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O Mother!

February 23rd, 2018 | by Richard Paul
O Mother!
Crimes against Humanity

Chapter Three

The Harsh Reality

For in the day that the pains of labor found my mother was also the week the world was struck by grief and turmoil over the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Where down in the shadows of her sorrows and youth, she echoed the pains of love and delivered her newborn son into an age of lost innocence. Barely 20 years old, with no education, when already she had four children. Divorced and forced to live a life of misery in dilapidated, and cockroach infested subsidized housing, in poverty and oftentimes subjected to brutal violence by the many who knew not how to correctly manage the vast responsibilities afforded to them in 1963.

Indeed, R.E.M. sings about ‘everybody hurting when the days are long, when the nights are yours alone, when you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life. Well then, hang on, hold on. Everybody hurts.’

But I wondered what this poor and lonely uneducated woman, or child really, encountered by bearing her cross as this wilderness crushed her. Walking about in shame and humiliation, beaten and destitute. While others mocked and ridiculed her choices in life. Heaping unwanted, unwarranted accusations on her doorstep, when at last she suffered a severe nervous breakdown and thus was left to send the children to live in the care of the state. Now ostracized and driven over the edge, weighed down in guilt for, perhaps, thinking of having abandoned her children.  Came even more abuse and vilifying conduct by others unmercifully refusing to assist.

Contemplating now how sleep deserted her. Restlessly tossing and turning, afflicted in anguish and distress. Lost in strength and will to move, live and to exist. “Burdened beyond,” even despairing of life, with the sentence of death hovering over her in peril. If only, she earnestly wished to dream pleasant and happy thoughts and places.  If she had not enjoyed the candy-colored clown to silently whisk her away to dream. To dream dreams of … yes, of what?

Could she picture a beautiful acred land nestled off the Colorado River, overlooking its picturesque mountain peaks covered with snow glistening down its steep and sloppy curves, channeling through sparkling summer emerald waters. Cascading through the backyard while listening to the effervescent sounds of nature, to dream dreams of hope, love and family.

O Mother, what anguish you lay suffering by a piercing and wounded heart did afflict you in those days. While the world, in its pursuits, pressed onwards in glibness and indifference, seeking to devour even more unsuspecting and naive children, drawn away from the schoolyard, enticed and allured by the vast array of passing things which last, as it were, but only for a moment. Indeed, “better the miscarriage than he, for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity.”

O Mother, “For there is an evil which I have seen under the sun and it is prevalent among men.” Life’s oppressions and inequalities is “an appointed time for everything.” And there is under the sun a time for every event. Even while our knees buckle, at times, as our feet stumble, yet we continue persevering, walking and searching with enduring hope that, perhaps, today is the day in which we will find the waters of life, which spring from an abundance of a refreshing life-giving source. To fill my innermost being with rivers of living waters, to be thus planted like a tree by the stream, nourishing its surrounding areas needing sustenance, shielding and comforting to the weary, to bountifully draw from, as they continue forward with the goal set before them. In triumphant display of courage and strength, befitting of men and women who carry and assist the poor in spirit.

Thereby, six in age, did small luggage be assembled, to carry me onwards with fate calling the young and innocent to seek life with neither mother nor father. To see with my own eyes the world in which we live and breathe, to experience firsthand how men and women travail in their appointed places and boundaries, having thus later understood times and epochs be predestined in foreknowledge by He who causes all things to work together.

Oh, ‘Chiquittita tell me what’s wrong, your enchained by your own sorrow. In your eyes there is no hope for tomorrow.’ ABBA.

For so these eyes once in place of sad abode and violent existence thithered to strange places with strangers in tow, without love, without compassion, without care. No bedtime stories, my son, caresses neither this evening nor a shoulder to cry on or hope for tomorrow. For you brought nothing into this world and will you bring nothing out either. Dust you are and to dust shall you return.

Hence also must I travel the road leading hopelessly in despair without dreams and without cause. To take my cross and carry it onwards ’til the day the burden is removed.

These eyes having seen the life of wretched, poor and destitute, of wealth, high and middle, governments and law, of life and death, of free and slaves. Mother and Father, for without it, how could I pretend to know what I know if that is not what I know?

Richard Paul Condo

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