A Charlotte mother’s correspondence with President Obama

Not many people receive a personal letter from the President of the United States. But then again, not many people have childhoods that compel them to write to the president in the first place. contributor Sosha Lewis, however, is one of the few who can add that to her list of accomplishments. As many readers know, Lewis had an unconventional childhood, raised by her grandmother after her parents - who used and sold large quantities of high-powered narcotics throughout her childhood - went to prison. And while Lewis, thanks in part to the loving support of family, friends, and teachers, overcame poverty and her traumatic childhood to graduate from college, work as a writer, and become a mother herself, her parents’ drug abuse made a lasting impression in her life. She is currently writing a memoir chronicling her story and hopes to inspire others struggling with the effects of drug abuse in their lives.

And that’s why she reached out to President Obama.

Last October, Lewis read about Obama's plans to fight prescription drug abuse and decided to share her story with the president as well as offer her gratitude. For Lewis, this was not a political statement, rather “this was about an issue that has taken so much from me and I appreciate that it is finally being addressed on a much bigger platform.” Having mailed her letter last fall, Lewis thought nothing more of it, until last week when a letter arrived from the White House.

“It came on my birthday - a day that was special to my mom and me because she was an unwed teenager who was sent away from home to have me. She and I had a special bond and she almost always called me at 5:52am, the exact moment I was born. While I know it was a mere coincidence the letter arrived on the same day, it still makes me happy to think that it arrived when it did, during a time when I am struggling to find the gumption to keep writing the memoir.”

And while she is moved by the correspondence from President Obama, Lewis also says, “I am not naive enough to think that the POTUS was writing me a letter out in long hand or sending me a post card from Hawaii. And, they do respond to a vast majority of their correspondence but he picks only a few to personally respond to - according to So, it was an extreme honor that the leader of the free world, who probably has a pretty full plate most days, took the time to reach out to me.”

But isn’t it also nice that Lewis took the time to reach out to the president, in the hope that her letter could help even just one person stay in recovery for one more day or know that they can get out of their difficult situation, just as she did.

If you’d like to hear more from Sosha, be sure to follow her “Soshally Awkward” blogs and sign up to receive the Lewis-penned 1-Minute Moms newsletter.