I will be the best mother. I will never let my children question their worth or my love for a second of their lives. I will never let them feel alone or unimportant.

Because of you, I’m making it my life goal to be a mother my children can rely on. A mother my children can confide in, can snuggle up with, can be friends with and can count on to always tell the truth.

And more than anything, a mother who will ALWAYS be there.


Your Daughter,




Becca Tarter
Author Details
Becca calls her husband, Kyle, and mini Aussie, Mowgli, her happily ever after. She lives in Northern Utah working as a professional product photographer. She is a blogger, writer, photographer and occasionally a model. Give her all the dogs, books and chocolate chip cookies and Becca will be happy forever. She adores rain, mountains, the beach and snuggling. Her dream is to open an animal sanctuary. She has been writing since it was feasible. Journals, school projects, poems, and now blog posts included. Becca has her own website for blogging and photography. She has been published on Huffington Post and has photos featured on


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