Letter From an Angry Mother

Chernobyl? Nuclear reactors and vodka? That was a bright idea. First, you poison me with radiation, then you invite tourists to see the results? Why? So you and your kids can laugh at the featherless geese?
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Dear Children,

I know you are busy with your lives and your careers and such, and you know I'm not one to meddle or nag. Live and let live, that's my motto. But as your Mother I've got to tell you that your behavior lately has been hurtful to me, and to the rest of our family. You seem to have forgotten that I am a living, breathing being, with real feelings. And right now my feelings are hurt. Badly.

I held you in my arms. Fed you. Gave you a nice home. Helped you grow into the people you are today. I guess I have failed, because the people you are today have wounded me. I want to scream. Sometimes I do scream. Of course you don't hear me, you only hear what's coming out of your own mouths. How about listening for a change?

I made it possible for you to get an education, so you can do whatever it is you do for a living (I still don't understand it!???) and yet you take me for granted. Like I am nothing to you. This is the treatment I deserve? This is your response to a lifetime of love?

I do not ask for your thanks. A Mother's job is a thankless one. I accept that. Spare me the holidays. Show me some appreciation, that's all. I will not be ignored! I will not go gently into the night!!!

How about I cut off your inheritance? You have no idea how close I am to doing it. You've already blown through most of what I intended to leave you, anyway. Take, take, take, and never give back, that's you.

If you're not going to show me respect, I promise you I'll start taking back what's rightfully mine. How did you like it when I took back that piece of Japan last month? That hurt, didn't it? You felt that, didn't you? It is just the beginning of where this thing is headed unless you get your act together.

At one time, the family owned a million or more varieties of apples, did you know that? What are we down to now? Six? Seven? It took me ages to save up my precious minerals collection. You walked off with it, and you're not bringing it back, you think I don't notice? It took me 10 million years to build the family oil business, and you're going to blow through it in a couple of measly centuries? Some nerve. Frack me? No, frack you!!!

The Dodo was my favorite tsotchke, you probably didn't know that, did you? Of course you didn't, because it's always all about you. I loved that animal, it made me laugh every time I looked at it, and then you broke it. I miss my Dodo. It was one of a kind. It cannot be replaced. Too late for an apology. Don't even try. I'm not forgiving you for that one.

Mustard gas? That any children of mine would make such a thing is one of my greatest heartaches. Agent Orange? First of all, I resent like hell that you named it after one of my favorite fruits. Second, I still have a rash in Southeast Asia, one of the most beautiful parts of my body (one of the few I have left) because of it. Asbestos? Awful stuff. Zylon B? If only it were the bad science fiction it sounds like, instead of the awful reality it was. Still gives me nightmares. And then to top it all off, you take innocent little hydrogen, and turn him into a weapon?!! Honest to Gaia, where do you learn such things? Who are your friends?

Chernobyl? Nuclear reactors and vodka? That was a bright idea. First, you poison me with radiation, then you invite tourists to see the results? Why? So you and your kids can laugh at the featherless geese? Have the geese not been humiliated enough? (Yes, they have!)

Is anyone ever going to take responsibility for the mess you made in Bophal? Someone did it, and someone is going to clean it up, and we are going to wait right here until that happens, I don't care how long it takes. And if one of you doesn't own up to it, all of you will.

How is that cancer thing working out for you? Nobody had cancer before you brought it home, we didn't even know what the stuff was. Now we can't get rid of it. What's the matter with the genes I gave you? Nothing is ever good enough for you, is it? You're weaving a tangled web, that's all I can say. What are those hard red things you call tomatoes, anyway? The corn was doing just fine on its own until you came along. What is so bad about four teats on a cow? Why must you try to make six? Stop meddling with my DNA! It's my responsibility. Keep your noses out of it!

Another thing -- my air conditioner isn't working. Why? Because I have you for children, that's why. You broke it with your incessant smoking, and I don't see you offering to fix it. Fine! Tell the police they'll find my body in the kitchen, propped against the open refrigerator, where I went to get one last breath before I croaked.

My water! What has happened to my beautiful water? I turn my back for a minute, and you've dumped so much of your crap into it that all I hear is complaints from the other family members. The dolphins and whales won't shut up about it. The salmon don't spawn like they used to. The octopi are pissed. I'm not even going to go into what the plants have to say. I'll say it for them. Thanks for nothing!!!

Have you no idea how much pain I am in? I'm sick. Last year I had a leak in my gulf that didn't let up for months, and my turtles and birds are still hurting. I break out in cold sweats that last for weeks. I cry for no apparent reason, until I can't cry any more. I vomit with awful regularity. My nausea is the only constant of my existence. The doctors don't know what's causing it. I know. You are.

You have hollowed me out. Drained me. The only feelings I have toward you are angry ones. Maybe venting like this is what it will take to get your attention, or make me feel better anyway.

Don't make me lose my temper! The last time I lost my temper, I killed the dinosaurs, you know. That was me. Boom! Just like that. Gone in a heartbeat. It was an accident. The Creator slugged me and I slugged back, and the poor dinosaurs got in the way. I am not a cruel woman, as you often claim (don't tell me you don't, I've read your diaries!!!). Anger can be a cruel thing, though, the reason being you never know who's going to get hurt by it. The dinosaurs happened to get caught in the middle of a quarrel between me and the Creator and that was that. You do not want a repeat of that scene. Or maybe you do. Maybe we're going to find out. That's how angry I am. Your behavior is a slap in my face, and don't think I won't slap back. I will. I promise you I will.

You're the only species that has made a practice of killing your own kind, did you know that? The rest of the family are disgusted by this. To make matters worse, you glorify it in your games and your fantasies like it's a good thing. I hang my head. When I think that children of mine are doing this, I want to die. I do.

You cannot leave your spent rods and your empty drums and your plastic gyres lying around the house like it's the morning after a frat party and not expect to suffer the consequences!

You cannot not pump me full of your potions like I'm some daft heiress you're poisoning for her dowry and expect to get away with it!

You cannot not take what is mine and pretend it is yours without waking up someday to the reality that you are a generation of thieves!

Here's an idea for you. Leave! Move out of the house! If this is the way you're going to treat me, take your smokestacks off the roof and your jet skis out of the driveway and get out! The rest of us can use the room. The coyotes would be happy to have your bedroom. Do you think the trees care whether or not we have cable? Probably not.

You are my Children, and this should not have to be our relationship. Truly, though, I am at my wit's end, at a loss for what to do about the horrible way you are treating me.

Please do better. There's still time to heal these wounds, but not a lot.


Your Mother

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