Dear Ezra and Lian,
I strongly believe every Mizo lives with the following tension in their lives; like Ezra, they have a remarkable ability to not show pain or weakness, no matter how severe. Yet, like Lian, they are very emotional people. When they love something, they love it with all their heart and want to express it. When they are sad, they want to cry rivers of tears. Mizos who can maintain a stiff upper lip whatever the circumstance are greatly admired. Mizos who can eloquently sing at the top of their voices about the love or pain in their hearts are greatly loved. They are the true leaders of Mizoram. Mizos will follow them with their hearts. So even if a Mizo is really reserved and “proper”, what they really want to see from you is a passion from the depth of your soul.
In 2000, Jonah Pachuau (sp?), the publisher of the magazine Vartian, asked me to write an article about Mizoram. I poured my soul into what I wrote. I wrote about how I had fallen in love with Mizoram at the same time I had fallen in love with Mommy. However, if you ever find a copy of that edition of the magazine, that’s not what you will read. You will read this boring article with my name attached to it as author.
What happened was that somehow your Grandma reviewed my essay. She cut out all the love and passion. What remained was unrecognizable from what I had written, but that is what got published. At the time, I thought, ok it’s a different culture. Maybe what I wrote would be embarrassing or shameful to the family. I let it go. Now I just think, it was an attempt to maintain family dignity. My public declaration of love for both your Mom and Mizoram went unheard to the readers of Vartian.
Let me say it now, loud and clear, unedited, I love Mizoram. I love your Mommy. Sure, we live apart, but I will always carry you in my heart. Yes, you have mistreated me and a normal person would hate you, but I don’t, never have and never will. I forgave you long ago. I will always care about you and your welfare. You can misunderstand me and my motivations, but I love you. Not in a fluffy, fleeting, tingly feeling way. No, it’s tough love. If I hated you, if I was only interested in a public perception of this family, we could be together. I love you and your children, so I will always call you up to be better. I won’t tolerate the gross injustices you blithely do. You need healing. I won’t drink your poison and call it honey.
You’re free to make your own choices. I’m free to tell you when they are horrible decisions that are soul destroying. I will protect our kids from the inevitable consequences of your actions. Don’t be mad, be grateful that I will fight to the death for them.
Confession is good for the soul, but real change comes with real repentance. No amount of outpouring of emotion can be a substitute for that. If you’re looking for a little redemption, I can’t help you. If you want total redemption, you need a Redeemer. You need someone who has loved you for your entire existence. Someone who has endured every shame and suffered every indignity to demonstrate to the whole world how much they have loved you. Someone not only willing to die for you, someone who did and has the power to live again and give new life.
Kids, know this to be true; whatever happens, I love Mizoram, I love Mommy.