Dear Mamma by Katarína Koreňová
When this letter gets to you I’ll probably be already dead. There are all these things that I wanted to tell you, you know, and never had the guts to try. Remember we were sitting on a dirty bench in the park licking ice-cream, I was ‘bout 10 then, and I was lookin’ at you, and your favorite pink shirt with one sleeve torn off, and you were crying, telling me we must leave him, we will one day, you‘ll see. I‘ll get the money we need, and we‘ll run away into a good world, a different one, where men love their women, and love their children. And I wanted to hold your hand and tell you that it will be all right, but I didn‘t. So I just went and brought you the 500 bucks the day after. That was my first time. There were moments like these when I knew I had to do something like hold your hand or give you a hug or just say something, anything, and I didn’t. And you brought the money back to the neighbor and told him you were sorry, and we never talked about it again. Our hopes for better world melted like the ice cream in the park. All too quickly.
Now I‘m sittin’ on this cold prison bench, I’m 18 years too old, and I feel death is getting close, so I‘m thinkin’ that if I don‘t do it now, I‘ll never again have the chance.
Mamma, I know that I haven‘t been a good boy always that I messed up a great deal of things, like stealing and drugs and stuff, and the last thing I did, I killed a man, you know, I‘ll never forgive myself for that. You know why I did it. I took the law into my own hands and never thought of consequences. I just wanted him to stop doing all that to you and my little bro‘ Jonah. But the judges here are fair. They said, man, Elijah Jones, you killed a man and now it will be an eye for an eye. You‘ll get what you deserve; we won‘t let you off with killing a police officer just like that.
They said that punishment must fit the crime, and I agree, because we had come here one strange guy yesterday and all he did was that he told me one sentence, and I have to say that it was like a flash of lighting that hit me in the head, and suddenly when he said, if you repent, Jesus will forgive you, I found myself down on my knees and tellin‘ Jesus what a bastard I was and that I really wanted him to forgive me.
Then face down on the cold pavement in my prison cell I spent crying and telling Jesus that I was sorry, and I knew that He was there with me and that He forgave me, no matter what I did. He said that He already took the death penalty for my mistakes. That blew my mind. He said that He knew that I didn‘t always keep to the straight and narrow in my life. It was just like giving myself up to the police, but instead of to them I gave myself over to Jesus and he saved me instead of punishing me. He wasn’t even taken aback by all things I did in my short life, and he said he knew all about me. Can you imagine that? Even more than you know ‘bout me Mamma. Even more than you.
I want you to know that although it all seems like I didn’t care about you, I did. And I do, and I want to tell you that sentence that I never said to anyone in my life except to Daddy when he died. I whispered it to him when he was lying on the cold floor with the terrible wound in his head, all red around. I thought that he’d open his eyes when I say it million times. But he didn’t. I buried this sentence there with him in the cold ground, when I was just seven years too young in this world, and never wanted to say it again. I knew that it didn’t work at all. Now that I know I’m gonna die, this sentence is bursting out of my chest, and was raised from the dead in me just like Jesus was raised, when His Father said to Him, I love you.
I love you Mamma.
So tomorrow they will carry out what they call capital punishment, and I have to tell you that I’m scared but I know I’ll be thinkin‘ about two things then on my deathbed. I’ll be thinkin‘ of you Mamma and of Jesus.