You’ve been gone for more than nine years but I still think about you now and then. I still carry you around in the trunk of my car although I rarely, if ever, remember that you are there.
For years, I searched for a proper urn to put you in but I could never find one. Just a few weeks ago, I found one that would have been perfect but I was afraid if I took you out of my car, it would be bad luck.
I have always thought that somehow, since you never cared about me when you were alive, maybe you would care about me when you were dead.
I never thought it was disrespectful or maybe I didn’t think it was as disrespectful as it was when you called me a parasite or told me that I looked like a street-walker.
I remember that you hated the few times my daddy defended me and you would start calling me “your highness” or “your royalness.” When he left, you would grab my hair and pull it so hard it left knots on my head and then you’d start beating me.
I have no idea where you are but I imagine that you are in Heaven. God seems to forgive people who almost beat their children to death and think it was deserved and He seems to overlook the drunks who inflict their vicious abuse on somebody and never remember it.
In my mind, I can still see your long, chestnut brown hair, your porcelain skin and your ice blue eyes. I remember how statuesque I thought you looked wearing your high heels, even after you kicked me between the legs and made me bleed.
I remember thinking there was nothing you couldn’t do. How I wanted to be like you.
I remember that you never fell apart, even when you had to endure the devastation of losing your first son by my hands.
I remember that you never cried but I remember that you would beat me until I did. Once you made me cry, I remember the look of satisfaction on your face.
You used to make fun of me when I cried. You would smirk and say “that’s right. Turn on the waterworks.” Then you would beat me until I stopped. As determined as I was to hold back my tears, you always won.
I’m different today. You couldn’t make me cry and you wouldn’t have to beat me to make me stop. Now I can smirk when I say the waterworks have been turned off. I will never shed another tear. I win.
I remember how afraid I was when you towered over me and gritted your teeth. I remember the fear I felt when I saw your clenched fists. I remember how hard you could hit when you had a broom handle or a baseball bat or a belt in your hands.
Even when you weren’t armed with a weapon, your words became tools that inflicted horrible, invisible slashes. The wounds were so deep that I could almost feel myself bleeding to death.
I used to wish you had been allowed to deliver what would have surely been a fatal blow. A hammer strike to the back of my head would have ended my torture but as fate would have it, your mama walked in and stopped you.
I remember asking why you didn’t just kill me. You said “because I don’t want to go to jail.”
I remember seeing such hatred in those ice blue eyes. I remember asking why you didn’t love me and I remember what you said.
I remember your beautiful long fingers that covered my entire face when you slapped me. I remember how sometimes, you would powder my face to try to hide the bruises you left.
I remember how you would look at my youngest daughter with that same familiar hatred in your ice blue eyes, because she looked just like me.
I raised my bright, beautiful, intelligent and talented children not knowing their grandmother and grandfather because you weren’t interested in them. They were mine and because of that, you thought they weren’t worth knowing.
I think you would be happy if you knew that I am alone. I think you would smile if you knew that my children no longer speak to me. I think you would be satisfied if you knew that I will get no acknowledgment for Mothers’ Day.
I think you would tell me that I am getting exactly what I deserve and you would say the reason is that I have never done anything to make anybody love me. That’s why you said you didn’t love me.
I wish I knew the love of a mama. When I broke my leg the second time, I wish I knew how it felt to be comforted instead of being threatened that if I broke it again, you would whip me. I wish I knew how it felt to wake up and see you sitting beside my bed, because I was sick.
I wish I knew how it felt for you to walk into my room and say “time to rise and shine,” instead of waking me up by throwing a drawer of silverware in my face.
I wish I knew how it felt to be hugged by you…just once.
I wish all these things but they will never happen. I won’t see you in Heaven because you damaged me beyond repair. You, other mamas and other mamas’ sons taught me how to hate. You, other mamas and other mamas’ sons taught me that I am worthless.
You, other mamas and other mamas’ sons taught me to despise the phrase “I love you.” You, other mamas and other mamas’ sons made it impossible for me to be able to say those words to my children.
You never said it to me but other mamas and other mamas’ sons cavalierly tossed that phrase around after a violent outburst of soul-killing abuse, as if it could repair the emotional murder they had just commited.
I think I’ll borrow the sarcastic phrase my oldest daughter used in her last scathing email, when she made sure that her family, my family, her friends and I all knew what a worthless piece of garbage she thinks I am.
“Well done. Good job. You are the best!!”