I wrote this for my blog and I wanted to pass the message “Love your parents no matter what… because they love you no matter what.”
They say the most powerful love is mother’s love and no person can love you quite the way she does. They say that your mother went through a lot of pain to bring you up, that your father worked every day to feed you. Sometimes I wonder if it’s really true. I mean, if it is then why would there be so many parents killed and so many people running away from home? But I can’t deny the fact that I’ve wondered how it would really feel like too. To know there’s someone out there who’d love you no matter what you do or jump in front of you to save you from something. I do have a mom… and a dad. I see them everyday, speak to them too but I’ve never heard my mom speak to me or tell me I look good. I wonder if my mom stopped caring about everything else in the world when she saw me like all mothers do… or did she not care about me at all, just like now?
Every time I visit my mom, she smiles. She smiles not at me… she smiles at her friends. And I don’t even know who these friends are. Day after day she’d smile as if she’s having the best time ever. Sometimes I look at her and I feel a terrible sense of jealousy. I wish I could smile like her too… wonder what I could or should do to wear a smile like that every day. To have as many friends as I want even if no one else sees or hears them. Maybe my mom can’t see me… but if she doesn’t, then why does she try to jump out of the bed with a look in her eye as if she wants to tear every bit of me into a million pieces. Maybe she’s still so mad at me for being born. Not an hour goes by without me wondering how different her life would have been if I had never been born.
I can’t just pretend that my mom’s here because of some mysterious disorder that no one knows how it occurred, or because she has a disease from which she’s slowly dying but can’t do anything about. It’d be a lie if I say that. I know why she’s here… and she’s here because I was born. You might have heard about the many types of depressions after childbirth but that’s not what happened to my mom. She had been a schizophrenic but the symptoms did not occur till I was born. Before she could look into my face she had had a mental breakdown. She didn’t care about the boy that was just born, but started to speak to thin air instead. My dad says that she was taken into the psychiatric ward immediately, and he followed her. My first breath was not eventful, my parents were too busy in the psychiatric ward and they both forgot me. Dad had come back for me a few hours later and he says that his tears were the first thing of family I really saw. He says it was almost as if my arrival to the family had taken away another. Once I asked him if ever he felt mad at me for being born. He brushed my hair out of my forehead and told me that I’m the only reason he’s holding on. I wanted to say that he wouldn’t have had to hold on if my mom never got sick and I wasn’t born but I’ve heard his reply only too often… that things that were meant to happen would have happened anyway.
Today I’m looking at her again. Every single day for fifteen years I’ve been coming to see her and I’ve received the same cold welcome from her. The doctors say she’s too dangerous to go out of hospital and I have no idea how much longer she has to stay here speaking to those imaginary people and loving them instead of dad and me. She’s trying her best to come free of those chains and attack me. I’ve wondered if I stopped coming to see her would make her feel any better but my dad’s said that there must still be a part of her that loves me like every mom does. Dad gives me some time with mom every day and this is when I cry onto her bed. Most of the time she zones out and doesn’t even know someone’s there, but then there are those few times I’ve seen a spark in her eye. A tear maybe, a feeling of love and I’ve wanted so bad to crawl next to her but those episodes have been so short-lived that I’ve had to reason with myself that I wasn’t actually imagining it. It’s with the hope that I’d see that glint her eyes again that I come back to her every day. When father’s not watching I tell her about school. I tell her about my friends, I tell her the homework I didn’t finish because I wanted to spend every minute I could with her. Today’s just the same. No matter how much I cry, no matter what I say, she’s not going to speak to me. I don’t know if she can hear me but she’s staring at the ceiling again.
I want to tell her the truth today. I want to apologise for what I’ve done to her and I want to do it now. I tell her I’m sorry, I tell her that I would do anything to have her in my life. For her to watch me playing basketball in the weekends. To make me my bed tea. For her to hear what I say and not want to attack me like I would kill her if she didn’t. I tell her how dad never gave up on me or her. How the hospital staff got to carry me in their arms before anyone else but how he had come back for me anyway. She’s still staring at the ceiling but I continue to tell her all what I wanted to. I tell her about how I spoke in front of my class for English today… how I’ve become more confident and challenging. I see it again today… that look in her eyes. In almost a year, she’s looking straight at me today. The tears flow down my cheeks and they fall onto her sheets. She watches me without making an effort to stop me from crying but her eyes twinkle with tears. I jump in astonishment. I have never seem her cry, never seen her show any emotion towards me. I reach out and wipe away her tears and she places her hand over mine. I notice how scarred her hands are from all the needles feeding her barbiturates and sedatives. Around her wrists are cuts made from the chains holding her back during her violent episodes. Her face is at least thirty years older than her real age, her hair grey and face wrinkled and a few places where she had dug her own fingernails into her skin are covered in blood.
This is the first time this has happened. The first time I’ve felt the touch of a mother, the love of one, the feeling of home. She’s trying to tell me something but she can’t. She’s in conflict with her words again. They must be stopping her and telling her how I’m a bad person again. She struggles with her words but in the end she manages to tell my name and that’s all I ever wanted to hear from her. She goes back to staring at the ceiling. I hold her hand in mine and watch her stare at the ceiling, her face unaffected by the boy who’s standing there crying his life out into her bare palms. I bend low and kiss her on her forehead and turn away to go so that dad could spend some time with her before visiting times are over. I walk out of the room, my eyes still wet. I avoid father’s eyes and walk outside the hospital.
I break into a run the moment I’m on the road. It’s lightning and the thunder is very loud. I run without direction in the dark and as fast as I can as if my speed can stop my tears and my thoughts. My phone rings in my pocket and all I want to do is throw it at a house where the kids fight with their parents because they didn’t get a birthday present or because they’re not allowed to stay up late. All I want to do is escape this painful life, to see my mother smile at me for one damn minute. I want to forget my mother but I’m too scared to. I want to throw the phone but then see it’s dad calling me. I’ve lost mom already, I can’t lose dad as well. I answer the phone. His voice is calm, calmer than I’ve ever heard it. It is solemn and weird. I stop in my tracks to listen to him,
“Son, come to the hospital immediately. Mom… died.”
I swear aloud and an elderly man winces at me. I turn around and run faster than I had ever run before. My life flashes before my eyes as I run. I never got to be a part of mom’s life but she was always a part of mine. I visited her every morning and every night, every single day. She was the person who I’ve always been able to say anything to. She had always been there without speaking a single word, but there still. I’ll never know if she heard my words but I like to think she did. The only time she has spoken to me was today and that had made me so happy. I even thought for a second that my life was going to turn around… be normal. Vehicles speed past me and faces of boys my age look out the windows laughing at the night lights. It occurs to me how different life would have been if she had been there for me. The tears blur my vision but I run still. Her entire life had changed because of me. She let all of that happen to her because of me. She wanted to tear me apart with her fingers but she was chained. She remained chained for fifteen years… all because of me. On her last day she managed to argue herself out of her mind. She was able to look at me, let me see the tears. She was never able to wipe the tears off my eyes, but I have wiped away hers. She was never able to kiss me, but I did to her. She was never able to be the best wife to dad, but I took care of him. She wasn’t able to hold my hand for fifteen years but on her last day she did. I love mom and had she not loved me, she wouldn’t have gone through all the struggles to say my name. Just my name. To know my name and to say that to me.