Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cousin(s) (05/22/08)
TITLE: Unequal Loss
By Leticia Caroccio
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When I was growing up I wanted to be just like you. You were living what I thought of as a fairytale life in Long Island. You lived in a beautiful house with grass and a garden. You and your sisters had your own bikes and you had lots of friends. Your royal status, in my eyes, was made complete because you had two terrific parents at home, who loved each other and who loved their little princesses. I wanted to live in your castle and be a princess like you.
You know how I grew up. The South Bronx was an ugly place to live. Burning buildings everywhere and gangs in their colors commandeering street corners made it impossible to go outside without taking your life into your own hands. Inside of our home things werenít much better. For the most part my mom was a single mom. My father would come and go as the wind blew him this way and that. When he was home the battle raged on. Sadly, everyone knew that we were in turmoil.
We suffered hardships that we didnít deserve. My father, by anyoneís definition, was not a model dad, or a dad, at all. He was hardly ever at home. When he was home, he was angry and vile. I hated him. I hated what he was doing to mom and I hated how he made me feel.
The best times of my life, Szevia, was when my mom would send me to your house for the summer. Your mom always made feel like the princess I had longed to be. You always made me feel like that, too. Those special trips to the beach and the shopping excursions made me feel like if I was a part of something grand. I never wanted to leave. Going home made me so sad. It was like going from abundant living in the light into a dark pit of despair.
But, girl, God is good. He is faithful. He never allows the righteous to be forsaken. I was not forgotten. When the Lord saved me, He reconciled me unto Him. He became my Father, my daddy that I always longed for. God began to work in my life. What people didnít know or see is that God was also working in my father. He was softening him and changing his heart. He had many regrets and needed deliverance.
What I need to say to you right now is not easy. Sometimes the words we use in our grief can hurt deeply. You said something to me that cut right through my heart. My father died in May and your mom passed on in October. My heart broke when your mom, my aunt, passed away. I didnít believe that my heart would recover from her loss. I can only imagine how you feel, how broken your heart must be. I tried to tell you this. I told you that I know how you feel, especially after losing my own father.
In your grief you blurted the words that stung and still ring in my ears. You said that there was no comparison in our losses. You said that you lost a piece of your heart because your mom was such an important person in our family and that my loss couldnít compare, since my father was not worth the tears I shed for him.
Szevia, when you lose someone as special as your mom youíll one day take comfort in the awesome memories of her life. You will sing her favorite songs and cook her favorite meals and remember with love and light in your heart. When you lose someone like my father your heart is broken for different reasons. My loss included the hope that I once had for a Dad, the loss of love that went unreciprocated. My loss included the emptiness in my arms of hugs that never found its focus. I lost half the person that I thought I was.
As time passes I know that your heart will heal, as will mine. I will share your memories with you as I was a witness to your momís greatness. But I will always mourn what couldíve been for me. I know you didnít mean to hurt me with your words. Despite my pain I love you and forgive you. Soon we will speak in person and all will be well. When you are ready call me.
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