The Truth Will Out
I never knew what I believed until I named my son “Bruce.” It was this name that showed me that it is this I believe: that the Truth exists, and that it will come out, if you really need it, despite people’s best efforts to keep it from you.
Near the end of my pregnancy, I was on the verge of becoming estranged from my mother. I would never have imagined that I might understand why children deserted their parents. But I found myself, for reasons too complicated to explain, nine months pregnant and literally running away from my mother in the middle of Philadelphia.
Now, Bruce was a wedding night baby and he was unplanned. I was about to start a new job with an hour long commute. I had just gotten back into shape after the birth of our daughter a year before. I wasn’t ready for him. But I hoped for a boy, if only to name him Bruce. There was Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Lee, and Bruce Wayne. My Grandmother’s maiden name is Bruce. I didn’t let it bother me that my mother and father seemed to hate it.
When Bruce was 8 weeks old, I went to stay with my Aunt. She and my mother had been feuding for awhile, but recently they’d been speaking. We talked about how badly she had made us feel. My Aunt said she felt sorry for my mother. I was still so hurt and angry that I didn’t understand.
“Well,” she said. “I think your mother is a sad person. She’s incapable of telling the truth, which is a big part of her problem.”
“Howso?” I asked.
“Well, for example,” she said. And she hesitated. “She’ll kill me for this. But did you know your mother was married before your father? I think he abused her. She had a broken arm once. Said she fell, but I don’t think so.”
You can imagine my surprise. To find out that your mother was married before your father – even at the ripe old age of 27 – is an incredible shock. Especially if you were close to your mother, like I was. I loved her and trusted her, and I had asked her many times about this relationship she’d only hinted at. So many things about her made sense now. I could sympathize.
Guess what his name was.
Yep – Bruce.
So my son is named after my mother’s abusive first husband.
I told my Aunt that I believe in God now. But really, it’s the Truth. I believe that the Truth will come out, that the Truth is always trying to be heard, despite the best efforts to stifle it. That it might take 27 years, but that it will out, and that it is the Truth that allows you to go on, to let go, to grow up.
The Truth saved me from losing my mother entirely. In fact, I just threw her a 60th birthday party.
All because of “Bruce.”
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