Is it nature or nurture? Time to let go

Dear Mom,

This is the last in the series . You cannot chof letters I am required to write. There were 4 or us and now there are 3 as you prepare for your 92nd year. My younger brother James has been dead for most of my life.  We cannot change the past. We could all take responsibility for his death. One thing there is about life, it is final.

I have heard from Chris that you continue to blame rock and roll for James’ death. But Chris reminded you of your role in bringing a bad man into our family. A man who came between you and your children. James had a severe and persistent mental illness. He was also dyslexic. With these two strikes and the bad genes from his father he needed you.

He needed you more than Chris and me because we had other protective factors. I listened to the same songs as James but I didn’t make the same decisions. I was hallucinating my first week in the Army. But someone or some thing kept me from deserting.

I lived for many years thinking there was something I could do to save James. In the end I had to let him go. That is what you need to do. You cannot change your role as our mother but you need to let go of the past.


Your son,



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