I've been gone too long, my loves, and for that I am truly sorry. Health issues and politics have sapped me. Meanwhile at work, it seems as if every other day another client comes in to tell me about a partner who has suddenly died, a friend who's been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer or children lost to drug overdoses. If Star Trek were real, I think I'd be classified as an empath. And I am overloaded and overwrought. Then I came home from work and the news showed me that another Jewish cemetery had been desecrated.
As many of you might know, once a year my siblings and I make the trek to our mother's grave site to celebrate her birthday with her. We plant flowers and sit in the grass talking to her. My grandfather's grave is there. My mother's sister who died when she was three is there. My nana's unmarked grave is there. My great-grandmother and great-grandfather's graves are there. It's very peaceful when the mosquitoes aren't eating you alive. Mom always makes sure we have good weather while we have our communion. We have dug in the earth with our bare hands to plant those flowers. I have rubbed the skin from the pads of my fingers taking the moss off her stone.
I am perfectly aware that my mother isn't there in that cemetery, just what remains of the shell that housed her hopes and dreams for her children. Her shorter than me, slightly bitter and neurotic shell that was really good at guilt and knew how to push every button in my psyche. When we were younger kids, she would take us to the cemetery to teach us how to respect our ancestors, how to have comfort in sitting in that quiet moment, to allow the sadness to come and go. It was ok to bring a little picnic and be with your people. My people.
So my question tonight is how much hate do you have to have in your heart to walk up to the marker of someone's ancestor, someone's mother, father, sister or brother, someone's beloved, someone's child, to approach that spot and desecrate that space? How much hate does it take to harden your heart enough to take that quiet moment away from another human being? A cup of hate? A tablespoon? A pinch? My guess is that it takes a very small amount to rot you from the inside and give you the peace of mind to place yourself far above another human being's ancestors. Just a small amount of hate will change you forever.
If my mother's stone were ever desecrated, I would certainly work to repair it through my tears. And after I was done, I would not rest until I found the people responsible. My heart says that I should make them pay, make them hurt the same way they would have hurt me. But what would that change, not their mind nor my pain. Instead, I would take them to their people - their parents, their children, their beloved - and make them explain why my mother mattered so little and why desecration of my quiet moment, her quiet forever, was so very important to prove their point. Expose the hate to the light.