“No matter how brief a child’s life, the love of the parents is a power that should not be denied. And know this… it is immune to imperfection.”
– Karsa Orlong, House of Chains
Malazan Book of the Fallen, by Steven Erikson
The exact context for this scene is a bit more macabre than one might consider appropriate for a Mother’s Day quote. Karsa Orlong is a truly savage brute with many cruel and terrible deeds to his name, and right now he is confronting one of the entities which falsely posed as gods to his people. This one, in particular, demanded the sacrifice of their children, that those babies with defects be given to her. True, they were going to die anyway, and she has kept their souls, empowered them with her magic, but nonetheless, this false goddess has partaken in the pain of parents bereft. That is something which even a vile, inhumane barbarian must make answer to.
It does not matter if their time was limited to days or hours or even seconds. All parents and children have a limited time together. Even the longest of lifetimes is just a number of seconds, often ending without warning.
It does not matter if they were flawed. Who in this world has never been flawed in some way? Do not flaws make diamonds that much more spectacular, that much more coveted than a flawless, artificial version?
Love does not consider such things, not for even a moment. Love is not reasonable or logical. Love does not weight costs and benefits, or look for reasons to disqualify. Love simply is. It exists. It lives beyond the limits of this world, beyond the power of time, beyond the power of death.
Ignore it at your peril.
All of this, all I know of love, I learned from those who love me. I have learned from my steadfast friends, from my amazing sisters, from my stalwart father, and my ferocious, unstoppable, grizzly-bear mother. In them, I have been blessed with a most wonderful treasure.
They taught me what love is, and showed it to me. Even though my family has long since broken apart, there is no doubt in my mind that we would have each others’ backs, that we will protect each other as best we can, no matter the storms that come upon us.
That is something I have been so thankful for, so many times.
As flawed as we are, we love each other. For all the time that we have, and beyond, I love them, and they love me.
Thank you, Mom, for loving me. I love you, too, and I am happy beyond words that you are my mom.
Happy Mother’s Day!