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Eyes Cast Downward- Memoir Excerpt

Originally hand written in July 2015 Late Spring of 2014.  Just Months before liver failure Our eyes are nearly always cast dow...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

To My Dear Son- S.of C.

Dear Mitchell,

Today is the day on which is customarily spent in celebration of the glorious date of birth, yours specifically on the 18th of August. I suppose a stereotypical mother would say "Happy birthday!" and give you a handsome gift and be happy in watching your innocence. 
I will take this opportunity to tell you sweet child that this is a day I must give you the truth as I see it: You are one year closer to your death. Followed by asking you to please contemplate what you plan to do with the start of this new year of your life. ( Which I believe, is every single moment is; a new chance to grasp and manipulate a potential outcome.) What do you choose to do with this life that was unwittingly bestowed upon you when you progressed from conception to frail and precious mortality?
I would shout from the hilltops "You are one day nearer to your death!" It may well be returned with askance glances that speak of shock and disbelief that a mother could say such a thing as macabre as what she has on her own child's birthday. This is a typical reaction that is overflowing with their own refusal of their own mortality.... But this is irrelevant because I live in NYC and there are no goddamn hilltops. More likely the top of a very tall tenement. Also, There are so many people where I live that they are desensitized to hearing all kinds of things and witnessing seemingly outrageous even crazed behavior that most suburban neighborhoods, that you are very familiar with, do not see often- if at all. Here in the city it may at most be matched with the briefest of glances toward the direction of the ranting woman on top of a building. I digress... 
Never the less the feeling of truth in it remains the same. It prods at the fire within me, the one I keep only for you, my dearest child, my one and only son, my first born.
I have nothing other then this truth to offer you, on your celebrated birthday that will inevitably end with your death date. Do you know what an obituary is? Do you know what an epitaph is? Well you should. Keep this somewhere in the corner of your mind as you go about your life. Think of what you would like yours to say,. How you would like to be remembered. The sooner you begin to contemplate ideas and questions like this, all the better. 
I firmly have it set in my mind that the momentary pang and confusion you may feel upon fully comprehending what I have taken the time to concede in due haste within this letter, is well worth a life time of potential existential torment. A torment you would have to bear long and bear heavily.
One day I am sure you will thank me for this honesty. If you do not then I will have to assume that you did not inherent my questioning nature nor my intellect. But perhaps more like your fathers moronic thoughtlessness. That would be a shame to say the least.
Regardless child, I will cherish you and love you just the same and never cease to try and instill in you the things I have come to understand though much suffering that I can only hope you will choose to avoid. I will always answer you true and if truth betrays me, please never fear to question me. I will not judge you. Question and seek all forms authority These so called authorities only possess the authority you choose to give them on a moment to moment basis. I believe it should be "Value Your Mortality Day.' or something a bit less quick and simplistic. (Even though the smallest euphemisms can hold the deepest value...For an example I will use  one of my teacher's Friedrich Nietzsche; "What are man's truths ultimately? Merely his irrefutable errors." See what I mean? The power in such a brief statement? Perhaps instead of saying "Today is my birthday" try this one out instead: "Today is the day that I commemorate my own frailty."

For that is the truth of it, to my own feeble and humble understanding from my knowledge and more so my experience. I wish someone had been this honest with me when I was a child.
Much like the undeniable, unmistakable scars that you left upon my abdomen whilst becoming .
In celebration of this day and as a constant reminder of our connection as mortal beings that once shared the same vessel, mother and child.
I shall get your "818" tattooed on my waist. 
The waist that surrounds the scars that formed during your transition from the chaotic void to your methodical mortality.
Today is the day that you commemorate your own frailty. Make the most of it my love. I miss you.
You should use the dictionary.
Your mother and my love eternally.

Mary Catherine, Cowardice Queen

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