Say you chose another mother,
Say the stars did not align,
Say the sperm missed that damn egg,
And the miracle never happened.
Say it wasn’t Boston’s winter,
Say the sun shone more that year
Say the evil sadness gene
Missed your DNA entirely.
Say that in the first few months,
Instead of Mommy’s moods,
You hit the mother lode
Of unconditional love.
Say you never kissed that girl,
Say she loyally loved you back,
Say your trust in her was earned,
And she never broke your heart.
Say you didn’t yell out loud
That you’d kill the S.O.B.
Who was trying to steal her from you;
That you’d cross state lines to get him.
Say you weren’t finally caught
By Chicago’s very finest,
After trying to end your heartbreak,
Knife aimed at your own soft skin.
Say the D.A. wasn’t eager
For a notch in her tight belt;
Say that poorly written statute
Hadn’t nailed you in the end.
Say you hated swallowing pills,
Prozac, Xanax, Ecstasy…
Say there wasn’t one last shrink,
Last prescription, final sleep.
Say your body wasn’t burnt
Down to ash and in an urn;
Say you lived another day.
Oh, what I’d give to hear you say it.
[AUTHOR’S NOTE: I try not to dwell in the land of “What If?” or the country of “Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda.” Rather than focusing on regret about imperfect choices and sad outcomes, I try to identify the nugget of wisdom, the lesson, the possibility for growth from any given disaster.
On a good day.
The truth is I’m human. And they’re not all good days. I occasionally wish for a past that wasn’t, even if it is an exercise in futility.
As a mother whose child chose to end his life, the temptation exists to fantasize about how it could have gone differently. What my life would have been like if he hadn’t been born at all, or if I hadn’t had my own battle with depression, or if he’d chosen to love another girl, or if that prosecutor hadn’t been out for blood…
This process can easily deteriorate into a series of “What If-s?” which by their very nature, have no answers. The mind wanders into that maze, even knowing there is no way out.
Creative expression, writing and photography for instance, can be a way out. Both creative outlets have been very healing for me. Meditation, getting grounded in the here and now; this is another way to mend what has been broken. And ultimately: letting go, letting go, letting go…of everything except the love.]