love

An Orphan Girl’s Letter to Her Future Lover

Photography by Katerina Plotnikova

Photography by Katerina Plotnikova

Dear Future Lover,

I am an orphan. I lost my father a month after I turned 13, and I lost my mother 2 weeks after I turned 31. Cancer took both of my parents away from me. Just from my first 3 sentences, you can probably tell what I am afraid of.

I am afraid to love someone. At that very moment when my father died, everything fast forwarded in my mind. I thought about graduating high school and college without my father. I thought about my 18th birthday without my father (and yes, I didn’t have that debut party). I thought about my wedding march and the father-daughter dance at my wedding without my father. At 13 years old, I questioned why (most) people desire to get married or be with someone when they are aware that sooner or later one of them will leave… either physically or emotionally. I don’t think that the “The Notebook” ending is going to happen to each and everyone of us, so why? Why be with someone when you know that one of you will die and will leave the other one alone? Why be with someone when you know the possibility that one of you might fall out of love? Why not stay alone and avoid hurting someone or getting hurt by someone? For years, I’ve convinced myself that I should and could live without getting into relationships… until I met my first boyfriend when I was 19 years old. I don’t think this guy actually gave me a reason to change my mind about my view on marriage. I hate to admit but I guess, I’ve fallen in love with the idea of falling in love. I was young, although I was serious about the relationship but looking back on these memories now, I couldn’t think of a life-changing reason why I decided to be with someone except that I really liked (and eventually, loved) that guy. We lasted for more than 2 years, it didn’t end well but I could say that I’ve learned a lot from it. Somehow, it made me think back again… “Why did I even get into a relationship?” I tried to answer my own question and I couldn’t really give myself a good answer. I wanted to stick to my old view on relationships, which is basically not getting into a relationship BUT then 2 years after… another guy came into my life. I can’t explain why I’ve gotten myself into another relationship again but thinking about it now… I guess I was hoping that it was just a sad-girl-full-of-angst in me that needed to see a different view on relationships. Unfortunately, to her, it was another fairy tale that ended without a happily ever after. I thought it was a waste of more than 4 years of my life and maybe… it’s time for me to finally stick to that thought I had when I was 13 years old. I don’t need and shouldn’t be in a relationship.

So why am I writing to you, my future lover? Because I know that I am not fully convinced that I am right. Actually, I think I might be wrong; and honestly, I am hoping I am wrong. I love being in love. I love being loved. But I am scared.

I used to live in a house with my mother’s parents and uncle, my father, and my sister. My grandmother died when I was 10, my father when I was 13, my grandfather when I was 17, my mom’s uncle when I was 28, and then my mom after I turned 31. Too much loss but nobody will ever get used to that feeling. I am not scared about death but with the grief it brings to the ones who are left behind by their loved ones. But more than that, I am scared that I am too broken for everything I have been through. Too broken that I might be needing too much understanding, caring, assurance and love from you. I am scared that because I might need too much from you, you’d be giving more than I could give you. I am scared that you might find me draining, that I might be taking too much from you. I don’t want you to feel that everything is about my needs but what if I am too broken that even if I am trying to fix myself now, I won’t be able to make myself whole and I am just going to be a burden in your life?

My dad died of lungs, bones, & liver cancer. My mom died of breast cancer. I am scared. I am not so good with taking care of myself. I am trying. I don’t have vices except for junk food, although I am trying my best to eat healthy. I don’t smoke (and have never smoked) and I rarely drink. Still, my paranoia about my health is something that bothers me. Who would want someone whose parents both died of cancer?

I am turning 32 this year (2016) and yet, we still haven’t found each other (or maybe we have BUT we’re still not together). I am scared. When we find each other, I want to spend time together as a couple. I think most men would like to have kids; and if you do and if I want to have time with you alone, I might be too old to bear our child after our time together. What if I would be too old that I won’t even be able to bear a child (knock on wood)? What if our kid’s classmates would think that I am our kid’s grandmother and it will hurt him/her? What if I’d be too old to run after our toddler?

I am an orphan, fatherless and motherless. I am scared. I am scared that if we get into arguments or fights, the more I would feel alone. I know that couples are supposed to deal with their own problems, not having to involve parents or family but it doesn’t mean you don’t need hugs and you don’t need the presence of people who makes you feel that they’re there to just simply make you feel that things are going to be okay and that it’s all part of the relationship; that they don’t have to know the details because they know that we’ll be able to handle it. I am scared because if we ever get married, I wouldn’t know who will bring me to the altar and hand me over to you. I am scared because if I ever get pregnant, I wouldn’t know what to do while and after giving birth; I wouldn’t have my mom taking care of me whenever you’re not around. I am scared because I don’t have parents to ask advice from on how to be a parent.

My future lover, I have lots of worries and fears. Maybe you’re thinking of backing out. Maybe you’re having  second thoughts about me. But I know that your love will endure and I will forever be grateful that someone took a chance in loving an orphan girl. It isn’t too bad after all, right? You didn’t have to deal with nervousness to meet my parents. You didn’t have to deal with a lifetime supply of death threats from my father. You didn’t have to deal with the challenge of getting the favor of my mom so we could go out on a date. Silly, I know but I’m just making you see the brighter side of loving an orphan girl. There are too many voids to fill in, and it might be too overwhelming for you but you have to remember that loving an orphan girl like me also means… you’re all I have. My love and my life will be devoted to you and to our future family. All my fears and anxieties, are the things I will overcome with you; because once I met you, my future lover, I won’t finally be alone anymore in trying to face all my worries and fears.

Now I think I have realized that people get into a relationship not because they are hoping that they will be together forever because actually, they won’t be; but because they want to share their dreams, happiness, experiences, and love with someone with the time they can have together. The uncertainties in life doesn’t really matter, what matters is the certainty of your feelings for someone and your desire to make each second count while given the chance to be together.

I am scared but you, my future lover, are worth facing those fears… and we shall find each other, sooner or later but hopefully sooner. I can’t wait to spend my days with you.

Love,

Your Orphan Lover

Written by Anna Lorraine Pinlac