Missed Signals

Another sleepless night. My thoughts are with Dad and Mali.

We went to Dad’s home today. We picked up things that were our kids, pictures and things they made for him. We also picked out some things from his home as we have to have the house cleaned out by the end of the month.

It was a somber day. I watched my poor sister, devastated and still in shock, We lost Dad to cancer not even a week ago. I am helpless to asuage her grief.  I didn’t think he would pass on so quickly.  Nobody did.

I felt like a vulture going through his things. I would trade his things to have him back. Like our Mali.

I listen to his voicemails and I cry.

I don’t get how God can keep piling deaths on this family who seems to keep getting smaller and smaller.

Reflecting back on Mali’s death, I am going to share a thought that has been sitting in the back of my mind for sometime now. I think I have always known this.

Many people have said she was bullied. They didn’t know our Mals the way our family did. She was strong and would not tolerated that behavior. She would have called that out. She would have defended herself and spoke to either her Dad or me about it

What I do think was the straw that broke the camels back was her need to do well at everything she tried.

She was smart. She did well in school, she was a great debator, Ran track with all her strength. She played her violin with passion. Her softball skills continually improved. Giving of her compassion to help the less fortunate. All this plus trying to get awesome grades.

I repeatedly stressed the importance of staying close to the top of her class so she would get scholarships for college. I stressed the importance of having God in her life. She didn’t believe he was answering her prayers.  I didn’t want her to end up like me. On the 15 year plan for finishing college and finally getting a good job.  I made her life about myself.  For that I will never forgive myself.

She strove to excel at everything. She was already looking at Stanford for university.

The immense pressure she felt to do everything right pushed her over the edge. She felt like a failure.

I sit back and think about the note she left. She was sorry for being a failure at everything. Being perfect fueled her depression and anxiety.

Why did I not see this as a parent? I mistook her appearance as a hard charger. I forgot she was a kid.  A teenager, with many fears about life, her future.  Instead of being a comfort to her, I encouraged her thought process of perfection.

I am so ashamed of myself.  Instead of noticing the warning signs, I cheered her on.

Can I change any of this?  No, it’s too late  I have to suffer the consequences of my inaction.  By the time I realized there was a problem it was too late

It took almost a year to come to this.  I am thick in the head  I only hope that she will forgive my shortcomings as her Mom.