Thursday, 15 April 2010

THE PRETENDERS: "I'll Stand By You"

Hey Thoth

I just want to ask your view on why some people live such difficult lives while others appear to have not at all. I'm just thinking lately because my mom is recently diagnosed with leukaemia and whenever I call her I tend to run out of words to comfort her. She is asking why bad things always happen to good people. Is this just God's way on testing our faith?

If you have time please share your thoughts with me. I feel so restless and guilty, because I work and live on the other side of world while she’s in my home country.

Have a nice day!

Cheers.

D.

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Dear Mom

I still hear your familiar voice clearly, singing those funny little songs to me when tucking me into bed. A person’s first, conscious memories seem to be as randomly plucked as when we pick a single flower on the field. There seems to be no reason why exactly we remember certain things, while forgetting others. Until today, I remember your soothing words and the comfort of our evening ritual, as a reassuring blessing that all would be fine and no scary dreams or dreadful monsters would reach out to me that night. Your children songs have survived times and still pop up when I murmur them thoughtlessly at the most unexpected times.

Your voice hasn’t changed either. The daily lullaby has become an occasional long-distance call, but yet that same comforting voice is there when I hold the phone to my ear. You listen, in silent understanding, when I talk about what occupies my mind, when I wind and nag about what life happens to throw at me. Anxieties that feel to me like a heavy ball, for instance, that knocks me down like a pin on a bowling lane. But then on those moments, you are there to pull me back up. And at other times, when my heart is pounding from joy, you are there to share my happiness also.

It’s a false assumption to believe that time has passed at different pace for either one of us. If there is only one out of a few things, then in the rhythm of time all humans are equal. We all grow older just as fast or as slowly. Over time, the fear of discovering a ferocious animal under the bed has turned into worries about a wrong boyfriend here and there; scary shadows on the wall are now money demons, or work woes. You followed me, even when I stubbornly chased my dreams and chose to live away from the place where you raised me. And when I had some hard times, I didn’t need to speak. You simply sensed that this place felt like new shoes to me: a pair of novelty bringing initial excitement, but painfully tight to wear in the beginning. Even if I choose to tell you half of my stories, then still you know the other half. You never judge me. And always, you are there, just like you have always been. You are the lighthouse for me to rely on, a buoy guiding me into shallow waters. When I see you, I know I’ve truly reached the safe harbour called home.

So I got slapped in the face when you told me what the doctors had diagnosed. It’s unfair that someone ever had to invent a name for this disease in the first place. Crooks deserve no name; they are supposed to remain anonymous. This leukaemia is a creepy villain who hides in the dark, a coward who sets up an ambush and attacks whoever happens to pass by, in cruel randomness. They owe their force from surprise. It’s therefore pointless to wonder “why?” or “why me?”, for there is simply no reason when unreasonable events happen in one’s life.

Mom, you taught me many things, but this was never in the script. No one ever taught us how to deal with bad news. So forgive me if I run out of words to comfort you; I am simply running out of breath. We will have to write the manual for this together. But we will make it. Sure, gravity will make us feel down sometimes, but we will fight Newton and his silly laws. Nature is too savage to be captured in statistics; it’s a naughty child, an unpredictable wild horse, but it always comes home, finds the way back to the stable.

I wish I could be the one to sing a song for you now, make up a fairytale story, ask the fairy to grant me one single wish and all this would be over. Too bad there is still a tail to this tale…But let’s be brave. Let’s be little Davids beating the giant Goliath; tortoises running faster than hares. And be prepared, mom, stand tall, because we will be going through all kinds of conflicting emotions and contradictory phases we heard and read about, but that always seemed to be at a reassuring distance, as if we were watching a bunch of dangerous but caged animals in the zoo. Hope, deception, fear, courage, guilt, promise, regret, sorrow, joy, faith, victory. We will both get to know them all, and they will have new meanings to each of us, not necessarily the same, which have never been defined in any dictionary before.

I heard this amazing story lately. A woman allows a stranger in her house, lets him stay and takes care of him every single moment of the day. Day or night, she’s always there for him. He’s naked, so she buys him clothes. He’s hungry, so she feeds him. He can’t speak, so he can not even express his gratitude. She teaches him how to speak and many other things. And for many years, she continues feeling responsible for him, buying everything he needs, dealing with his each and every whim. She stands by his side, unconditionally, giving her love unselfishly, without expecting anything in return. After more than twenty years, the stranger leaves the house to go and live with another woman, only to come back and visit her occasionally. How ungrateful does that sound? What kind of woman would be willing to do that? What woman on earth would sacrifice so much of her life for a stranger who leaves her behind eventually, and who she had never known until the day he entered her house so long time ago?

Mama, that woman is…you, and that stranger is…me. You took care of me ever since the day I was born. And like us, you and me, there are millions. I love you. You can count on me. I stand by your side.

Love,

D.

4 comments:

spunknsparkle said...

still brings tears to my eyes...
just wonderful!

Chasing-Thoth said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

i hope you realised that writing letters for others... that's just cheating the feelings of the letter recipient. why? because the letter is not from who they thought it's from. they get touched by the pretty words, but the words are written not from the heart of the giver, but of a stranger, and that's you. the good intentions of the requester is there, but the sincerity fails.

sorry, im just thinking from the POV of the letter recipient. i understand that not all are able to pen down what's in their hearts.. which is why you offer your help. i admire your fluidity and the ability to capture images and thoughts into words. just so you know, i'll still follow your blog. :]


n.

Chasing-Thoth said...

Oh, i totally agree with you. I am not so pretentious as wanting to replace somebody or have somebody pretend that he/she wrote the letter him/herself. That's not the purpose of My Letters.
Consider them merely as a format, a literary style, which can be either totally fictitious or based on a true story, or on a mixture of both.
Feelings and empathy are very universal though, and I do trust that there may be a spark of recognition by the reader, at times, in what he/she reads.