I’ve been like that for so long . . . always, I think, after about eight or so. Promises . . . meant nothing, meaning I doubted the promises and distrusted the people who made them. I still do – all but the ones I know are true.
Promises of love; broken by parents, family, friends. Promises to ‘help’ – ignored. Promises of a ‘better, brighter life’ – fallen to the wayside as the shrinks gave up and I ran out of money. Promises to “heal” . . . gone. I hate promises. Very few people’s word are worth the breath they take to say them. I know this, and so, I think, do you.
Which is why I make promises so rarely, a trait my daughter found hard to deal with when she was small.
“No, dear,” I’d smile softly and say, “I can’t promise you that I won’t kill myself tomorrow. I can’t promise you I won’t be here. I can’t promise you the moon and stars – those you are going to have to work for and find yourself. I can only show you the way.”
The only thing I could promise her was this: That I’d love her forever and ever, and then some. At times the only thing that stood between me in this world and the next was our love, and my unwillingness to put my child through that needless grief.
Small comfort for a child who wants a toy, or extra-special present from “Santa”. Been there, done that. Poor girl grew up faster than most: a tiger, a treasure, and someone who’s beauty comes from her soul and sings to the world – even if she can’t hear it or see it herself. (But I do, now.)
I don’t want everyone to be like me; I wouldn’t wish my past on a child. But sometimes . . . sometimes, I wish people took their promises as seriously as I do, that they could be more true, and not treat them so lightly.
(Oh, BTW: Imagine: you get to heaven, and God says: “Oh! By the way – that promise I made? Forget it. You’re goin’ to hell.”)
Go figure. It strikes me as funny . . . and somehow appropriate for some folks.
Promises. Don’t make the ones you can’t keep – even if you think you can.
Jeff et all
BTW: Another promise broken: Soldier’s Pay