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Tammy: My Beloved Daughter

Forgive Me

Dear Tammy,

It’s been just a year since the Lord took you from us. I feel like such a hypocrite saying that, but it is how I was brought up. The truth is I blame myself for your accident. I’ve never said this aloud because blaming myself is only half the story. Your father would have to share the blame equally with me, and if he ever admitted that to himself it would destroy him. Actually he’s halfway there.

You were such a sweet, loving child I know that you would be telling me right now if you could not to blame myself, that it was your fault, your choices. But here’s the truth, Tammy. When we were preparing for your wake I went through a box of photos because I wanted there to be a collage for everyone to see showing how beautiful you were. As I went through the last few years of photos I couldn’t find a single one of you where you didn’t have a drink in your hand. It hit me like a sledgehammer. Your dad and I were not without a glass in our hands for your entire childhood. We let you join in the ‘fun’ too early because we believed kids should learn to drink at home. Isn’t that sick?

We used to think that your friends’ parents who tried to stop their kids from drinking were ‘stiffs’ who were out of touch with what kids are really like. The thing is, Tammy, their kids are alive right now.

The police said you must have just fallen asleep seconds before your car went off the road into the ravine. They wouldn’t let me see your body. They said I would never get over it. Dad did though. He came out of the coroner’s office white as a sheet and sat down in a chair shaking like he was having some kind of a seizure. He won’t talk about it, partly because he can’t, and partly because ever since that moment he’s had a glass of something up to his lips. I gotta tell you I’m not far behind him.

I keep dreaming that one morning I will wake up and hate the thought of a drink. That my body and soul will be cleansed of the need for booze and I can accept your death. I pray for this every day but so far no good.

We poisoned you Tammy, and I hate myself for it. I love you with everything I got, and hope you forgive me for my failure.


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