A Painful Legacy
©copyright Bonita M Quesinberry, R.C. 020204
I don't know when it began with her,
a life of fact and fantasy in blur.
Perhaps at five, 1932, when her father died,
or even twelve, 1937, at her mother's demise.
Alas, there is no memory of her until six,
1950; by then, her mind in a terrible fix.
I recall, then, standing at the back door in awe:
She was hitting the woman next door, I saw;
I remember fear but not for me.
It was for the lady, you see;
for fierce were the blows I knew well,
though no one could I tell.
So many times throughout the years,
she pulled knives on her husband yet cried tears;
yelled obscene names that were not true .
Yet, her friends were not just a few.
Why, even her kids' friends thought she rocked,
Because the truth behind doors was heavily
Times lost in count, over and over she said,
"No one loves me, I wish I were dead;"
then, turn on the gas or take a handful of pills,
while adamantly declaring she was not ill.
Time and again, to the hospital she was rushed:
each year, closer and closer to death she brushed.
Finally, 1986, just short of turning fifty-nine,
I received a call. I don't recall the time.
Her husband's brother stuttered, then said,
"Your mother is dead.
She'd sworn to do it the night before,
as my brother came through the door."
Suicide: the final solution,
where there is no resolution?
I thought so, once upon a time;
after all, Mother said it was no crime.
Praise the Lord, for me he intervened,
"You are mine!" He fiercely deemed.
Suicide: a crime of weakness,
not one of meekness.
It is a deadly legacy left to children—
and the children's children.
And, so I said, "The buck stops here.
My kids will not know this fear!"
Mother was too blind to see what she had:
a man who loved her and was not bad;
kids who loved her, too,and even grandkids a few.
But in her delusions, confusion and pain,
she never knew the joy she had obtained.
Only God can change these things,
if our woes to Him we bring.
With tears, lay them at His feet,
and quickly evil He will defeat.
But, turn the other way,
and the Devil will have you every day.
Lucifer wants to destroy our life;
so, he fills it with agony and strife.
I remember asking God, "Help me to see!"
And He said, "If it's negative, it's not me."
Oh, how very simple were those words,
profoundly setting me free to fly like a bird.
* * *
SUICIDE IS NO ANSWER!
As a counselor, I received a message today requesting help with a person threatening suicide: which inspired this poem of true experience. God always had been with me, one of the few things for which I can thank my mother: she kept us in church, sent us to be more precise. And at a very young age, Yeshua gifted me with the ability of logic to determine that it was not me who was the problem or my Dad or brother, rather that mother was not well. I think she's one of the reasons I decided to become a counselor.
As for bad memories, I can't say that's what they are; they are more like lessons I can draw upon when helping others. I spent my mother's last two years doing everything in my power to get help for her prescription drug addition as well as her mental health, all to no avail.
I ran out of avenues to persue, except for one: I placed her in God's capable hands and He saw fit to let her succeed in 1986. I remember praying to Him the year before, "If she can't take your hand, Lord, in order to overcome; then, please, take her out of her pain and misery." She suffered most of her life: at least, now she is at quiet rest. Having done all I could had a positive side-affect, however: it spared me of regrets and "If only I had..." People need to consider this: when doing all you can for another person, just remember that it doesn't matter if you succeed or not. You're better off helping another.
As for the prayer mentioned at the close of this poem, at the time I found that in recognizing 1000 of Satans devious tricks he merely had 1000 more. What I had asked was how to recognize him each and every time he reared his ugly head: "If it is negative, it is not me." So simple yet so profound.
My prayer now is that this poem might help anyone considering suicide or someone who knows someone who is leaning in that direction. As a counselor, however, I've dealt with other issues just as deadly: such as self-mutilation. This is an ugly world full of people in a great deal of emotional pain. I wish I could help them all find the great psychiatrist: God Almighty.