July 26, 2019

Hi Mom,

I read your letter. There is a lot I disagree with, but I don’t want to bother addressing all of that now. Suffice to say, your conduct at my brother’s wedding left me with the distinct impression that you did not like me very much and I am at a loss as to how to square that with your general statement that you wish to have a better relationship with me. 

But first, I should clear some things up. You suggest that I didn’t provide you with our address but neglect to acknowledge that I invited you to Passover at my house in April, an invitation you declined. In any event, had you asked I would have provided my address to you. I am not sure what to make of your comment that you were hurt by the fact that I traveled to Africa with my wife and baby. I don’t see how my family traveling would hurt you. Indeed, I would imagine that you would be happy that we had that experience.

Anyway, you are right about one thing: my lack of contact does not arise from malice towards you. Rather, it is to protect my family from more of the sort of nonsense that your most recent letter exemplifies.

Sadly, your letter indicates to me exactly what I have been concerned about for so very long: you have not changed. In your eyes, you see our failed relationship as solely — or at least significantly — my fault. Your letter highlights all the purported wrongs I have done against you but fails to acknowledge the long history of pain you have caused me, as well as the fact that you are an equal part in this relationship and that you have done precious little since the early 200s to build it at all. You seem to think that it is perfectly appropriate for you to completely check out and expect that I determine the terms of our relationship and then find to your surprise that the orchard you neglected failed to produce fruit.

This is emblematic for you: whatever adversity you face is inevitably caused by the actions of someone else, never your own.

If you want to have a better relationship with me, please make an effort to be nicer to me That’s how people usually display affection and convey an interest in spending more time together. 

Legitimately do not know whether your letter is an effort to push me away further, or in your strange worldview, somehow emanates from a belief that pushing me away is supposed to endear me to you. I assure you that pushing me away does nothing more than push me away.

I will make efforts to send you photos of the baby more regularly. She is a delightful little girl and I love her to pieces.