First off I put your name in quotations because I don’t know you as Mom but that is what I am supposed to call you since you are the one who gave birth to me.
I have searched for you for many years, but only recently with absolute vigor.
I grew up without knowing you. I only knew that you gave up on me. The people who took me in from the adoption home just needed a tax break and a maid. I fit the bill. I blamed you for leaving me.
I ran away. They found me and beat me. I blamed you for leaving me.
I turned to drugs and crime to fill my void and disperse my anger. I blamed you for leaving me.
I went to prison. I blamed you for leaving me.
Since I have been on parole I have changed. Prison can have that effect on some people.
I had a lot of time to think about things. Prison can have that effect on some people.
I had to find out why you left me instead of blaming you for it.
The truth can be found but only by starting over from the beginning.
The truth I found proved my anger for you was never justified.
The choice you made was to give me a chance at a life that you were not able to provide. You were dying and had nowhere else to turn.
Because of the truth I have learned, I have decided to volunteer at the Center for At Risk Youths. Children without parents need someone who can listen to them and who knows what they are going through.
My life has been filled with bad choices…..but they were my own. I don’t want others to live a life filled with blame. I want them to have hope.
I now want to be a son you would have been proud of.
After reading the letter out loud, Max folds it carefully and places it into the unmarked envelope. He holds the flap up to his mouth, licks the sticky upside down “v” and seals it.
He sits for a minute and just stares at the headstone that is in front of him. A single tear drops down his cheek. He makes no effort to wipe it away.
As a calming peace comes over him, he places the letter in front of the headstone and places a small rock on top of it in order to hold it down.
He stands up. Looks down at the woman’s name engraved in the stone and says,
“I love you, Mom”