My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:
Since the sad days of “Suicide Christmas”, I’ve cried every day for you, my sons. Time does not heal all wounds. In fact, when it comes to separation from loved ones, all the adages are wrong. Time does not heal all wounds. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Distance does not make the heart grow fonder. Simply put: death would be a relief. I, we, cannot kill ourselves as kids of parents who commit suicide are more likely to kill themselves. That is not a legacy we wish to leave you. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/children_who_lose_a_parent_to_suicide_more_likely_to_die_the_same_way.
Thus, we march on. We remind ourselves to breathe. To eat. To smile. We tell ourselves to hold it together until we can cry alone … in silence … as our universe collapses.
But, we forge on — for you, for our future, for our good name. We will prevail. We will clear our name. We will see you again.
Meanwhile, live. Do your best. Don’t worry about what others will think or will say. The truth is that they’re too caught up in their own insecurities and fears to give much thought to you. Even if they did and even if they said something,what they think or say will be a reflection of their own fears and insecurities, not you or yours. So, forgetaboutthem! https://cnnlive.org/the-universe-doesnt-give-a-flying-fuck-about-you-epic-series-book-1.
Do you best. Surround yourselves with good people. They are the salt of the earth. Look beyond their exterior and into their hearts. If goodness and courage lie there, then give them a chance to come into your circle. Don’t expect perfection. They will err, but if they are good and brave enough to stand for what is right, they are worth their weight in gold. They are more precious than all the riches of the earth.
Don’t buy into fads and empty crap peddled by talking heads and false gods (“influencers” who are worshiped by the millions). Life is more than an iPhone or a Samsung, a pair of Thrashed Denim jean from Dussault Apparel, or whatever-is-the-hottest-item-at-the-moment. In several years, you won’t even remember most of the things you had once pined for. However, you will remember specific experiences and time spent with loved ones. Ignore ad men and women, no matter how attractive. Focus on doing right by the ones you love and those who love you. https://www.livescience.com/6158-study-happiness-experiences-stuff.html.
Beware hypocrites. They quote biblical verses and extol the virtues of their faith, but their actions often belie their words. Ignore what people say. Watch what they do. Let their patterns of behaviours inform you of who they are. Words are cheap.
For example, your mom says she loves you, but she refused to spend $35 to meet with your therapist at the latter’s repeated requests to discuss how best to help you guys when you were going through a particularly tough time during our divorce. Yet, she spent more than $900/month on Starbucks and eating out. I paid completely out of pocket for your weekly therapy sessions for more than a year. Your mother said she’d do anything for you, but kept Shosh in diapers at night way beyond what’s appropriate and joked about buying him adult-size diapers because she’s too lazy to stay up and potty train him at night. It was I who, on vacation in Okinawa with you guys, set the alarm to go off every two hours throughout the night for a week to wake up Shosh to take him to the bathroom so he wouldn’t have an accident. She loves you, but her actions tell of the limits of her love … her comfort.
Beware of echo chambers — like-minded “Yes-men and women” who will only tell you what you want to hear. They are the devil’s handymen and handy-maidens. They feed you lies to puff up your egos and to lead you astray, away from being your best selves. Goodness and right rarely accompany unthinking adulation.
Befriend those willing to reflect back to you who you really are. They are invaluable.
Likewise, be true friends to them and help them improve themselves by holding the mirror up to them to show them who they really are. Don’t buy into the if-you-have-nothing-positive-to-say-then-say-nothing bullshit. Constructive criticism comes from the heart, has good intentions, and includes both positive and negative aspects.
If we paid less attention to echo chambers and hypocrites, we might have fewer senseless acts such as the one discussed by the above-referenced article about a devout Christian who killed Jews for the glory of God. Christ is love. Jesus boiled the 10 Commandments down to two: (1) love God with all your heart, and (2) love your neighbor as yourself. Christ’s message is one of love. They failed to grasp His basic lesson, and they brought disservice to His name. They sowed hatred where they should have sown love. If the killer would have opened himself up to humanity and all that exists in the world instead of closing himself off to all but his little band of anti-liberal radicals, the world would be a better place.
Don’t be like him, or people like him. Be open, but be critical in your analyses. Again, you are not a sponge, but a sieve. Sift through the noise and crap out there to find that which is good and wholesome. Embrace the latter.
All my love, always