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Dear Mama

you would think, that after ten plus years now, you'd be ready to acknowledge her by name. you would think, that since she's in her fucking death bed - hours, days, months, a year (if she's lucky) away from permanent darkness - her body breeding with cancerous tumors, her head as the canvas for a dozen stitches from the vein that burst in her brain, her blood contaminated by some kind of bacterial infection picked up in mexico, where her smallest concern is being bed-ridden with skin ulcers, you would think, that now, over a decade later, you'd be able to call her by her name.

i do understand, that she has wronged you, caused you a great deal of pain that is hard to forget. in a way, she took a part of your life away from you, and a little bit of you died inside. i get that. but we all fuck up, and we all do things (perhaps out of selfish nature) from time to time that hurt others. sometimes it's intentional, most often it's not - we just can't help it - our emotions are too strong, our desires too great, our hormones too volatile. you should know this, out of all people.

but here's the thing, i've always believed that one of the greatest things about being human, is our ability to forgive. it's not so much about pardoning the other person for his or her offense, than it is about having the ability to acknowledge that the offense occurred, and to find equanimity within yourself with the knowledge that such a transgression had indeed transpired.

you say you no longer hold any ill-feelings, but i know that is untrue. you're reasoning for not addressing her by name is because you don't think it's a big deal what you call her, but if it's not a big deal, why not just call her "nellie" rather than the "other person"? i'm pretty fucking sure that "nellie" is easier to say and more efficient seeing as how it's two syllables shorter.

this isn't the first time i've brought it up to you, and you again referred to her as the "other person" tonight, to which i resolutely responded, unless you're going to start referring to her by her actual name, i'm not going to continue telling you how she's doing.

please understand, i am not attacking you nor defending her. but it's hard for me to believe that you genuinely care about a person's well-being when you can not even acknowledge her by her name. and if you can't acknowledge her by her name, then you really have no business asking how she is doing anyway.

when i tried to explain to you my reasoning behind this, and i wanted to explain to you not only my sentiments on the concept of forgiveness, but also how i came to forgive you, you snapped, much like a venus fly-trap. you grew defensive, and completely shut down. i could see the pain and anger burning in your eyes behind a thick shroud of pride and pigheadedness. oh mama, i wish sometimes you weren't so blind.

you will never be happy. you're living in an unreal world. i was wrong. i thought you had finally found peace, but all you've done is sweep the dirt under the carpet. it really hurts me so to see that you are still bitter, after all this time. i want you to give me something to admire, be someone i can look up to, but you fail me again.

who will you listen to? i thought you would listen to me, and it's taken me years to figure out what to say and how to say it, to build up enough courage to actually vocalize it before you - all the meanwhile, twiddling my fingers waiting for an appropriate time. yet you shut me down.

i wanted to tell you how i came to forgive you. how it felt for me when you tried to take your own life. twice. i wanted to tell you how for the longest time, it felt like you had wronged me, how i bore in me a deep resentment towards you. as much as it was a selfish act for you to commit then, i have grown older, i am more mature, and i can relate to that overwhelming surge of emotion that must have engulfed your soul and mind. and i forgive you. twice i forgive you. i have found equanimity. now why won't you?

you would think, that after ten plus years now, you'd be ready to acknowledge her by name. you would think, that since she's in her fucking death bed - hours, days, months, a year (if she's lucky) away from permanent darkness - her body breeding with cancerous tumors, her head as the canvas for a dozen stitches from the vein that burst in her brain, her blood contaminated by some kind of bacterial infection picked up in mexico, where her smallest concern is being bed-ridden with skin ulcers, you would think, that now, over a decade later, you'd be able to call her by her name.

all of those things that i admire about you - your sensitivity, your compassion, your kindness - are disintegrating to ashes because of your unwillingness to shed that shroud before your eyes.

i want to love you. i do. but i really don't know how.

telephone poetry part i by m. wilder

Absolute Altruism