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I felt like the circumstances merit some kind of response.

Vanessa, you are like a sister to me. I love you for who you were: idealistic, optimistic, curious, innocent, smart, funny, totally unlike anybody else. You always were so open-minded and you always wanted to find out about new ideas. You wanted the answers to all the questions. You were a seeker: not earth-bound, always reaching for the stars.

You are still that person, but you are covering her up. You think you have found all the answers; whereas in the old days, our conversations about philosophical topics were about finding the best answer to the problem, they are now about you trying to get me to see your answer as being right. I hope your current beliefs help you through Harriet’s illness, because I know you must need something. However, I cannot listen to you tell me about your beliefs. You sound like a Christian fundamentalist ad imitating the way Vanessa talks, and it breaks my heart. I love you because you’re inquisitive and interesting and different, not because you’re the same. I can’t read the things you say without crying. What happened to you? You are such a beautiful person underneath this horrible and hateful veneer.

God’s love is unconditional, just like mine for you. I still love you even though I won’t let you talk to me. I do have to think of myself sometimes. I cannot let you make me cry so much that I forget that I have to be here, I have to donate my talents to the world, I have to keep going. I cannot lie useless in the gutters of San Francisco, drinking liquor out of a bag, but that’s what I really feel like doing whenever you say those horrible things. And I tell you this: God may or may not frown on anal sex, but hurting people the way you have been doing cannot bring him joy. God loves everybody. God only puts people in hell when he cannot bear to see them in heaven, because they are the people who failed him. Adolf Hitler, despite being a firm believer in Christ, is nevertheless in hell, because God cannot bear the sight of him, because God gave him so many chances to redeem himself in His eyes, and each time he chose evil over good. Contrary to popular belief, God does not think you’ve turned your back on Him if you don’t believe in Him; this is merely like a child yelling “You don’t understand me!!! I HATE YOU!!!” Yes, it is hurtful; but what parent would throw their child out on the street for such an outburst? No parent of mine. Parents realize that the children who claim to hate them still need their presence and guidance. Even children who grow up and tell their parents they no longer need them still do. Every person on this Earth is necessary until they die, because when you die, you have done everything He needed you to do. Death is the collective price we pay for being so selfish as to believe one life is worth more than any other. Someone’s being innocent doesn’t make their life worth any more than a convicted murderer. If you’re in a burning building, the reasons you save the baby and not the murderer are 1) your chances of getting the baby out alive are much greater than getting the murderer out, due to their relative sizes and 2) the murderer could be a danger to society, and the baby has the potential to be the greatest leader society has ever seen.

Only the good die young because the evil have to be given chance after chance to redeem themselves. God does not give up on people easily. He wants them to redeem themselves, He wants them to become good, He does not want to let them burn in hell because that pains Him. After so many chances, though, He has to give up on them. Everyone else dies when they are done with their contributions to better this world. I developed this theory after Molly told me about her visits to her grandmother Ann, who has Alzheimer’s. She said, “It’s actually better now that she doesn’t know me, because she doesn’t remember what she can say that will make me cry, and she’s always been so nice to ‘new people.'” Sad as that is, it is probably the best way for her to go, with happy memories for those closest to her, the same people she hurt the most. I thought that this is Ann’s final chance, her chance for her descendants to forgive her. My theory also made sense when I considered my second funeral. Eric Lyons was his name. For a couple years, I thought for certain he was Jesus come again, because he was so much nicer than everyone else, he always shared, his parents were some of the most virtuous people I’ve ever known, he just seemed perfect. Which explains why he died so young: he was so good he only needed to live seven years to influence the lives of everyone who knew him more than we can possibly imagine.

I have conflicting feelings on what I hope for you. If you can be happy with your current beliefs, than I congratulate you for finding the answers to your questions, and I hope you live long and well and don’t let anyone hurt you just because they think you’re wrong- but you certainly don’t need me in order to do that, and therefore I need you to leave me alone, because otherwise I might never move on. But, what if you can’t be happy with the answers you’ve found? What if you have doubts? I am always here if you NEED me, but I am not here if all you want is to agree with you. If you can find a way to talk to me without making me feel like I’m being kneed in the stomach over and over again, you may do so. But I do have to protect myself because the world needs my God-given talents, so don’t try unless you’re absolutely sure.


One Comment

  1. Wow, talk about bitter nostalgia…

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