Dear Me…Letter To My Younger Self {Cookie Walter}

Letters To My Younger Self Series Pic

 

 

We continue today in our series of letters to our younger selves. Mom shares from her heart about a pivotal time in her life. Decisions that changed her course. These words are hers – actually all eight handwritten pages of them. Her letter is a bit longer than the rest but how do you shorten your mom’s gift? I have edited them for clarity, grammar, spelling and punctuation. She is a wealth of wisdom. Maybe she will write a book one day. Maybe I will help. I certainly have asked her to write her life as she remembers it down for her kids. We need her words. 

We have a new giveaway today. I have often spoke of how much mom loves to have her fingernails and toenails painted. For the next two weeks you can enter to win my favorite nail polish – OPI Cajun Shrimp and OPI Red along with some great foot cream. Don’t forget to enter!

Dear Cookie,

I can still see you in my mind’s eye. I still remember those feelings that overcome you as you think, I’m sixteen and can quit school. I hate school. West Monroe High School is too big and these kids have a different and better life than me. I need freedom! I need to change my life. These thoughts consume you and it is these thoughts that propel you into choices that will place you on a life path long before you are mature enough to understand the rules of the road.

When you are older, but still a young woman, Momma will give you a little plaque she picked up on a vacation that says, “For the person who has an answer for everything. Neat, plausible and wrong.” You will treasure this little keepsake. And in many ways, it describes your life over the years.

You are a person of action. I call you a “mover” personality. You believe it is better to do something in life, even if it doesn’t turn out the way you thought.  One of the biggest lessons you are going to learn in life is that there are no short cuts.

Your home life is filled with conflict. Daddy and Momma never get along! He is a good provider and she is a good homemaker and cook but the day in and day out turmoil never seems to change. Daddy with his short fuse and momma and her emotional, victim personality will leave you with anger, confusion and no exposure to a loving, content relationship between and man and wife. This environment lights the fuse to the ticking time bomb within you for relationships with men. You make yourself a promise. No man will ever cause you the pain that Dad caused Mom and you take it.

Why do they fight so often? You try to figure out the problem. As you grow older, you will better understand. They didn’t have any insight into the problem either. Age will help you see that they came from dysfunctional homes too. They, like all of us, were living life with the knowledge they had. This would be a great time to figure out what makes you tick. Get to know yourself. Understanding your feelings will come along the way, but much later. Oh how helpful that knowledge would be right now as you are about to make some very life changing decisions.

When you’re sixteen and have all the answers, what’s the next step? You begin bugging Momma to let you quit school. She doesn’t want you to but you do not stop until she finally gives in on the condition you get a job.

In August you will began working at Woolworth’s lunch counter. You will quickly see that you have never worked as hard as you will at that counter. Work will get harder and you will learn how to get along better and your boss, Mrs. Crew, who you think is a slave driver, in hindsight is really a nice person. Because you can’t see that, you quit. This is where I wish I could stop you and say, “Cookie, go back to school! Apply yourself. Don’t let your parents problems become your own. Enjoy these years. Have fun with your friends.” That part of you that wants to try, enjoy and taste everything as soon as possible must be tempered with patience. Patience is the key to better choices.

I can’t stop you. You will return to school but it will be much later in your life. You are a student of hard knocks right now and when you graduate you will then have the wisdom you thought you had and you will realize that loving and enjoying life are gifts from God. There are consequences to every choice, good and bad. Not every challenge you face will be due to your poor decisions, in life things just happen. How you react to them will certainly make a big difference in the outcome.

Stacy’s Coffee Shop seemed a great choice. It was close to home and you could ride the bus to work. You are young, pretty, innocent and love to cut up and have fun. The mill workers love you and you enjoy all the attention. Cookie, you do not need to be in this atmosphere. Momma is naïve too. She has never worked outside the home. It’s all fun and attention right now but it will lead to heartache and tears. Stop putting yourself in situations that are too mature for you.

You will meet your first husband at Stacy’s. You think of him as a stepping stone into a better life quickly. He is nine years older than you, mature and had been married before. You don’t know the first thing about being a wife.

He will try to control your free spirit and you will feel cheated out of your young life, which you were. Due to circumstances beyond your control, the marriage was annulled and you feel free once again. Yet, freedom is only good if you know how to handle it. You will go on to marry Carmen’s Dad . You may find this hard to believe, but you will have four children – two boys and two girls.

Through every season, you will be proud of some of your choices and others you will need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back in the game. I love you dearly. Your strength in handling a crisis will help you survive some big ones. Oh for you to have the wisdom then that I have now. I could save you some pain.  A lot of prayer and looking for God’s direction will be the keys to work your way through. Take life serious when it comes to your happiness, but love and enjoy every minute.

You will have some regrets but you will live a very fulfilled life. You will have love, homes, children, health, fun, friends and a lot of good memories that cancel out some of the bad ones.

As your older self, I know that all these season and times in life will make you who you are. At seventy-three, you will still love life, have lots of fun, be healthy and will still be making memories. Most of all you will still have God! He blesses, even through mistakes. I owe it all to Him.

Love,

The Older Cookie

Mom's bio pic resizedCookie (Mom) has one of those personalities that would be hard to limit to 100 words! She loves life, fun, people, her family and, like me, dark chocolate! She makes the best cornbread dressing you have ever eaten and her grandkids sing the praises of her chicken and dumplings. She is a retired hairdresser who can still be found snipping great grand’s hair from time to time. Mom is married to my sweet stepdad, Tommy, and they enjoy traveling and spending time with family. She loves Jesus and shares that love to all around. What you may not know is that Mom is deaf. She has a Cochlear implant in one ear that has helped and a hearing aid in the other. This disability never gets her down. She laughs when she misunderstands and participates in life – even though she may not hear everything. This is just one of the reasons I call her my hero.
 

Other Post in the Dear Me Series…

Dear Me…Letter To My Younger Self {Carmen Horne}

Dear Me…Letter To My Younger Self {Kristi Woods}

Linking with…Holly Barrett’s Testimony Tuesday, Kelly Balarie’s #raralinkup, Susan Mead’s #DanceWithJesus Friday

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22 Comments

  1. MY BEST FRIEND SINCE 7th GRADE>.I GO TO HER FOR ADVICE AND PRAYER>WE SPENT MANY HAPPY HOURS IJ OUR TEENS WALKING THE LEVY AT BAWCOMVILLE>AND SHARING THE SECRETS THAT NEED A TRUSTED EAR> I LOVE YOU GIRL

    1. Thresa, I can still taste the deviled ham sandwiches with mustard and a green onion that your mom fixed for us. We could talk for hours about things that never came to pass, and thank God they didn’t! Just a lot of good sweet memories.

  2. Cookie, your story was great. You have always had a good soul. I seen that as a young girl. I don’t see you much but I think about you often. You are beautiful on the inside and out. You have sweet beautiful daughter’s. Miss you all.

    1. Candie you are one of my sweet memories. I am so thankful that you have a beautiful home and a loving family. I think about you and all the years of your young life I spend next door and God has given you all things you have asked for.

      You are also a beautiful person. May God bless you! With love, Cookie

  3. Dear Miss Walter, would you, could you, please adopt me. :)
    Carmen, what a sweet blessing to have a God-fearing, fun-loving mother.
    Enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing. <3

    1. I’ve adopted alot of children Brenda. But I’m 74 now so so maybe you can adopt me :) I still like to have fun and I do every chance I get.

      Thanks for your sweet comment

  4. This is wonderful, Carmen!

    We all need to hear the stories of our parents, don’t we? I think of that so often.

    Thank you, both, for being willing to share this heartfelt letter.

    Love this line: “A lot of prayer and looking for God’s direction will be the keys to work your way through.” May this be said of all of us. May He continue to fill your cups to overflowing.

    Blessings.

  5. What a practical and helpful post. I love the idea of writing letters to your younger self.

    This line was especially helpful to me today, “Through every season, you will be proud of some of your choices and others you will need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back in the game.”

    I came over on RaRa, and I’m glad to find your post.
    Hope you have a blessed day,
    Melanie

  6. I appreciate the things that you have posted about your mom. She is such a beautiful person and you can feel the love of God that’s in her. For the past 3 and 1/2 years that we have attended Rocky Branch I found a family of God who loved me unconditionally and that’s something that I’ve never had in all my years of serving God. When I went to church you were the first one that I looked forward to seeing and talking to and also your husband Tom . The reason that we cannot continue to go to Rock Branch is because of the road that we had to travel. We never knew weather or not if we were able to cross it because most of the time it was impassable. It was tearing up my husband’s truck. We are now attending Point Assembly of God. We were members of that church and we decided that it was the best choice concerning where we were going to be in church. Thanks for being my friend and being such a wonderful person of God. God bless you and Bro. Tom. I do miss all of you.

    1. It was good to hear from you Judith. We have been missing you and Golden at church. I’m glad you read my letter and left me a comment. When Carmen asked me to write one, I didn’t know what I would say but the more I thought about it the Lord gave me something to write about.

      I hope we get to see you and Golden again soon. Come visit when you can.

  7. What a beautiful story. Thank you for opening your heart up for all to see. You have been in my life since I was very young so I felt the loss also when you felt you needed to move on to make a better life for you and your kids.
    You have touched so many lives through the years and I thank God everyday for you, your family and your beautiful daughter. She is a blessing, a comforter, and a giver just like you. You both give when people need to be giving to and recognizing you. God gave you Carmen and what an accomplishment. I am proud to know both of you and you make people want to say pick yourself up “come along with me the best is yet to be.”
    God Bless You.

    1. You’ve always been my sister-in-law. I love the Trichell family and I’m glad we have been able to stay in touch with each other through the years. You’ve been a help to me too. I pray that you will have a happy future and that God will work His will out for you.

      Hope to see you soon and maybe have lunch,

      Your sister-in-law Cookie

  8. Oh, Miss Cookie! You described me when you said this: That part of you that wants to try, enjoy and taste everything as soon as possible must be tempered with patience. Patience is the key to better choices.

    I’ve always been in a hurry. Only now, in my fifties, and I learning to enjoy the journey!

    Carmen, you are blessed indeed with this wonderful lady as you mama. Although I must argue that my mom made the best cornbread dressing…

    1. Ellen it is good to meet you. I’m glad you like my letter. I have never written anything like this before that was published! But when I started writing, things just came to my mind. I’m glad that you have learned patience since we both are people who like to go ahead and not wait! I still have that problem :)

      Hope you and Carmen have a good time on your trip. Maybe I will get to meet you one day.

  9. It’s interesting how many of us have a strong-willed thread. Thank goodness our Almighty God is patient and faithful! Beautiful letter, Cookie. Thank you for allowing us a glimpse into “you”. One thing is certain, the daughter you raised is beautiful, and I imagine that’s just like you. Have a beautiful day! Carmen, thank you for opening your blog. Still LOVING this idea.

    1. Kristi I will have to say that Carmen has a quieter and more settled personality than me. I admire her. She was a very easy girl to raise. And that was a good thing because I had two boys after that had me standing on my head!

      I’m so glad that ya’ll are friends. I know you all will have a good time this weekend and getting to see each other in person and getting to do things that you both enjoy.

      Hope we can meet one day