Mother / An Apology

Mom, I’m sorry that I’m not as cute as a baby, that I don’t make people smile when I giggle or reach my hands up so a stranger can hold me. I no longer crawl on the lawn, stopping to contemplate curious fistfuls of grass, and my little sun hat no longer provides my delicate head any protection from the sun.

I didn’t eat my vegetables like you told me to, and my skinned knees took longer to heal despite careful application of ointments and colorful band-aids. And when I got older my wiry frame never could build the muscles I needed to carry you through life and handle the weight of the world on my shoulders.

My Spider-Man pajamas that used to allow me to jump around slinging my web, taking out the monsters under YOUR bed, they don’t fit me anymore. Now I can’t save your world one happy day at a time because my superhero costume doesn’t fit, and I can’t wipe away your tears no matter how hard I try.

I’m sorry that I was mean to the other kids, bullied them around with threats, guns and intimidation. I really shouldn’t have cut off their hands as my act of vengeance against the other kids and the cruelty of the world. You taught me altruism, but I ignored it because I saw the world, and it stole what was mine.

I shouldn’t have dropped out of school, just because the starry sky was so bright. Thousands of stars peppered across a vast blackness, constellations clear and representing those immortal figures we can only hope to become. But I didn’t notice how so many were shooting stars, falling, never to shine again.

And because of that, I didn’t become a doctor or a lawyer like everybody’s supposed to for success in life. I struggled to survive in a world from that felt so selfishly cruel in efforts to move ahead in life. I felt no need to reap profits, to steal from others. So my fate was sown with seeds of despair until I could win.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t provide you what you with your basic needs, that I allowed the generator to go out and leave us freezing on cold nights, and I never cleaned the outhouse to stave all of that putrid from spreading diseases to us. I should have swept our dirt floor, and collected more firewood for you.

I was pressured by circumstance to join the Army, to become a soldier, because that is how people must live in our society, the only way they can survive. War is dangerous, but a time comes when you must choose sides in order to win the ferocious struggle of selfish competition. Dangerous too is complacency.

I become alienated in time, nothing more than a laborer for the profiteers. When I used to enjoy work, finding fulfillment in my daily accomplishments, I came to hate it. I avoided work whenever I could, just wanting to escape from the misery it became. I had to retire before I succumbed to greed as its slave.

I tried to rise up, become a leader, a successful instigator of wide-reaching changes. So rare are such people that everyone surely must find the urge to at least try to overcome the impossible. I’m sorry that I failed that, too. Do you know what it’s like to challenge the status quo? Like taking on the whole world.

I’m sorry that I stopped visiting you later in life, sorry that my time became so consumed with other things. You even thought I had forgotten you when you needed me most in your lonesome old age. I’ve been trying to make life better, trying to make the world a better place. The truth is I don’t know how.

I will likely leave this world without carrying on our family name. What women wants a man who is too busy, and what man would give up you and the world for a single woman? You have no grandchildren to play with and relive the wonderful moments of youth, because I’m trying my best to make a difference.

But the bad guys are winning, mom, just like they always do. I don’t know how much longer I can stand it. I can’t even call myself a fighter. I have failed you along with the rest of the world. All sorts of empty promises left unfulfilled because I’m just not good enough. All I wanted has culminated into nothingness.

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