Happy 15th to My Daughter

Lori Handrahan
4 min readNov 29, 2021

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Fifteen years ago today you burst into the world — beautiful, bold, adorable and smart. So smart. So very, very smart.

You at the pool in Sorrento, Maine

You were already reading at two and half years old. The first word you read was “cow.” By four-years old you were doing first grade level workbooks — which you loved.

When you were four you were accepted into a private bi-lingual school in Washington DC. They could not believe how smart you were!

Fifteen years ago, giving birth to you, was the happiest day of my life. You were wanted, adored, cared for, loved, provided for. You were born with two homes, a college fund, and a professional, employed mother providing for you.

You at Willard Beach

Difficult to believe fifteen years has passed since you were, quite literally, stolen from me, your mother, at only four-years-old.

Time has stood still. Every day. Every week. Every month I thought I would get you back. Months turned into years.

Then you appeared on social media. I have been watching you grow up through a one-way mirror — unable to reach out and hug you, provide for you, love you, guide you, protect you — mother you.

You have been lied to your entire young life. I did not abandon you, am not mentally ill, did not care more about my “career” than you my only child. I loved you and love you. Nothing is more important to me than you.

You now on TikTok

Which is why a gang of misogynist abusive men worked hard to take you from me — knowing that nothing would destroy me more than losing you.

By doing this, they also destroyed your life. They took your mother. They took your homes. They took your financial security. They stole your childhood and your future.

Every day I think of how much has been taken from you, the damage you have suffered, the abuse you endure — and I have been powerless to protect you and prevent any of this.

But you are your mother’s daughter. I know you are. I know that amazing child who was so smart and so full of life is there. They did not destroy me and they will not destroy you.

You and me — your mama.

You are strong, smart, stubborn. You are beautiful, highly intelligent and determined.

The child I gave birth to, and loved and cared for those first four years of your life, is still there — inside you.

You can reach her and you can reach me.

You have a great deal to overcome to rebuild the life taken from you. But you are capable of this. You are capable of following the dreams you had as a child — you wanted to be a scientist or an opera singer.

You in Sorrento

Happy 15th my beautiful, smart daughter.

May better years be on your horizon.

May you overcome the trauma and abuse forced on you.

May you be strong and defiant.

May you follow your dreams and grow into the amazing young woman you were born to be.

You are legally able now, at this age, to walk out of your father’s house and move in with me, your mother.

You at your home at Willard Beach

You always have a place with me.

I love you and am here for you.

Always.

Happy Birthday Mila.

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