Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Born To Be Mothers

I am posting another short story... Enjoy reading it ...

Born To Be Mothers By Bissme S         

My mother could have gone to the police to get me back. My mother could have gone to the courts to fight for my custody. But my mother did not do any of these. My mother packed her bags and left town. I never saw my mother again.

Years later, when I was an adult, I asked my grandmother why she took me away from my mother.

"The moment I got married, I wanted to be a mother," said my grandmother.
"But I could not conceive. The doctors could not figure out what is wrong with me. I prayed so hard to have a child.
“Finally, after many years, God answered my prayers. God gave me a child I wanted so badly. Your mother is my only child and I love my daughter with all my heart.
“But my daughter is not fit to look after you.  Some women are not born to be mothers."

That was the only answer that my grandmother was willing to give. Nothing more, nothing less.  

I was not the only one who lost my mother. My brother, Maurice, was 15 when this incident took place in our lives. My brother has not forgiven our grandmother for snatching us away from our mother.

“I hope you rot in hell when you die,” he shouted at my grandmother. 

A year later my brother run away from the house. My brother left behind a letter. He wrote: "Every son needs his mother. I am going to find my mother. I am destined to be with my mother.”

My brother didn’t get far. The authorities found my brother and forcefully dragged him to my grandmother.

“Nothing will stop me from searching my mother," my brother shouted.
 "You cannot keep us apart forever. I belong to her."

The moment my brother came to an age where he needed no more guardian, the first thing he did was to leave my grandmother’s house.

"Please, do not find your mother," said my grandmother who was literarily on the floor begging my brother to change his mind
"She will only ruin you," my grandmother added.  

Nothing my grandmother said could change his mind.  His only mission in life was to find the woman we called mother. My brother was obsessed with our mother.

The night before my brother left my grandmother's house, my brother came into my room.

“I will find our mother where ever she is,” my brother said to me.
"Once I find our mother, I will come and get you. Then all of us - mother, you and I will live in one house like one big happy family."

I was a kid, then. I was hardly six. Innocently, I asked: "What will happen to our grandmother?"
Angrily, my brother answered:"That heartless monster has no place in my heart and in my house."

A year later, I received a letter from my brother. He had successfully tracked down our mother. She had a house in some rural place, far from the madding crowd.
He also sent me a picture of him with our mother. My brother was holding a cat on his lap. The cat was my mother's pet. My mother named the cat, Samson. Happiness was written all over my brother's face.
My mother was standing a few feet away from my brother. Oddly enough, my mother was not smiling. Her eyes give me the impression that she did not want to be found...She wants to remain lost forever. 

Eight months later, my brother was waiting for me, outside my school. I had a high hopes that I would see my mother, too. But my hope was dashed.
One morning, my brother woke up and he could not find our mother anywhere around the house. Her clothes were no longer in the cupboard.  Our mother had disappeared again. Our mother did not left any goodbye letter.

"What happened to Samson, the cat?"  I asked
"Our mother has taken Samson with her," my brother answered
"Our mother has taken Samson but had abandoned us, again. Samson is very lucky, don't you think so?" I said

Sadness and disappointment were written all over my face.

My brother hugged me and said:"You must understand that it is not our mother's fault. She became a widow at very young age. She loved our dad very much. Coping with our father's death was not easy for her. 
“It is our grandmother's fault that our mother is no longer in our lives, anymore. Our grandmother had brainwashed our mother to think that she is not fit to look after us... She is not fit to be our mother. 
“That is the reason our mother had ran away from us...That is the reason our mother has not come to see us. Our mother believes staying away from us was best thing that she can do for us.
“I will find our mother where ever she is.  I will make our mother understand that her place is with us... With her children...We deserved to be together like one big happy family."

I learned love and hate have the power to make you irrational. In my brother's eyes, our mother would always be a goddess who can do no wrong and our grandmother would always be the devil who brought us misery.

“Our grandmother wants to bury the truth. But the truth cannot be buried forever. One day, you will learn about the truth."

My brother was drunk when he uttered those words to me. We had just celebrated our birthdays in his apartment. Our birthday falls on the same day. I had turned 21 and my brother was 36. My brother had consumed too much liquor. My brother had tears streaming from his eyes. My brother was shaking in fear.

Before I could asked him any questions, my brother continue to say: "Please do not ask me what the truth is. The truth is not important. The truth is irrelevant.
“But what is important is when you learn about the truth, you must not hate your mother. Every child must realise his mother is not perfect. “Promise me, you will not hate our mother. Promise me, you will love our mother till our last breath...." 

Naively, I made a promise that I could not keep.

My brother had found my mother, again. My mother had joined a religious monastery, somewhere in Thailand. My mother had refused to see my brother.  He built a small tent outside the monastery.

"I will stay at the monastery's doorstep till she sees me," he wrote.
"My desire to see my mother is stronger than her desire to shut me out of her life. I will bring our mother back to us. Mother, you and me - we are meant to be together like one happy family."

But you can never stay awake forever. One night when my brother was sleeping, my mother quietly slipped out from the monastery.  This time we are not the only ones who got abandoned.
Samson – my mother’s cat- got abandoned, too. When my brother woke up, he found Samson, sleeping next to him. My mother did not leave any goodbye letter. My mother was never to be found again.

The day that my brother feared most had arrived...The day where the truth cannot be buried anymore...The day where I will learn about the truth. 
My grandmother had spent her whole life keeping me in the dark why she took my brother and me away from our mother. Then one day, out of the blue, my grandmother finally told me the whole truth.
Of course, my grandmother did not do it willingly. My grandmother was not aware of her action.  My grandmother had become old, ill and forgetful. My grandmother thought that she was taking to a priest, not her grandson.

My grandmother said:"I didn't want to hurt my daughter. But I had no choice. I had to take away her children from her. I did the right thing. Didn't I, Father? God would forgive me, won't he, Father?"

I pretended to be a priest and kissed my grandmother's forehead and said" Of course, my child, you did the right thing. There is nothing to forgive."

My grandmother just hugged me and cried her eyes out.  After my grandmother's confession, everything finally makes sense. I could understand my brother's obsession for my mother... I could understand why my mother did not want to see me... I could understand why my mother was not happy when my brother had found her... I could understand why my mother had stayed away from our lives ... I could understand our grandmother took us away from our mother. Everything finally makes sense. 

A week after my grandmother told me the truth, my grandmother passed away. My brother showed up at her funeral. My brother had tears in his eyes. He hugged me and I did not hug him back. I just stood still like a lifeless mannequin. From my body language,  y brother  knew that the truth has finally reached my ears .

"You promise that you will not hate our mother ... You promise that you would love our mother till your last breath," he said.
"Some promises are meant to be broken and some women are not born to be mothers," I said. 

That was the last time I saw my brother. I sold our family house. I did not want to have any connection with my past. I want to forget that I have a brother.... I want to forget that I have a mother...I want to forget that I existed.


Ten years has passed since my grandmother's funeral. To a certain degree, I had made some peace with the truth. And now, I am ready to tell you the truth that my grandmother had told me ... the truth that was buried in my heart... the truth that has been torturing me for years.

The man I believed to be my father is not my father.  My brother and I did not share the same father. The man I believe to be my father died in car crash long before I was born

My mother had loved the man I believe to be my father with all her heart and she could not accept the fact he was no longer in her life. My mother was depressed. My mother had lost the will to live.

My brother, who was only 13, had become my mother’s pillar strength during her terrible moments.  My brother feed her. My brother clothed her.  My brother made her laugh. My brother made her smile. My brother was a father to my mother. My brother was a mother to my mother. My brother was a clown to my mother. 
But my mother wanted more. We often forget that mothers are women with desires. My mother did not want to wake up to an empty bed... My mother was tired of sleeping alone... My mother wanted someone to hug her... My mother wanted someone to kiss her passionately... My mother wanted someone to whisper words of love into her ears.....My mother wanted to be desired.
So, my mother seduced my brother. My mother turned my brother into her lover. They became sinful lovers. I was born out of their love. My brother was only 15 when he became my father.
My mother told the world lies that a man had seduced her and made her believe that he would take care of her. But once she got pregnant, he abandoned her.... He just disappeared into a thin air and could not be found anywhere. Everyone believes her lies.
My mother was extremely happy. My mother had a man to love her. My mother had a child in her arms, to love. Life was a paradise for my mother

"All my life, all I ever wanted was to love and be loved," said my mother.

Problem arises in her paradise when my grandmother showed up at her door steps. My grandmother wanted to see her new born grandson.
 "You have just given birth. You need to rest. You need someone to look after you and the children," my grandmother insisted on extending her visit. 

And one day, my grandmother caught my mother and my brother, totally naked, in each other's arms. It didn't take long for my grandmother to guess that I, her new born grandchild was a product of incest. All hell broke loose.

 "How could you do this your own son...How could you make your son to be your lover... How you could make your son to be the father of your child.... Have you gone mad? You are not a mother... You are a monster," My grandmother shouted.

Immediately, my grandmother took my brother and me away from my mother.

“If you go to the police or court to get back your sons, I will tell the whole world what you did to your son," my grandmother said.
 “You will spend the rest of your life in prison. If you have any shame of what you did, you will just disappear from our lives. You will never see us again. Go somewhere far from us. Leave us in peace ... Leave us in peace....Leave us in peace...."

And that is what my mother did.

When I first heard the truth, I was angry beyond words. Over the years, I have become less angry.  I learn to be compassionate. I put myself into their shoes and tried to see the world through their eyes.

I learned that loneliness and sadness can drive people to do the most insane things. My mother was lonely. My mother was sad. It is not easy losing someone you loved with all your heart ...It is not easy to be a widow at a young age.

 As for my brother, he was young, naive and was desperately making sense of the chaos that enveloped his life – the death of his father, a mother who clings on him for everything and becoming my father at the age 15. Indeed, life must have been difficult for my brother.      
Yet I pray that our path should never cross. I believe there should be a distance between my mother and me...A distance between my brother and me.  No matter how hard I try to justify their actions, I am not ready to forgive them.  I have not mastered the art of forgiveness. Sometimes, dying is easier than forgiving.

The End