Baroque Perfection


I am your Mom. How does that not mean anything when once it meant everything? Your memory of my mistakes is that of an elephant, but instead of in your mind, they have been burnt into your heart, making numb your ability to feel my love. They are the demons in my closet that keep me up at night, they are the walls built around you, keeping us separate.

As your mother, I know your worth and your worth is worthy of perfection, but this is above me. I know, Son, because I tried. As a sixteen year old mother of two, daughter of an alcoholic and drug addict mother and a child molester as a father, perfection was as unattainable as turning back the hands of time. If I could but keep from becoming my parents, then surely I would uncover perfection, as easily as one uncovers a pearl by prying open an oyster. I truly believed this to be true, until you looked at me like I looked at my mother, the day you left and never looked back.

No one told me it would take a certain environment to produce this rarity, an environment of fresh water or salt water, clean, healthy…all I had was that of contamination. If only the irritation that comes from a foreign substance was enough, because I was made completely of irritations, irritations of abuse and neglect, foreign substances to some but all too common to me.

They say not all pearls are perfectly round, but the round ones are the most beautiful, less than the baroque pearls, uneven in shape. I wished you could see my love and desire to be enough for you, my baroque of perfection, as sufficient. Then maybe you would overlook my convoluted flaws, see them for the will behind them. Just as a runner, hurt and in pain, still able to complete the race, all spectators cheering, not because of victory but because of shear determination to not quit.

I am sorry I could not give that which you deserved, perfection. Not even in my mind do I allow myself to compress your hurt with my excuses. My only source of comfort, even this I do not deserve, but still the truth remains, I am comforted knowing I tried my best.

Your memories keep you from having compassion and empathy for me. They keep you from missing me, like an underground shelter protects during a storm, so do your memories of me. But my memories, mine, keep me from healing. Like cancer in the bones with no hope for a cure, are my memories of you; your laugh, your need for me to rub your forehead, your love for music, your love for food, your spontaneity, you, all of you.

God says forgiveness is free. He said he paid for all of our wrongs, and yet, you and I are paying for my wrongs still. I pray God’s promise comes true for us. I pray for a willingness to accept this free gift, not because I deserve it but because you do my son. I love you.


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