To err is human, to forgive divine.
To forgive oneself? Really really hard.
There are likely a crazy amount of things that I’m carrying around inside me that have no business being there. No, I’m not speaking of parasites, though…yeah…not going there…
I’m talking about all of the hurts and missed chances and failed comebacks (it’s not called a go away and comeback for a reason, let it go..) that I carry around with me in the hope that I’ll be able to reconcile myself with the outcome in a satisfactory future perfect.
I think the only way that’s happening most of the time is if I can just learn to be ok with what happened and move on from that. And forgive myself for not acting rationally/sensibly/compassionately/cleverly however. I think I also put way too much emphasis on being clever, instead of just being true. But I’m working on that too.
But today’s writing thing was to write about something I haven’t been able to forgive myself for, to explain why I haven’t been able to let it go and how it’s affecting me. I really didn’t expect it to end on the positive note that it did and I sure didn’t expect to sob like I was watching jim hensons’ memorial (have you ever watched it? I swear to everything that is holy, when it gets to the part where big bird sings it’s not easy being green, you will lose your shit, unless you are the grinch pre-heart stretching exercises or something).
So there’s your trigger warning. I wrote a thing that made me cry. And then made me forgive myself and there is something lovely about both of those things.
I found out you were sick and I ran.
I ran across the country as if being separated
by time zones could slow the progress
of what was happening to you.
As though my being in the future
could somehow help me to find
3 hours sooner
the thing that would cure you.
I told myself there was time.
I would work and I would wait and I would return
And you wouldn’t have wasted away.
You wouldn’t have suffered in pain,
Being slowly emptied out from the inside
Until there was nothing left to hold together.
I walked away
Rather than watch you die.
I know it was your preference too,
To stay my indomitable papa,
forever smiling, or whistling
or taking the time to dance with me,
the only one in our family with a summertime birthday
and the most celebrated man in canada.
I was 6 before I understood that canada day had started
before you were born and that giant cake was
not for you directly,
though I always suspected the fireworks were.
I could have stayed
Sat at the bottom of the stairs
trying to time my piano playing with the commercials
So you wouldn’t miss too much of your show
Although you would always mute it when I started to play
Even if it was something you really wanted to watch.
Why didn’t I stay?
Why didn’t I hug you all the time
Or call you every day?
Why didn’t I understand
that it wasn’t for much longer
and it wouldn’t be alright
That you were fucking dying
And I was so scared and
just didn’t want it
So I ran.
And when I told you on the phone
‘everything good about me is your fault’
You forgave me for running.
You told me you loved me
And it was the last time I heard your voice.
I know it would break your heart to think
That I haven’t forgiven myself
And so I’ll try to do this one last thing for you.
I’ll make you proud, papa.
Not nice to make your mother cry