Where do I begin…
To the ones who’ve left themselves behind.
To the younger one, I wish you a Merry Christmas. I really do hope that you’re doing well. Maybe you’ve learned to set aside the meanness and the anger? Maybe you’ve learned to be as honest, as truthful, and as fair, to others as much as you always wanted everyone to be that way with you? Maybe you’ve learned to live within your own strengths, your own true value, and on the merit of your own person? Maybe like a cripple that’s miraculously able to walk on their own, then throws away their crutches, maybe you no longer need to open doors or get your way by using your victim card? Maybe you’ve learned to take responsibility for what’s yours instead of burdening and trashing other people and their lives? Maybe you’ve gotten some straight eyes, the kind of eyes that don’t have the built-in hate and anger biases? Maybe someday you’ll realize that you had so many wonderful things come your way, only to lose them because the only thing you ever held on to was yourself? Maybe someday you’ll realize all the generous and loving things that were done for you by people who really cared about you? Maybe one day you’ll realize that you were never perfect either, and you can forgive others for their imperfections and mean it? Maybe one day you’ll realize that love has its costs, both obvious and hidden, and that so many gave all they had without any expectations of a return? Maybe one day you’ll figure out what is real and what is not, and the value of those things sincere and real? Maybe one day you’ll change, maybe you won’t ever. I really hope you’re doing well.
To the older one, I wish you a Merry Christmas. I really hope that you’re doing well. Maybe you’ve learned to exist beyond your fear and anger? Maybe life has dealt you enough curve balls by now to realize that it can happen to anyone? Maybe you’ve figured out that so many times when you needed me to be there for you, I was? Maybe you figured out that I often admired how much better you had done, and how much better of a person and parent you had become? Maybe sometimes if you noticed me giving you credit, you knew that it was sincere? Maybe you realized that the last time I turned to you, it was because you were all that I had left? Maybe some day down the road, when you’re as old and beat up as I am now, you’ll figure out that I had a lot of value that you just abandoned? Maybe one day, you’ll learn to trust your own heart instead of listening to everyone else? Maybe one day, you’ll realize that there was so much more to be grateful for rather than things that needed to be forgiven? Maybe one day you’ll understand that everyone gets just one chance at life. Some blow it. Some screw up. The only difference anyone can make is to try to do better, become a better person. Maybe some day you’ll realize that people only become someone better because they care? Maybe in some mysterious way, you’ll find that you threw away the best times, the best years, that you could have spent by not shutting someone out of your life? I really hope you are doing well.
To the one who shared my life, I wish you a Merry Christmas too. I really hope that you’re also doing well. Maybe one day you’ll realize that everything I did for us, I was doing for you? Maybe one day the meanness, anger, and hate will go away? Maybe one day, you’ll realize that in spite of all of your imperfections, I could only see the parts of you that I was in love with? Maybe one day you’ll realize that I had feelings too? Maybe one day, you’ll figure out how much, and how often, you also hurt and wronged me? Maybe one day you’ll know that if you ever felt alone, it was because you had shut yourself away and closed the door behind you? Maybe one day, you’ll figure out that it was just as lonely and hurtful on the other side of that closed door for me? Maybe one day, you’ll notice how much I had done and what I went through to do it? Maybe one day, you’ll realize that all I ever wanted was for the doors to never close between us? Maybe one day, you’ll figure out that you sent away the one person that would have never abandoned you? Maybe one day, you’ll figure out that so many things that were put upon me were only there because you forced them or just let them be paced there, because that was the easy way out for you? Maybe one day, you’ll have to make more hard choices, and you’ll know that you can’t blame anyone for a choice being hard, but you still have to make it? Maybe one day you’ll learn that sometimes you can’t have it all, but holding on to what you have is worth any price that you have to pay? Maybe one day you’ll day you’ll figure out that if you’re not happy, you should go have a talk with that face you see in the mirror everyday? Maybe one day, you’ll stop being an account, throw away your scales and balance sheets, and figure out that the only way to measure true love is by how much your own heart can hold? One day, maybe you’ll understand that it’s all about give and take, but not the measuring of it? Maybe one day, you’ll realize that you have to share responsibility? Maybe one day, you’ll figure out that you were a mess too, and that any craziness or insanity was a product of us both? Maybe one day, you’ll figure out what you had lost, what you had abandoned too? Maybe one day, you’ll figure out that you’ll benefit more from being generous with forgiveness of yourself and others, rather than being proficient at placing blame? Maybe someday, you’ll see that much blame you’ve placed on others was really only yours? Maybe someday, you’ll hear exactly what the words say to you and listen to them, instead of imagining some meaning that you wrongly impose on them? Maybe someday, you’ll realize that the day I left you was the hardest and most hurtful day of my life. Not because I was leaving you. But because I was leaving behind my life, my hopes, and my dreams. I was leaving behind everything that ever meant anything to me. I was leaving behind my hope and my love. You never knew this then, and you may never know it at all. Your door is closed, as it was so much, so often, and for so long when we were together. I could never get past those doors, built of fear, anger, meanness, and coldness. Maybe one day you’ll realize that with as many times as you wished pain and hurt on me, caused it to be so as often as you could, scorched me with me hate then slammed your door shut… I never once said that I hated you. Not to this day. Maybe one day you’ll understand that no one can forgive anyone through a closed door? Maybe one day, you’ll know that you needed me to forgive you, as much as I needed forgiveness? Maybe one day, you’ll understand that I needed be loved and to be valued, just as much as I tried to love and value you. Maybe one day you’ll figure out, that if you didn’t feel yourself being loved and valued, it’s because you’re door was closed, and it was reinforced with your hate and anger? Now all I can do is hope for the best for you, and that you’re doing well too.
I gave myself a gift this year, because none of you are in my life any longer. Even though all of you may feel righteous, and completely without fault, I forgive you. The day slowly came when I realized that I had done all that I could do. Right or wrong, I did my best and I had done it with my heart. All of you were the most loved, valued, and trusted people in my life. I saw all of your faults with my eyes. But, I felt only the value of each of you in my heart. When you needed me, I did my best to be there. When you screwed up, I walked right along with you through it. I was told a few times what a great husband I was, that I had become. I was told a few times what a great dad I was, that I had become. I was told a few times what a great grandfather I was, that I had become. Some people are lucky because they’re born perfect. I wasn’t. I had a long and difficult road, a treacherous path, and dark places to get through. I did that. Made it. And all of you had acknowledged my accomplishments at least in some way. I had great hopes that we’d always be married. I had great hopes that even though I was a terrible father at times, my kids would have kept track of the things I got right here and there. I had great hopes that one day a closed door would open, and you would walk through it with an open and loving heart. I had great hopes that one day, while I was sitting alone crying with my pain, that comfort and compassion would come to sooth me. I had great hopes that one day I’d hear some words of encouragement, and hear some recognition for being dauntless in my battles of life. I never gave up. I never quit. I never backed down. The only thing I could never do, would not do, was to force open any doors once they were closed. If love comes, it should only come from its own volition. Not because of its need, want, or obligation regarding anyone. When I made promises, I did my best to keep them. When I said I love you, it came from my heart. When I was needed, I tried to be there no matter what the conditions or circumstances were. I meant everything I said and did. But now, looking back on this some day kind of day, I can see I was mistaken. I can’t tell if I was lied to with malice or intention, but that doesn’t really matter. Where I believed love was, where I believed my love was going, now I can only see a hungry beast of meanness and anger that must have devoured it. The doors are all closed, but some times I can still hear its distant laughter. The beast, the anger, the hatred, the meanness, they all think they’ve won. Maybe some day, it will be realized that a hollow victory is no victory at all? Maybe some day, it will be realized that nothing of value was taken from anyone, that no one was cheated, because that can’t be when those things are cast away and abandoned?
So, here is my Christmas gift to myself… I forgive all of you. You don’t need to be the winner or the loser to forgive. All you need is a true and feeling heart, because there are no sides when it comes to forgiving, and that’s all. Rock on… Dokkodo