You Chose Me

Dear Daughter,

Just so we’re clear.

You chose me.

I wasn’t strong, didn’t care. I had no compassion, no tolerance, no patience.

I saw people like you, and those who helped them, and wondered, “Why bother?” Their sacrifice is costly, wasteful, and burdensome. You will never contribute enough to make their effort worthwhile.

Yet now I am one of ‘them.’ I’ve been asked to give more. More than I want to. More than I am capable of giving. I am unwillingly, forcibly, repulsively on your side. You chose me. And I hate you for that.

It’s been seven years since you dragged me into this life of servitude and simplicity, since you broke me, and pulled a promise from me I never intended to make.

“From the moment I decide ‘I will,’ it does not matter that ‘I can’t.’”

It hangs where I see it every day. And every day I do the best I can for you, though I am unable.

Unable to fix you. Unable to turn back the clock. Unable to quit.

And it becomes clear. I get it.

I love you.

And that changes everything.

Because I love you, you have potential. Because I love you, you have worth. You make me a better person. I see the world differently. I cry more easily, care more deeply. I am stronger. Wiser. Calmer. A leader. A giver. With new skills, talents, words, friends, insight, and faith.

You did this to me. You changed me. You chose me.

This was never about you, was it?

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For Unrest

Oh, to be the tallest tree, the one that sees beyond
The ordinary necessary canopy to long,
To dream of new, of more of such
That hope and faith grow strong.

But no, I am a simple branch on some most average shrub,
Destined to shade the forest floor, to house both bird and slug.
My future holds no special plan, no grandiose reward.
I am but one of millions here who never will have soared

Above the others in my lot, o’er all of us so low-
Ly planted in the rocky soil so desperate to grow.
Yet each of us make up a part of some much bigger life.
Together we maintain the sum so all of us survive.
Each tree, each shrub, each branch, each leaf must play its own small role
Within the labyrinth of life, the fabric and the whole.

Yet knowing this I must confess the hardship that I face
Accepting that my purpose here in spirit, time and space
Can never feel fulfilling, nor exciting, nor enough
To satisfy the wanderlust I fathom up above.

That could I be the tallest tree, the one that sees beyond
The ordinary necessary canopy to long
For more, for new, for stars and sun
For purpose over none.