An open letter to the mother of the abandoned baby
You cannot tell me that your conscience believed it was morally correct to leave that baby abandoned on the rubbish heap, as she cried her lungs out pleading with you to not walk away, to not leave her there in the darkness on that fateful night…
You had to walk all the way to the outskirts of the town to throw away your own flesh and blood – just like a mother discards a used nappy, so you threw away your own baby.
This was a child that came into existence through your participation. For nine months she grew inside your belly, making you nauseous at times. She kicked in your stomach, small gentle kicks that reminded you of the being that was growing inside you.
If you knew that all she was worth was a dump heap, abuzz with the buzzing of flies, a grave so filthy and undignified, then why did you keep her? Why didn’t you abort her when the time was right? That was an option, wasn’t it?
You must have known full well that you didn’t want a baby. Yes, you did not want the baby, she was not for you. The baby was bait to lure your boyfriend into your grip like fisherman lures fishes onto his hooks while at sea. But you failed to lure him.
He did not love you enough to commit his whole being to your pitiful love. Neither did he hate you enough to deny your story and label it a fabrication. He knew the baby was his but he made it crystal clear that he wasn’t ready to be a father. Not just yet.
“A single mother, without the support of her family” – that’s how you saw things. That would have been shameful, wouldn’t it?
But is it not shameful to leave your tiny baby to be sniffed at by stray dogs a that rubbish heap?
As you walked away, back to the city to disappear into the midst of strangers – thinking that these had no emotions, no love, no moral values… Yes, many do not possess such qualities – the qualities of ubuntu and generosity, which are the core of our freedom, qualities for which our forebearers struggled. Also, such qualities disappeared with the sunset before the break of a new dawn, the birth of a new regime. A regime with no values of its own.
As we buried apartheid, colonialism and racial segregation, so we buried our culture of ubunto – the African spirit.
Back at the dump heap, you walked away and never looked back. You did it because that is just what you wanted to do.
But today you argue that you had no option. I say that that is nothing but a lie. A big fat lie you whisper to your reflection in the mirror each day, a desperate lie with which you try to justify your actions.
You expect us to believe that you did it because the father, the prince charming Romeo of your dreams told you he didn’t want a baby, that he was not ready? You expect us to believe that you did it because the community would have judged you if you can kept the baby?
Have they not judged you now? Have they not now labelled you a “baby-disposer”?
Each time you think about the baby, you sweat, anxiety overwhelms you, you wish you could turn back time: to be loved, to be promised a different world with other pleasures, to be a fool drowning in a pool of love, to be impregnated one more time, to be kicked by those small invisible feet. But when the rubbish heap takes centre stage in your mind, you wish to run. Your shaking hands and terror will not unbolt the door to freedom. You wished, but all your wishes were in vain. The providence of the gods was no longer with you. The world appeared as a big hollow grave. Life lost meaning for you.
Now and then – during times of immense pressure, when the world overwhelms you with its trials and tribulations, jolting you with intense pain – you flirted seductively with thoughts of suicide. But you could not bring yourself to do it. Probably because you were afraid of hell’s fire that sinners are condemned to and for which you would be condemned for all your evil deeds and sins on earth.
“Go down on your knees and pray. God is a forgiver, God is love…” a voice whispered in your ears. It was the voice of one of those angels that God send to earth to urge souls that want to give up on life, to not give up so easily. “Put up a fight, do what you came to do on earth and that is to live your life to the fullest. Live with no regrets. Life is life and man must live life. It does not matter the circumstances you are stucked in, life must go on…” the voice said.
But, how could you go on, when you left a part of you on a rubbish heap, amongst broken glass, old rusty tins, pieces of barbed wire. Your life is immobile, unmoving; you are trapped and unable to break free. You have nothing more to live for…
As I jot this down, I think: I am an angry bastard. My anger chokes and suffocates the love I have for the woman that raised me, cared for me, fed me. My anger is caused by the hatred I feel for the woman who gave birth to me. Dumped me and forgot me. I am not a moralist. I won’t make this sound worse than it is. You are what you are because of the choices you made. Choices relate to consequences.
So, before you open your mouth to utter the words: “I am sorry, my daughter”, I hope you choke to death on your own saliva. No one can convince me that you had more rights than I, the baby you wrapped in shame, you dumped and you abandoned…
No one can convince me – not you, nor the “Forgive and Forget” crew. Aren’t I just a bundle abandoned…?