If my life were a pond of water, being fed by the stream of time and my mistakes and sins were like pebbles hitting the water…then the ripples would never cease. I believe in the forgiveness of our maker for our trespasses, because if it were not so I could not live with myself.
I think of my poor Mom tonight and her lifelong battle with mental illness, and how I failed often to understand what to do. I was angry at times when I should have been serene. I was short sometimes when I should have stayed silent. I lived with the disguise which the disease enveloped her in, and battled it..forgetting at times the frail human inside. How can one be so unfeeling I wonder? Was it the shell I built around myself from the time I was eight years old, and that first breakdown happened? “His Momma is crazy!” They would whisper behind my back. They all knew it. They had heard about her running down the street, calling out after me for help that day I walked to school. Begging me, the little boy to help her, the adult. And the time at Milledgeville…the trips out and back. The fear of loss, the relief of temporary reunion, and the agony of leaving. Every weekend for eight weeks
Mom made a comeback. It was long and hard. Just that simple. Long and hard, with a life filled with powerful medications and several more breakdowns. She loved us, and we knew it, but we endured some sorrow. I could never completely understand the dark places where her sickness took her. I am sure she could not either. She was very strong in truth, to be able to keep those shadows away, where many would have given in to it. She kept her sanity through sheer force of will and the need to be with her family.
Momma didn’t deserve the hand she was dealt. She didn’t ask for it, and at times didn’t handle it well. I understand now though, at this age, how easy it would be to feel sorry for yourself.
So tonight I grieve a little.
I grieve for such an early loss of innocence for two little boys. I grieve for the loss of time for a Mother with her children. I don’t write this for sympathy, or to be lauded. To be truthful, most people know none of this, and it might be better if no one ever did. I’m writing it for myself, for my own sanity and for complete disclosure of the fact that many, many pebbles went into my pond because of this. And to expunge some of the guilt I still feel and forever will feel.
My Mom’s name was Evia Bowers, and she lived to be 82 years old and died with her two son’s holding her hands, and the rest of her family in the room in 2010. She was in this world, and she did the best she could with the hand she was dealt. Just wanted you to know.