January 15, 2011

Time to Make a Change

“It is never too late to make a change.” She repeated this when things got bad hoping it would give her to strength to change her own life. Over the years of knowing her, the simple mantra never helped her get out from her own problems but it did give her strength to continue living and help others in need. Since its Thursday, she will be heading out with bags of clothes. It was help the homeless day and like every Thursday, she passed out clothes to the destitute on Main Street.

Johnny hated losing his old clothes to the filthy bums even though they were old and tattered. His hatred for the world raged when he was drunk and for the past years, booze was his life. Matti took the blunt of the anger as his fists, feet, and words battered her flesh and soul. He was smart and only damaged parts where most people could not see. I knew the truth and witnessed it every time. I suffered each raw and brutal blow along side of her. We shared tears of hopelessness and despair. When anger dried up the tears, fire hot visions of revenged played through her mind.
Invincible to everyone, helping her was no option. I know she felt me on occasions. The night Johnny snapped she felt my despair and urgency deep within her stomach. He was tired of all his friends commenting on how good she looked and that night would end it all. On that cold winter night, I realized just how much of a fighter my mom was. Johnny never bothered her or anyone else after that.

Mom moved to California and set up a homeless shelter after that night. No one questioned her about what unfolded, instead they congratulated her for pursuing her dreams. Six months after moving, she gave birth to a beautiful little girl. Mattila Marie named after my mom. I never told my mom about my experiences in her womb. I’m sure she would have believed me but I never wanted to bring up the past scars. We were happy and that was all that mattered.

Mom left us ten years ago due to cancer. Chemotherapy helped for a couple years, she was able to see the birth of her grand daughter. By Christmas, she could not fight it anymore. On her deathbed, she confessed that I was the sole reason she fought so hard to get out from under Johnny. I gave her strength to hold on until the time was right to leave and start over. With her final breaths, mom left me with her greatest advice; “It is never too late to make a change.”