Mercy and When the Forgiveness Lightbulb Flashed

I had already been diagnosed when one day you came home excited because you had talked about cancer in one of your classes. You said, “Basically, it’s like your body is mad at you.” That thought, in a slightly different form, had already begun to slowly try to sneak up on me. It was gonna be one more thing to add to my list of things I had done wrong. But that little line was like a big neon sign shining in my face. Not because I didn’t like what you said but because it was true. You know what neon signs do, don’t you? They make you act. Like a picture of a pink neon girl shining – never mind…

Anyway, I had to act upon that sign instead of taking it as a straightforward accusation of some sort.

I thought about that line over and over, wondering what the answer was. Even though it wasn’t a question. I was making myself mad at those who had hurt me but really, if I boiled it down, I was mad at myself.  So I came to the conclusion that– as duh as it may seem – I needed to not be mad at myself and in order to do that I needed to forgive myself for everything: the times I had hurt myself, the times I had allowed others to hurt me and the times I had hurt others (especially my children).

So yeah, your line is kind of what turned on that self-forgiveness lightbulb for me.

I haven’t for a minute thought that God is punishing me with this disease. So when your uncle’s wife (or girlfriend) has told me more than once that I should ask God for misericordia. I don’t say anything to her because that is what she believes and for me to try to explain my beliefs to a Mexican sixty-year old woman would be like trying to shake a tree from where it has spread its roots with my bare hands, it’s not happening. I think of a way I might be able to explain this to her, it might go something like this

Okay, listen lady!

Just kidding :l

Seriously . . .

Ummm . . . . . . . . . I don’t really believe that I need to ask God for mercy because I don’t believe He is punishing me. One asks for mercy from someone who is punishing or hurting one in some way and I don’t believe God punishes.

Do you think that would work? Or do you think there would be a Pero…

Anyway, so yes that is why I do not ask for mercy.

I asked for mercy enough times in elementary school. My friends and I used to play a game called “mercy.” The way it worked was we interlaced our fingers and one of us would put the pressure – as hard as possible – and other one had to yell Mercy! when she couldn’t take it anymore. The point of the game, of course, was to see who could take the most pain. I remember crushing a few fingers 😉

That game was fun!

So Goodnight from this comfy hospital bed that bends in all the right places. May your dreams be beautiful dreams filled with unicorns and mermaids and gnomes.

Love,

Mom

 

 

 

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Death and Time and the Lack of Words for it . . .

There are so many things I want to tell you about I don’t even know where to start.

Let’s see . . .

There’s yesterday when I made the mistake of making fun of Gael exaggerating his knee scrape (you know how he likes to overdo his little scrapes). When I picked him up from school he had a band-aid on each knee because he had been running, tripped and scraped both knees. He held his shorts up all the way to the car, we went to the market and he kept walking and holding on to his shorts, at home he complained even more. By dinnertime he couldn’t even handle getting up on the chair. Your dad was home by then and I made the mistake of saying that he was dying (of pain) only I didn’t say “of pain,” I left it at dying and he took it literally. He thought he was really going to die and I kept saying no, he wasn’t going to die but he kept crying and I couldn’t figure out what to say to fix what I had already said. Fortunately, after a few minutes he was okay but when I was dressing him after his bath he remembered and began to cry again. This is kind of how it went:

“I don’t want to die! I’m not old. I’m not old ma?”

“No, you’re not old,” and then of course you know me, I try to keep it real with you guys and of course we’re all going to die and I couldn’t lie to him and say he wasn’t going to die, so I said, “It’s going to be a long long time, one hundred years.”

“When? Tomorrow?”

“No, not tomorrow, a long long time. You’re a kid –”

“I don’t want to! I don’t want to be old! I don’t want to die!” he was ready to cry by now and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it so I said I had to go to the bathroom and left it to your dad who, of course, had no problem telling Gael he wasn’t going to die just to get him to stop crying and go to sleep.

“I don’t want to die,”

“No, you’re not going to die,”

“Nauj is going to die? He’s old?”

“No, he’s not going to die either.”

Tú estás viejito? I don’t want you to die!”

“You don’t want me to die? Okay, I’m not going to die.”

“Y mamá? Y Mayerlin?”

“No, tampoco. None of us are going to die, we’re going to be eternal.”

“Why everyone gets old? The house too?”

“Yeah, the house too.”

“Why?”

Now, how do you explain this to a four year old, life and death and time? So your dad just says, “because that’s life.”

“Oh . . . when we go to the new house this house is going to be old?”

“You don’t want the house to be old either?” (Your dad asked this like he was walking on glass)

“Yeah, it’s okay.”

(Relief!)

“Ok.”

That’s when it was finally safe for me to get out of the bathroom and go to bed.

“Daddy said I’m not going to die. Tu no?”

“No, we’re not going to die.” (If you can’t beat’em, join’em right?)

“Read me a book. The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” (Ironic don’t you think?)

“Okay.”

. . . he was a beautiful butterfly!

The End

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There’s also this morning that I was listening to the radio and they were talking about parents using iPads to replace teaching their kids the basics like abc’s, colors, shapes, etc. Is it okay or not?

There’s also the Lila Downs concert I never wrote about.

Then there’s Tia Pilar’s birthday party which I know I already told you a lot about but the one thing I didn’t tell you was how all the kids, rather than run around and play together, were all pinned to their phones or iPads and how Gael fixed that just a little.

And finally there’s this little poem and picture I want to share with you, can you tell what story it is?

But all this will have to be on some other posts so until then . . .

Love you and miss you,

Mom