There’s always a Part 2.
There are broken things in this world that just can’t be fixed, no matter how much you want to or how hard you try.
Mr. Main (that’s the guy I used to call my husband) says,
“There’s just no answer for some things,”
and I guess that’s about as good of an explanation as I’m likely to ever get.
When I got down to the business of forgiving everyone who I was blaming for Mikey’s death, I discovered the truth.
The reason it took so long to forgive is the the same reason that applies to my whole life up to now. I couldn’t own the truth of the whole thing.
Forgiving Johnny was hard, of course it was, and it’s taken damn near 13 years. Even though I had gone back out there to him, I’d never really let him off the hook, and he always knew it too.
Here’s the part one:
Mainly I just tried to find out the truth, and the truth is, I never did.
I realized a long time ago that it didn’t even matter if the pills or patch or whatever it was belonged to Johnny or not. So that leaves me and my part in it.
That day is a little clouded up in my memory, but I know Mikey wanted to get in Johnny’s truck and it was locked. I gave him the key to open it. If the morphine that killed my boy was in that truck, that’s how he got it.
Even though the Mama part of me still sometimes screams that it’s a betrayal of my boy, I found my way to forgiving myself. Some days I have to start fresh and do all the forgiving again. Some days are better than that.
I forgave myself for what I didn’t know.
- I didn’t know about the pills.
- I didn’t know he took them.
- He was right beside me, and I didn’t know he was dying.
I failed as a mother.
I didn’t protect my son.
Yet God has given me the courage to forgive myself and the peace that comes with that.
As arrogant and obnoxious as it sounds, I also forgave God.
God, who is all-powerful and all-knowing, didn’t come to Mikey’s rescue.
Nor did He whisper the staggering truth in my ear — your son is DYING!
I trusted Him and I believed in Him, and He still didn’t save my son.
But we’ve made our peace about it.
I don’t feel small and insignificant to God the way I did back when I felt like He wasn’t listening to my prayers.
He heard me.
I know I don’t have to understand His reasons while I’m here on this twisted up earth.
Mikey’s Stuff, Photo by A Bridges
This world is so broken.
We wouldn’t have any hope at all if God didn’t take things in hand and send Jesus to die, so one day I could be forgiven for Him letting life and death take their messed up human course.
The truth was finally uncovered.
Once all that forgiveness was done, I found myself staring dead on at what I couldn’t face before.
This is the catalyst that kept me spinning out of control for years.
From the first moment I knew you existed, I loved you. I wasn’t given much hope from the doctors that you’d even survive, but I’m your Mama. Nobody could keep me from loving you with all my heart.
And you had a rough go of it, but you DID live and grew into the funniest and cutest little boy!
Oh, how you made us laugh and smile and believe in life!
You saw things in ways I had yet to learn and taught me a different way to think and live.
You challenged my ideas and beliefs. “Why” was your favorite word and I didn’t always know.
You started changing when you got to be about 12 years old. I swear I thought you’d grow out of it.
At first you weren’t always withdrawn and sullen or angry and defiant. You were the baby. I figured I’d just spoiled you.
So when you got sick, I thought you were demon-possessed at first. It seemed like the only explanation, mainly because there was an answer for it.
I begged God and challenged Satan, but I was helpless. You went to the hospital and broke my heart.
I’d failed you. I couldn’t fix it.
So here’s the deal, Mikey.
We both know the story. The parts I don’t know are hard enough, but what I do know is what I haven’t been able to deal with all this time.
You wrecked me.
No matter what anyone else did, you took those pills into your hand, put them in your mouth, and swallowed them.
You destroyed me! You died. Why? How could you do that? What was so bad about living that you decided to just quit doing it?
No matter how far away from that moment in time I get, part of me will always be right there — keening in open-mouthed horror as I stand over your stiff body.
I accidentally touched you just to realize that you were gone, and no Mama trick could ever bring you back again!
But I’d stayed up all night doing your homework for you at least a hundred times, patched up your sore spots, wiped your tears, showed you where to pin the tail on the donkey.
A Mama can fix it when it’s broken. A Mama always knows when her child is in danger. Mama’s hands are magic.
Lies. All lies.
My mind still screams in agonizing, piercing chaos as I think of the hearts of your brother and sister and how they would so completely shatter that nothing on earth would ever have the power to put them back together again.
This is my life now, and it always will be.
Your space is now hollow and empty, a place no one else can touch. It’s a hurt that no other mortal soul can take away, and one that God won’t.
That space can only be filled by you, and you aren’t coming back.
I hear the echo of your laughter with each footstep that I take along my path of existence.
I will see you again. But I won’t see you here.
And I grieve.
But as for today? Today, I forgive you.
So the truth is, it does matter what the truth is.
At least when it comes down to forgiveness. I was holding back on forgiving Mikey, or even acknowledging that he needed to be forgiven.
It doesn’t matter if he did it on purpose or not. It doesn’t matter that he wasn’t rational. Mikey killed my son.
At this moment, I’m a Mama first, not a forgiving and loving soldier marching toward Heaven. Right now, I’m enraged!
My son is dead and I want to punish the person who killed him and I can never do that. That night both my son and justice for his murder were stolen from me forever.
I can’t wrap my head around it on most days. Other times I feel the grace of God and extend it to my child, like in the letter I wrote.
I’m angry for what he did to me and to his brother and sister. I’m mad because he forced me to hate the man I loved with all my heart. I hate that the last memory I have of him is finding his cold, lifeless body.
Photo by A Bridges
Forgiveness is not a one time thing.
Sometimes you have to do it over and over.
Mikey told me a few days before he died that God had a place ready for him.
I’m working on forgiving them both for that being true.