There will come a time when no one will care that a shy tow-headed little girl grew up in a small Missouri town. They won’t remember the way she was afraid of the adults around her. They won’t know how hard she toiled, trying to make sense of chaos, trying to find her footing amid the deadly earthquakes and terrifying explosions experienced daily in her unstable world. It will not matter that she was physically, emotionally and verbally abused by her mother…her mother who looked the other way as she was sexually, physically, emotionally and verbally abused by her father. No one will remember how beaten down and torn apart she was when she ventured out into the world at 17 years of age. As she struggled to figure out how to live like a normal person with so many of her pieces missing or crushed.
They won’t recall her at all, nor will it matter. That young girl who kept trying. Who daydreamed and believed. Her, trudging along with a heart that was shattered. A soul that was torn and decimated. No one will remember or care about her struggles, failures, disappointments or unrealized dreams. She will not be remembered at all. Her life was and is insignificant. She never managed to accomplish anything great nor contributed anything approaching wonderful. Her biggest victory was to survive. For she survived in spite of the odds. But surviving, in this case, means only that she has continued to breathe while putting one foot in front of the other year after year. It is no great thing.
Her footsteps in the dust are even now being blown away and covered by the sands of time.
It is a harsh wake-up call. A startling realization. To be staring at the end of your life and to know you’ve done nothing, become nothing, are nothing, and that nothing you’ve gone through, none of the experiences or events of your life will be remembered. By anyone. Because nothing done or achieved is in any way worth remembering. None of it.
The realization is painful. Everything I went through, all the things I learned the hard way, all the hopes that I had of finding love and healing, touching the world, making a difference…all of this, the essence of who I am and what I have felt…it will die with me when I take my final breath. And it will not matter. Not in the least. I will not leave anyone behind who will care. Or remember. Or even know I once was.
Maybe that is simply the way it is. We are all destined to be forgotten.
I wanted the pain to count for something. I wanted the nightmares I lived through and the abuse I experienced to have a reason. I wanted to leave something behind that would help others find their way through the darkness. I wanted to leave a mark. I wanted to accomplish something worth noting. I wanted to do something worth doing. I wanted to be worth remembering.
But I will not be remembered. I haven’t found answers or knowledge to share with those who are coming after me. I haven’t accumulated great wisdom that can be passed down. I’ve done nothing spectacular, significant or news-worthy.
I live in isolation. My life is hollow, void of meaning, purpose, joy. I am nothing and I have nothing to give. I am not worth remembering. My heart still beats. My lungs still inhale and exhale. But I am not truly alive.
I started my life broken, but believing. Believing I could overcome. Believing I would find my way and have an impact. I near its end still broken, but out of hope. Without dreams. Without spirit. This is not at all what I expected or where I expected to be at this stage in my life. I expected to come to the end with something in my hands worth leaving behind. But as I open them and bare my palms, my hands are empty.
I am already all but forgotten. For I have lived an utterly forgettable life.