Forgiveness by the Grace of God

I don't understand

What do your words mean?

I'd like to think I know you better than to believe that it's what it sounds like


You've been irresponsible for some time now

(Did I ever know you when you were responsible?)

But it simply meant you were a narcissist

I've been waiting for you to grow up

All these years


It's been a long time now that you've been more absent than present

And that's not counting mentally

It'll be ten years this year

Next year you'll have been gone longer than you were here


But still, you cared

You loved us

(Didn't you?)

I don't think this is just the desperate, denial-laden pleading of a child

You loved us

I think you still do


Your actions have shown for some time now that you're not as invested in us as you should be

But I've always believed you to be something of an exception

That your words speak louder than your actions where your convictions are concerned

That hardly matters now that you've spoken


...Did you really say that?

That you don't want to be more invested in this family than you are now?

I trust the source, but...


Didn't you realize when you married that it was a commitment?

Didn't you already know when children came that they should come before you?


I'm not sure if I ever really looked up to you

I can't remember

If I did (I probably did) it was before I turned ten

Long before


Then you became a bit scary

Not abusive, but you never listened to reason

(Were you always like that? Did I just not know enough to see before?)

You were always right

Even when you were proven wrong


But I still trusted you


And then you spent like no tomorrow

And quit your day job

And never learned from your fiscal mistakes

A string of start-up companies that always failed, and you never learned!


You spent us out of our home

I didn't see you as much after that

We all still loved each other

(I think)

(I hope)

But it was necessary



You wanted to be your own boss

I get that

But did you want it more than you wanted us?

(Do you still?)


...Did you really say that?

That you're not ready for that kind of commitment right now?

Like a bratty teenage boy who wants to break up

(To be with another girl?)


No, I'm not accusing you of infidelity

I don't believe you'd do that


But it saddens me that I'm hardly surprised

That while it seems unbelievable, I don't believe there was a misunderstanding

That I believe you wouldn't be unfaithful or commit murder

But I wouldn't put much else past you


You're supposed to be above this

Or even if you're not, you're supposed to choose against it

Do you believe at all anymore?!

Anything you taught?!

How many have you driven away by saying 'right' and going left?


I still believe what you taught

But not because you taught it

It's only by the grace of God I can see that

Just because a madman says gravity will make a ball drop

Doesn't mean it will float when he lets it go

(I use you as 'what not to do')

(I don't trust any of your advice)


I love you, but why aren't I more surprised to be so casually tossed aside?

That all of us are?


(Do we really matter less than your earthly goals?)


I still love you

I think you love us in your own way

But I almost think (I hate to consider as a possibility)

That it's more a habit than an action

That it's an afterthought

Banked coals instead of a fire (of any sort)


(I hope your love isn't comatose)

(I hope it isn't dead)

(I pray with all my heart you straighten up and fly right, because this is wrong)

(So wrong)


I am glad that I don't rely on you

(I wish that I could rely on you)

That my feelings toward you are more like those

To a kind but little-seen cousin, not immediate family

(This is not how our relationship should be!)

Because at least this hardly affects a thing

(This should send me reeling; no, this shouldn't be)

At least I rely on God, Mom, and my siblings more than I do you

(You're supposed to be one of my main supports)


I don't hate you

I actually love you

But I don't trust you

With my life, yes

But not with my last red cent

Not with responsibility


And I miss you

Because I know what you're like when you're not -

Refusing to commit to us

I know what you're like when we do things together





And I know your habits

Your interests

Your passions

Your skills

(Your failings)


So, my dear one, I'll pray

That you shake off this deep-rooted infection

That you return to the person you were when you married

(But wiser)

That you return to your family

Most of all that you return to God


And I forgive you

This poem is about: 
My family


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