I Couldn’t Have Said It…


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Стойкий Мужик: Symbolism Galore

Resilient Man. Standing Man. However you interpret it, the Russian term Стойкий Мужик now means the world to me, at least the me that I’ve evolved into these last 2.5 years, having been somewhat forced to become one, myself. Surely, the underlying concept of the expression has long been an integral part of my life, of who and what I am. Nowadays, it is so much more.

However it has been expressed–and in whatever language, I have always considered myself to be irrepressible (not to mention persistent, meticulous, and tenacious).  Yet the characteristic that has given itself enough credit to become indelibly sketched into both my psyche, and now my physique, is the utterly applicable trait of… resilience.  Up until the fall of 2014 (and until now, a few days before the potentially final custody hearing on May 25th, 2016), I’d never needed to live it so deeply, employ it so consistently.

Thus, on May 23rd, 2016, I had my first tattoo done.

Tattoo Done

It represents my recent life, to the T.

Стойкий Мужик (Stoikiy muzhik). It feels right.

I hope that on May 25th, the day I might very well be informed of my future, and how the Court has decided to determine it, I will be able to draw inspiration and strength from the symbolism I now wear between my shoulder blades. I’ll take anything I can get as a reminder to stay resilient.

Although I had not been familiar with the exact term, “Stoikiy muzhik“, previously, especially not in Russian, until I saw the 2015 thriller Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks, I had long understood all too well the notion of what it meant to bounce back up, to stand up once again after being knocked down, sometimes repeatedly.  Various events over the course of my 47 years required such resilience. Nowadays, however, I rely on and exercise, on a daily basis, that one influential trait–almost to the point of exploiting it unfairly, as if it is all I have to go on.

In some ways, it is.

Except my kids, of course.

You see, I’m exhausted. I am, admittedly, spent.  But I’m not done.

I’ve unfortunately been pushed to the verge of giving up, not on my children, the only focus I’ve had in life these last 2.5 years, but on court processes, in general, on getting my money back, on getting to the end of all the ridiculous legal matters that have burdened me all this time.

The only physical, tangible aspect of this taxing, harrowing phase that I use as a guiding light, as an end goal, is my darling kids.  They are my everything, even if that sounds cliché, and I’ll forever maintain hope that I can be an active, relevant part of their lives.

As they deserve their daddy, I deserve them.

It is clear, as many can attest to, that I’ve fought for them as best I could, without relying on nor resorting to deceit in order to get them and keep them in my life (which has been the only option for some folks going through such dealings, over the history of divorce, I mean). Those two darlings, without any doubt or hesitation, keep me resolute and tenacious, even if I am spent emotionally, strained spiritually, and drained financially.

The only fulfillment I feel, founded fully on fatherhood, is and will be the foundation of my fortitude, forever.

If they are taken from me, unfairly, my base will be gone.

However, in addition to my offspring being the physical driving force behind everything I’ve done, when others may have given up or bolted, I’ve been told, it is an undeniable resilience that has been the ONE intangible factor that has mattered most, that has kept me from staying down for long.

After every fiasco and every bullshit moment, hitherto, I’ve repeatedly bounced back up.  I’m practically a fucking Weeble Wobble. Actually, maybe such a reference doesn’t apply perfectly, for those 1970’s toys, which I owned and played with back in the day, would never fall down. Like those inflatable boxing clowns, you could push a Weeble over, practically force it to be parallel to the floor, and it would spring back up, never capitulating fully.

Not me.

Sure, I’ve bounced back up, yet I have, admittedly, fallen hard a handful of times during these 2.5 years because I’ve been pummeled, repeatedly. What is more, I’ve taken punches below the belt, to the point that I’ve lost my breath, forcibly expelling every lick of energy I had at whatever moment such illegal blows occurred.

Yet, unlike in boxing, no points have been taken for illegal blows below the belt. No warnings given. That such antics have been allowed to continue is a blow in itself.

Periodic points along the way reveal when I collapsed to the floor, completely.

After one case was astonishingly lost in Court last year, I momentarily considered throwing in the towel. That night, the day I’d learned of the Court’s decision to reject my case, I dramatically wept on my living room floor, alone.

In a few hours, I was back to documenting the truths that should have helped me prevail in further cases pending at the time.

Another time, last fall, I found myself close to capitulating, after I’d received notice that my case had been closed.  Thinking that there was no chance to get a fair deal in this foreign country, for I had LEGITIMATELY submitted enough evidence to support and substantiate my rightful claims–and more than enough to counter all the nonsense–I felt like I had no choice but to surrender to the system.

As many foreign friends and local counterparts, alike, have said, I have no chance to win anything here.  The cards are stacked against me, and they are, undoubtedly, stacked.

However, in a short while, I was again ready to proceed–and back in action getting my documents done, countering nonsense claims, organizing, collating, etc.

Surely I weebled and wobbled, and I was done for a moment, but not for long.

Moments like those, even though I allowed myself to get knocked over, were ephemeral.

Facing proven prejudice and forgery, I remind myself that I HAVE TO GET BACK UP.  Facing deceit and fabrication, I remind myself that I HAVE TO GET BACK UP. Facing an uphill battle, language barriers, money challenges, and being alone without family here through these challenges, I remind myself that I HAVE TO GET BACK UP. Having lost a few cases when I could have and should have won (and would have won in my own country, without any doubt in mind–or dozens of other minds), I remind myself that I HAVE TO GET BACK UP.

Стойкий Мужик (Stoikiy muzhik). That’s me. 

What about the rest of the tattoo, though?

It is full of symbolism, as most tattoos, I assume, are.

The foundation is Стойкий мужик, underlying the blue lotus flower, giving it a base on which to rise above all else.  As blue lotus flowers represent rebirth in various belief systems, and lotus flowers in general are said to rise out of mucky waters to blossom beautifully, using “standing man” as a pedestal seemed the right choice.

The lotus is oft seen as the seat upon which the Buddha sits, but I wanted to have the notion of starting over to stem from my own resilience, since bouncing back has to happen first before the process of rebirth can ever take place. And at this time, the time of getting the tattoo in May of 2016, I haven’t yet given focus to starting over, even though friends and family goad me to. My focal point is still survival and keeping going–which requires a resilient approach, which is the bedrock of all.

Branching out to the left and right of Стойкий мужик are the names of my children, in Russian.  Admittedly, one reason I chose to not put their names in English is because it clashed a bit with the Cyrillic lettering in the middle, but there was more to it than that.

In January of 2014, I made a choice to stand by my principles. And following my own heart in knowing what was right prompted certain parties to act in a way that shattered my heart, starting off a nightmarish 189 days without my children.

If, on January 5th that year, my good college friend William had been in town for a visit, since I’d posted on my Facebook that I could use help and support–after a hellish first three months of separation, I would have taken him on an outing with my two kids. If my childhood best friend (40-year-long friend) Derek had been here, too, I would have done the same. The same goes for my high school friend, Mike (now known 34 years), or long-term friend Robert. Instead, an 18-year-long friend came for a visit, and on the Sunday she was here, a day before she left, I invited her on a four-hour tour with my kids.

I’d met her husband and first child in 2001, in Canada, and even stayed in their house with my then girlfriend, at the time. So I told her that it would be ridiculously unfair that she NOT see my children on January 5th, especially because I was proud to be a daddy and wanted to introduce them to her.  To have her return to Canada without even seeing my kids would be absurdly wrong. The principles that told me that I will forever stand by.

However, on the same night of her visit, I received messages that I had done something wrong, unsubstantiated and egregiously inaccurate accusations that I had had an affair in front of my kids. There was no such thing, and I will take that truth to my grave with me, knowing that my principles were right–even though I was beaten down for 189 days without my children because of standing by them.

Because the start of the pure hell that has been this 2.5 years began in earnest from that experience (though it started before that), I wanted to have Russian in my tattoo to reveal the commencement of absurdities is connected to that language.

When I saw Bridge of Spies, I immediately wrote said friend to ask for clarification about the meaning in Russian of Стойкий мужик, and she told me that “standing man” is not fully accurate, but that it rather means “resilient man”. I trusted her translation, just as I trusted her in front of my children two years before.

As you can see in the video clip from Bridge of Spies here, this notion is a powerful one.  When I watched the film last year, I couldn’t help but focus on this part, for I definitely have felt like the man who’d been beaten down, only to recuperate and stand again, repeatedly.


I’ve watched the video clip countless times since first seeing the film. It inflates my hopes each time, just as my tattoo will prove inspirational.  That’s why I’ve gotten it.  I need to draw inspiration from it.  My resilience is the foundation of all intangible strength, with my children being my tangible wingmen, if you will, helping form the foundation from which my rebirth will eventually emerge, once I get through this hellish nightmare.

Стойкий мужик. Resilient man. You better fucking believe it.


[Thanks must go out to the people who helped fund the tattoo. An ephemerally important, erstwhile gift was hocked to provide the cash for such an endeavor. That one tangible item meant nothing to me any longer, and, in fact, it was a bittersweet eyesore to behold. Thankfully, it is now gone, and with it physical presence forever absent, so to will be the connection to the people who gifted it to me. The tattoo is far more valuable than platinum, or gold… or silver, for that matter. It represents my resilience, and that is invaluable.]



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Compassionate Epiphany

Out of the woodwork. That’s where the expats in this country who have experienced utter bullshit in the court system here are coming from to share their stories. For the first few months of 2016, I’ve been finding more and more of these expatriates online, having also met a few in person. Their willingness to share their stories impressive, their stories, themselves, often astonishing, they tend to be eager to learn about similar experiences.

Since I put myself out there as willing to help and yearning to listen, it has increasingly become more of an arduous task to keep track of just how many foreign folks have been fucked by this system, or at least some facet of the judicial process here (or related, oft overlapping systems, such as social welfare organizations or immigration help services). Listening to most of their stories, hitherto, tug at heartstrings I never knew I had until divorce and custody proceedings smacked me across the face so many times that a punching bag in a boxing academy would gloat about being hit less.

However, I met someone here that helped tone down my growing frustration about what expatriates like myself are going through here (and perhaps in other locales around the world, with those abroad naturally dealing with similar issues overseas).

On April 5th, 2016, I met a female Taiwanese, whom I’ll call Tina, willing to share her story about going through divorce, a relatively casual divorce from a Western European bloke, to whom she’d been married for a mere couple of years.

The man cheated on her, for many, many months.

Yet that’s not all.

He admitted, blatantly, that he was “seeing someone”, roughly a year into their marriage, coming out with the reality quite readily when Tina confronted him about his behaviors.

More shockingly, and ever so sadly, he then attacked her verbally for not having any sympathy for his new partner, blaming Tina for being cold and aloof to the second woman’s own challenges of having been through a rough marriage, herself.

Yet that’s not all.

He argued that Tina should help emotionally support the “other woman” because the second woman was going through the drama of an affair, too, yet it was actually this second woman having an affair with Tina’s husband.

Needless to say, Tina was flabbergasted (and obviously shattered) that her man was practically forcing her to not only condone her husband’s choices but to also have some sort of sympathy for the mistress.

A tangled web he’d woven about how he felt sorry for his lover, which is why he had gone to her, to serve her needs, to help her transition through a rough patch in marriage, neglecting his own along the way.

He had also secretly been regularly taking his two-year-old child on outings with his bedmate and her two children for some time, well before being “discovered”, spending their time together under the guise of friendship, but all along having and doing much more.

In a nutshell, the guy seems like a real a-hole, which does appear to be the appropriate label to assign him, even if I’ve never met him nor heard his side of the story.

[Side note: Because of rumors I’ve discovered here in my city, I know all too well that each side in such disputes will have their perspectives—and folks sometimes outright fabricate nonsense to gain sympathy.]

However, the details of their sordid situation are not the focal point of this journal entry. Rather, it is Tina and her choices in dealing with it all.

The upshot?

In our face-to-face conversation on the aforementioned date, Tina revealed more of the details about their marriage, how it had had challenges caused by communication and a lack thereof, how culture had created barriers to a peaceful coexistence, more often than not, and how her ex-husband and her daddy didn’t get along. Listening to her story, which coincided with her producing plenty of damp tissues, I couldn’t help but relate to many facets of what she divulged. My interests piqued, I wondered what the percentage is of mixed-culture couples that endure (or fail to endure) the extra trials and tribulations brought on by one half of the marriage equation living in a foreign land, dealing with language barriers, cultural idiosyncrasies, expectations of family sometimes far different than the cultural “norm” of her/his upbringings.

In many ways, it was therapeutic to listen to her side of such a story, both in being able to have sympathy for her and also being able to relate to her issues, sans any sort of understanding of affairs or the romantic infidelity of a partner. I realized quickly that I could put myself in her shoes to some degree—and she could do the same.

Open-minded and displaying a “growth mindset”, I wanted fervently to see a local female’s perspective on dealing with the culturally related challenges of being married to an expat here. I, keen to listen, tried to understand all she explained, wanting to open my eyes and heart to those differences in viewpoints about cultures. If I could learn to understand an opposite point of view on divorcing from a Westerner, maybe I could learn something of value, for my own gain, to help get through what I’ve been burdened with for 2.5 years.

I bawled. Almost too much.

In fact, I’ve not cried so much during one conversation in the last few months, even though I’ve cried many a times, usually just for short spells (tears still flow when I see a daddy with child, hand-in-hand, or hear the laughter of children as I pass a park). My t-shirt was clinging uncomfortably to my chest when I finally finished, and I could have wrung out the cluster of tissues in my grasp like a chamois cloth after a carwash.

Yet the experience of shedding so many tears is not all that has been stuck incessantly on my mind since meeting her for that first conversation. What she admitted so openly was profound.

Something during the initial chat altered my understanding of human nature, specifically here in this country, an understanding that has been steadily skewed and slowly tainted over the last two-plus years: Not only does the woman have a heart the size of this country but she also has a deeper sense of understanding of what her child needs than the cumulative, collective conscience of everyone involved, hitherto, in the divorce and custody processes that have been my burden to bear since the fall of 2013.

And, yes, I did say EVERYONE involved.

Tina’s husband cheated on her. Clandestinely at first, and then openly. He then criticized her for being heartless because she wouldn’t show sorrow for his mistress. His actions, it can be readily debated, deserve a stronger reaction than what Tina has provided.

Yet she admitted, through a fairly heavy veil of her own tears, that she is willing to let her ex-husband take her daughter to his home in Europe because, “My daughter has a right to be there with that side of the family… she has a right to get to know them, too.” She’d one day experienced an epiphany that revealed to her a fairness in her mindset that she didn’t know existed.

When she admitted that, my tear ducts opened like the main release outlets of the Hoover Dam.

How I wish…

She went on, “I think that for my child, she would even have a better upbringing in Europe. It is a cleaner, safer environment. So I am thinking that perhaps until age six she’ll be here, but then I would like for her to be raised there. Maybe I could go there, too, to help raise her when I can. I want to talk to his parents to see if they are willing to help raise her, even though I can just visit her sometimes.”

Between my elbows, which were resting on the table to allow my hands to slightly hide my peripheral vision from nearby customers at the café we’d gone to, was a pool of tears, prompting me to occasionally swipe them with a Kleenex. My shirt started to moisten. We jointly went through nearly two packets of small facial tissues in about two hours.

Continuing on, she mentioned, “My parents are busy here, and even though they love her and try to help as much as possible, I think his parents have a right to provide for her, too.”

Listening to her perspective, especially because her ex had been so callously demanding that she support his both clandestine and blatant lover, that he had an affair in the first place, I couldn’t help but wish…

A profoundly understanding heart she possesses, one that is focused on the rights that her daughter has—and how exercising such rights for her own child, whom she loves, will benefit the young girl. Anyone can take a lesson from her sympathetic kindness, given all she has gone through herself. How she hasn’t attempted to seek vengeance should be a message to anyone in similar situations.

Tina has a compassionate empathy, having come about in an ephemeral epiphany one night, one that should be lauded by all. Her willingness to have the best for her child, even if that means letting go of her own grip of her daughter, had been unknown to me until I heard her story. How I wish more people were like her. The world would be a better place if there were.


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Стойкий мужик Symbolism Condensed

Tomorrow is my (possibly) last custody hearing (the first in over seven or eight months, since I was told the verdict would come in “about 1-1.5 months”). So on Monday, I got my first tattoo, by hocking something that once was very special–yet now could allow me to get this tattoo. I should thank the people who allowed me to afford it.

I’m writing a blog about all the symbolism here–and why I needed it NOW, but suffice it to say (if I don’t finish my blog by the time of the hearing tomorrow) that I am a “Standing Man”. Really, Стойкий мужик, as you can see in the video clip from Bridge of Spies, to follow below, means “Resilient Man,” so I placed it as the foundation of the tattoo. Blue lotus flowers also have significance, as does ‘aum’/’om’, represented in the middle petal.

Tattoo Done








Close Up Tattoo








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Every Accusation is Wrong

My name is Michael Brown, a ten-year expat here in K-town, and my life has been a living hell for two years-plus. I’m over a million NT in the hole so far, I’ve made over 400 documents to get translated for the Courts, and I am not giving up on keeping my children in my life to some degree or another.
I am a good/great father, and I love my children with all of my heart.  I want everyone to know that, especially because of the accusations against me–allegations I was recently told are still being thrown around even publicly.
Recently, someone told me that more allegations were made against me, publicly, allegations which are unfounded, unfair, and ridiculously wrong.
I am writing this to defend myself.  There is no attack here.  There is no libel nor slander. I am only defending my reputation by stating the following allegations against me are completely untrue
I have never perpetrated any of the following accusations.  They are unfounded, absurd, and incredibly hurtful:
1) I have never put my hands around my daughter’s neck to attempt to strangle her. Never.  Any such claim hurts me beyond compare–even when I know the allegation are 1,000% false.  If such accusations were true, why do my children stay with me two weekends each month at my house?
2) I have never hit my daughter in the head so that my son went home to talk about it. Never. If such accusations were true, why do my children stay with me two weekends each month at my house?
3) I have never beaten my children. Never. If such accusations were true, why do my children stay with me two weekends each month at my house?
4) I have never threatened my children with violence at my home so that they only smile when they run to me on the weekend pick-ups (all videotaped), when they come to my house for two days.  The children run to me or smile or kiss me on the cheek or hug me because they love me–not because I threaten to beat them if they don’t. If such accusations were true, why do my children stay with me two weekends each month at my house?
5) I have never threatened to beat my children so that they only smile on videos I take of them when they are with me on the weekends.  They smile, laugh, giggle, dance, etc., because they love me. Hundreds of videos reveal and prove that love, just as families take videos of outings, in general. There is no falsehood to my videos of the children, no coaching, no brainwashing. Never. If such accusations were true, why do my children stay with me two weekends each month at my house?
6) I have never had parties at my house when the kids were there, which allegedly caused the kids to go back crying, because they were so tired because of lack of sleep and that they didn’t get food.
7) I have never had sex with woman while with the children present, nor had woman sleeping at my house, with the children there–so that they awoke and were confused why I had women there at my house. Never.
8) I have never taken my children on romantic outings with my alleged affairs.  There were no affairs and the children were never placed in such a situation.
9) I have never made anyone in my family fear me. Never.  
10) I have never told the children not to like seafood nor to not eat beans or anything like that.  There is absolutely no allegation about me regarding food and the children that is accurate.  Trying to paint me as a bad father is absurd.  I have emails from the same accusers, which state I am an “excellent father”.
11) I have never left my children “frightened and crying” and “shivering in the corner”.  How could a man who made the children allegedly “shiver in the corner” be labelled as a great father in private emails to my family and friends, just a few days and weeks after separation (emails AFTER the accusations)?!?!  
13) I have never shown favoritism to my daughter so that my son feels neglected. I love both my children with all of my heart, fully. 
14) I never neglected to visit my mother on her deathbed because I “wanted to spend more time” in other US states traveling, first, on my 2013 trip to America. That accusation hurts.  Even though totally wrong, that hurts.  My mother dying of cancer two years ago should never have entered court documents, especially with such a claim.  NOBODY IN MY FAMILY KNEW THAT SHE WAS ON HER DEATHBED.  NOBODY KNEW HER STATE WAS SO GRAVE.
15) I never abandoned my children.  Never. Abandonment does not include having the children at my house every M/W/F night and on Sundays immediately upon moving into a new two-bedroom apartment, specifically rented to have them at my house, on shared time scheduling.  Nobody who abandons children asks for shared custody from the start (and sole custody after…).
16) I have NEVER threatened to take my children back to America. In fact, I have email exchanges to prove that for years I told my family I’d always stay in Taiwan even if my marriage faltered.
17) I never neglected to pay for my children. I have proof of all.
18) I have never stolen money. Never. I do not owe money. Nothing at all.  And, in fact, I have evidence on the contrary.
I could continue this list of false allegations and absurd accusations AGAINST me and my family. Suffice it to say, my defense against these allegations is my right, even publicly. I have not attacked anyone by doing so.  There are no lies here and I am not fabricating anything.  I am purely stating what accusations are wrong, totally.
I have NOT brought accusations, real nor fabricated, against anyone. Everything above is to defend myself.
My children mean the world to me.  Emails from the past, upon separation, state, “The children are your life.” That is still the whole truth. Undoubtedly. I have been fighting to be in their lives ever since that accurate email. Another email to my Aunt stated “He is a great father to the children, and I respect that, as did emails sent to my good friend in America around the same time. Those emails are STILL the truth.  No accusation since is accurate nor real.
A month after separation, in a recorded conversation, I was told that the best caregivers for the children include… “you, Michael” (there were only four people on the list). Nothing has changed except the ridiculous accusations against me since.
I am Michael Brown, and I am a good/great father. I have evidence to prove it.
[This posting will most likely result in an attempted volley of “explanations”.  I am comfortable with hearing out anyone in response. I have evidence to defend the accusations. I feel comfortable and confident in doing so.]
[For those expats interested in how the process has gone, going through all in a foreign country, I can share this: 1) a professional interpreting service told me via email when I asked why she’d altered my document and omitted sections in her translations, “I left out that paragraph from your document because in Taiwan, grandparents will…”, i.e., a professional translator CHANGED my document because of her cultural differences and biased blinders, 2) a social worker’s report stated, “the mother should get custody to protect the children from the influence of language and culture,” (even though my children are bicultural, biracial, bilingual), 3) a face-to-face interpreter changed my answers in a meeting with social services from “I don’t think so,” to “He doesn’t know,” completely changing the meaning of my answers, 4) and a woman assigned to investigate the parents said, “You are not a good father, you show no insight into being a good parent, you’re not capable, you never want to change, and you always think you’re right.” Her report came after a FIVE-MINUTE observation of me and my two children in their room and a letter she read that I wrote my children, a letter my family said made them cry! The system here is pure, utter travesty.]
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Purposefully Perpetrated Is Perfectly Plausible

Dear Queen Mum,

Time continues to fly by, and your passing is still heavy on my heart, undeniably so, but, thankfully, Mother, you’ve not been around to see what’s happened these past 29 months. Your passing was one of the most spiritually and emotionally challenging moments, theretofore, in my life, for many reasons, yet I cannot help but think it is better that you’ve not born witness to everything that’s unfolded since. I know you’d be overly burdened, markedly so, Queen Mum, if I may use the nickname bestowed upon you by someone once, or at least the impression of that someone you once knew.

Apparently, your impressions were all wrong, Queen Mum.

Of course, Mom, I would give anything for “just one more day,” as they say. How I wish I could tell you those things that were always meant to be said, things left unsaid. How I wish I could tell you that I do miss you, that I would give anything for you to still be alive. How I’d love to fly you here, for support. How I’d love to tell you all I’ve shared with those who support me, instead. I would make a point of calling you, writing you, Mom. However, I can’t. That hurts so much to say, and to realize that–to the point I have tears in my eyes as I write this, is one damn immense pill to swallow.

Thank goodness, Queen Mum, you’re not alive to know all that’s transpired, for if you were, you’d be immeasurably distraught, so undeniably troubled by the actions that have occurred these past two years-plus, especially for six unbearable months in 2014.

The last 29 months would have forced you through various phases. Most likely, you would have reached out, at first… to various parties. You would have recommended moderation. Actually, you did, years ago. However, based on your own experiences, you may have simple seen the reality of all and let life take its course, but then, Mom, you most likely would have developed stronger reactions over time–and that’s why I’m glad you weren’t here these two dozen-plus months. January of this past year, you would have been flabbergasted, with the ensuing months catapulting you into emotions that I’m glad you did not experience. Those months were hard enough for me. What they would have been for you makes me ill to think about.

Mom, you see, you didn’t know that summer I last visited you, the final two days I saw you alive, that things had deteriorated so. Naturally, you knew there were troubles. Of course. You knew all was tumultuous. You knew. But… you were intentionally given false impressions at the very end.

Did that last eye exchange you make with… well, did any of your last eye exchanges with anyone reveal anything to you? Could you have known what was in store? How I wish that the moment you last saw me and my children, one for the first time and one for the second, will eternally be recollected and labelled as being healthy, pure, real.

Yet I now realize that those last few hours will always be tainted, instead, with the purely plausible possibility that the glances you received were actually “false“, Queen Mum, that those duplicitous eyes hid a knowledge that I actually didn’t discover until months later, a knowledge that you were to never know. It was a plan, Mother.

Did you know that there was perhaps a plan lurking behind those eyes, eyes that also last glanced your way that day as you sat in that sordid chair, taking your last, difficult breaths? Maybe God, for some unknown, ungodly reason, wanted you to be cognizant of the reality of what was to be, so you actually saw through that veil during your last hour or two. Perhaps that knowledge before you passed was God’s way of ensuring that you’d eternally be able to support me–because you knew what would transpire once you were gone from the physical world. Maybe you were aware of the plan because you saw through the veil.

I know from our conversations years ago that you had hope, but you were a realist, Mom. You’d been through similar tough times, too. You’d been there, done that. However, Mom, you’d still be happy to know I tried. Though I failed, too, Mom.

I am sorry to you for that.

Mothers all, naturally, want their sons to live that special, romantic dream of a happy mutual existence. Yet obstacles were immense. Hurdles were too frequent, left untended, left untraversed, left in the way–perhaps deliberately.

I could write a book about all that that entailed, but suffice it to say, the time came. Thankfully, you didn’t see the end, Mom. If you had, you’d not be happy with… and about… well, you know whom I mean.

I guarantee.

If we’re talking about an in-this-world plane of existence, you most likely weren’t privy to any “reality”, whatever reality is. Even if you received some sort of spiritual message from above about what truths the future would hold, right before you left this earth, you perhaps were not required to actually deal with the tangible aspects of it all. You were so drugged up to cover your pain, you most likely weren’t able to make such judgments in your final moments.

Deep inside, I wish you did caste a final judgment, Mother, for I would NOT want you to eternally have any positive notions of said beings.

Part of the reason you weren’t privy to it all was that advice was given, Mom, to me. The advice offered was that if other aspects of my life were to finally end, things should wait, wait until after seeing you for the last time. Wait until that last trip was made. The accompanying explanation was that you’d not know about the pending demise and that would be better for you. You were already suffering, but adding to that pain by giving you new knowledge of such difficulties and the seemingly inevitable end would have been unfair, it seemed. At least that was what I was told.

Kind-hearted advice it was, right?

Now, I beg to differ.

Was it advice with some undertone of some prior knowledge of what was to actually come, with plans waiting in the wings? If hiding it from you was done for that reason, instead, i.e., ostensibly waiting so you weren’t to be hurt by the downward spiral that carried all to the breaking point, that would have been despicably devious.

Despicably devious, indeed.

However, I’d now like to argue that you were saved from such knowledge that would have troubled you so, intentionally, for other reasons. Quite possibly, keeping the news from you wasn’t to save you, Queen Mum. Allowing you to pass into the next world without deliberately telling you of the downfall was done to save someone else and to give you the wrong impression. Perhaps other faces were saved. Not yours.

You left this worldly existence, and you were intentionally deceived to cause you to believe something else, entirely. The plan was that your impressions of certain people were to be eternally positive (though I hope God gave you some pre-emptive knowledge of the truth).

It now seems that the delay for such conclusive actions was, perhaps, on purpose. Ten years ago, I never would have thought that. Nor three years ago.

Would I now think that? In a heartbeat, Mom.

In fact, that it was all purposefully perpetrated is perfectly plausible. If you’d witnessed such behavior, such antics, such decisions being made and acted out… you’d have been hurtin’ for certain, Queen Mum. Yet it wouldn’t have been the mere decline and conclusion of so many years that would have caused you suffering. It was more than that, that was waiting in the wings.

Greater actions loomed ahead.

Maybe sheltering you from the knowledge of the pending end wasn’t the real reason for the delay tactic, Mother. Maybe it wasn’t simply about protecting you from the negative emotions caused by such unravellings. Maybe there was something more to it, Queen Mom, for someone else, entirely. If there were other intentions in providing such a plan, labeling it as “despicably devious” would be an understatement.

Mother, if you had known all that was on the horizon, you may have changed your mindset, your opinions, your impressions. In fact, you most likely would have taken back those kind words you’d said all along.

I’d like to think, knowing your personality, that you’d have offered other words, instead. Actually, I know you would have. Nowadays, I’d love to hear you utter such sentiments, for you’d be hitting the nail on the head with whatever select terms you’d chose, Queen Mum.

Alas, your impressions stayed with you on your deathbed, Queen Mom. Good impressions. That’s what you were left with. That’s what you left with. That was the purpose for the delay. Maybe your eternal mindset, if there is such a thing, was deviously manipulated because the goal was about saving face–for someone else.

Not about you, Mom. That’s so wrong on so many levels.

Your being troubled about what the future held was NOT a concern. The concern was about someone’s impression staying the same in your eyes, making sure it stayed positive before you departed.

Since the advice was to wait until you were gone, you left with a false understanding of all. That benefitted others. Not you.

It was all about you showing your approval, acceptance, and even your love until the ultimate end, when you wouldn’t have, otherwise, Queen Mum, if you were alive to see what had been perpetrated since. You would have shown disdain if you knew the reality of what lay ahead, not just towards one being, but a few.

Knowledge of certain people you loved (certain wee ones, that is), enduring what they did for half a year, and your knowing what I’ve been through, would have driven you to destroy your positive image of… well, the impression of all that you were left with, purposefully.

I’ll never know, of course, Mother, if you now know otherwise. I’d love to get a signal from you somehow. Just rattle the table, Mom. Tell me you know the truth. Tell me you understand what I’ve gone through. How I wish you could, for I could use that extra support.

How I’d love to explain those false impressions to you now, Mom, and to have you know the truth. If I knew of tangible proof that you were listening, Mother, somehow, I’d share my thoughts with you. I’d love to, but I cannot, afraid that you’re not able to “read” such a message here. Yet, in my heart, I’d like to believe you already do know, Queen Mum. You’ve watched from above, or from all around, whatever your beliefs were regarding where you thought you’d now be.

You’re shaking your head in disappointment, right? I hear the “Tssk, tssk, tssks…” from down here, Mom. When the wind whispers, and I hear distant, barely audible murmurings passing my ear, it is you, right?

Impressions, Queen Mum; that’s what they were. That’s what was intended. Impressions.

Don’t let them mislead you, wherever you are. I implore you. Don’t let them mislead you.

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