I guess I’m not ready to leave THE NOTE behind yet.
Doni’s comment has helped me verbalize something I forgot long ago. **SPOILER ALERT**
Let me back up. In the book, not the film, Lila, or “T” tells Peyton that she’d really like her birth mother to know that she’s okay. That’s all she really wants. And in the book, Lila loses both parents in the plane crash.
I can’t tell you how many letters I’ve received from people who urged me to have Peyton let Lila in on her epiphany; to “spill the beans,” so to speak.
And yet, I elected not to, for several reasons. First, Lila had just said that she didn’t really want a relationship with her bio mother. She only wanted her bio mother to know that she was okay, and the Lord had already answered that prayer.
Second, as Doni pointed out, for Peyton to claim this new relationship would cut into Lila’s time of mourning her parents. They deserved to be mourned, and Lila deserved a time to grieve in peace, without additional major life trauma.
Third–and most important–for Peyton to press her advantage would have been selfish. We often think of our “rights” first and foremost, and it seems natural that a bio mother has the “right” to meet her child. But isn’t it more loving to think of the child first? By not saying anything, Peyton placed her child’s welfare above her own rights.
I’m sure that in the future, Peyton would have kept in touch . . . and who knows but that she would have eventually explained the full miracle of the note. But when they first met, the time was not right.
My thoughts have undoubtedly been colored because I am an adoptive parent. And I believe that parents who make an adoption plan for their children are demonstrating that best, selfless love.
In the book, Peyton didn’t surrender her child willingly–she was mentally incompetent after a nervous breakdown and suicide attempt. But at the end, she did exhibit that same selfless love by not revealing her history. Yet this time, it was her conscious choice.