Monday, April 16, 2007

Things I still think about

To Melissa: I still think about the time we lived together in college and your mom had come for a visit and took you shopping. I had been using the Dierdre's dish soap and callously took the soap your mom bought you to refill some of Dierdre's. You had been using just hot water to wash your dishes. I'm sorry.

To Jake: I still think about the time we were on the train and you were fooling around. You jumped on my leg and hurt it a bit. An old man came up to you and grabbed your head and told you to behave. I don't think he hurt you, but he scared you (and me). I didn't say anything to him; I didn't know what to do. I'm sorry.

To Spike: I still think about the time you were driving Jackie and me home from somewhere (school maybe). It was the early 80s and you were dating my mom. Jackie was sitting in the front seat and I was in the back. As you drove through our apartment complex on the way to our apartment, we passed some of the other kids that lived in the complex. I laid down in the back seat. You noticed and asked if I was ashamed to be seen with you. I said no, I was just tired. But I was ashamed. I was ashamed that my mother was dating a black man. I didn't know any better, but should have. I wish I could go back and do it differently. You were so nice to me and Jackie, and I still have that Narnia collection you gave to me. I treasure it. I'm sorry.

I could go on and on cataloging all my misdeeds to everyone I've ever known, some more heinous that others. Is it a good thing that we don't let ourselves forget our trespasses so easily? Is it a bad thing? For the most part, I try to learn from my mistakes and move on. If I've harmed another, I try to make amends. Sometimes these thoughts of one thing or another pop into my head, and I wish I could go back and fix it, do the right thing. I'd like to say these failings have made me a better person...maybe that's why I don't forget...so I can remember to do better next time.

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