On a dreary day twenty years ago, I came home to find my mother was gone and I would never hear from her again. I thought about all the reasons she’d leave, running from the truth, wanted a change in her life, needing to escape traditional life, needing to disappear from my father; from me. I didn’t understand until now that she left for no reason at all, she just decided to leave.
Pondering over life, I watch the man on the T.V. talking about paying to believe in Jesus. Seething with anger, I chuck my remote at the screen, breaking the light of the room. Why should I pay to believe when I stopped believing when my mother left. I know the man is scam artist. Years earlier, I paid him so I could believe in Jesus so that my mother could come back. Everyone who knows him believes he was a good man. If there's a God, I hope he knows he sinned.
On Christmas eve the telephone rang. I can only hope it’s who I think it is. It’s a man somewhere in Florida. Palm Beach I think he says. He said he knew my mother. Everything else is just a blur. He says I need to come to Florida. My mother has died in an empty hotel room with a needle in her arm. I hang up, tears rolling down my face. When my mother left, I never imagined she left because she wanted drugs. I soon find out she was a drug addict; had been for twenty-five years. If there’s a God, I would ask him why. Why my mom was an addict? Why did she leave me? Did I make her want to be someone she wasn’t.
I go for a walk, try to clear my head when I see the men. They all sit there in the freezing cold. Some awake, some sleeping, some dozing, some dead. One thing’s for sure, all of them had a plan, this not being in it. Above their heads is a sign in immaculate condition that says, Jesus is the light. As I walk away I go up the street and see the fancy restaurant. I look in the window and I felt the bile slowly making its way up my mouth. I can’t seem to fathom how blind people are. Down the street is the men waiting to die and here everyone is acting like it’s their last day on earth. I can’t understand why there’s no middle ground.
It’s days like these when I wish I could be as blind as the people in that restaurant. It’s days like these, I wish I believed. I wish people knew that losing faith is the easy part, getting it back is what’s painful.