Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We're quite clear that I am nobody, but who the hell are you again?

There has been a card sitting on my kitchen counter for a few days now. I just keep picking it up and reading the inscription, then shaking my head and putting it back down. I can't bring myself to throw it away, whether it's because I truly cannot believe what it says, or because I feel like I need to save the evidence, or perhaps I just want to have a reminder.

A reminder of why this person hasn't been a part of my life for years.

Because it was on purpose, you know. I purposefully made the choice to walk away. To let them have the last word. To honor what was clearly their desire to see the last of me.

Good riddance.

The feeling was entirely mutual, I assure you.

It's not about "holding a grudge" - I like to think of it more as "keeping my word".

I have experience with this phenomenon. This careful editing of my life. When a relative disappeared on Christmas without so much as an "I'm going to the airport now." and never came back? I got it. You made a choice, probably a really difficult one, and I respected it as best I could (albeit while feeling nothing but disgust and contempt - but I tried to keep that to myself. You may not think I did, but trust me on this one: that was my version of "keeping it to myself"). I didn't take it personally. Things happen, choices are made, and the world keeps turning. And that is why, even after all of that, I offered to contribute to the care of our mutual relative - bygones be bygones, right? Except, I was told by another family member of yours to "mind my own business". Point taken. I hear you loud and clear. I minded. I minded ALL THE WAY.
You can bet I minded.
Boy, did I mind.
And I've minded ever since. I have kept my word.

And keeping my word felt so good, I applied it to the rest of my life.

I should actually thank them for encouraging me to step back and mind my own businesss, because it's been AWESOME. I have made a conscious decision to remove myself from relationships that bring me excessive amounts of stress - even if the stressful relationship is with a family member. Sometimes it's for the greater good. Sometimes it is the easiest way. Sometimes it is done with a thoughtful, well considered process. In this particular situation, I cut ties out of desperation and necessity, with heartbreak and humility.

And I can honestly say that over 10 years later - it's better this way. I made the right decision by honoring theirs. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes it takes getting burned a few times to finally get it. But when I get it, I really get it.

Which is why it was so surprising to get a card, addressed to my kids, complete with a cute photo of baby chicks and dandelions, all spring time yellow and cheery, and inscribed with festive springtime purple ink:
Happy Easter!
with hugs
from Aunty
(hope to meet you one day soon!)
Hope to meet you one day soon?

You guys, Christ is not the only one rising from the ashes this holiday season. Someone is really taking the spirit of Easter to heart. I feel like Mary Magdalene over here.

Please pass the wine.


My kids are TEN and SIX, "Aunty". And until this year, they have never even heard your name. Because I had been told to mind my own business, and I took that advice. They may meet you one day, but it's not a priority of mine - and somehow I don't think it's going to be quite what you are hoping for. I'm pretty busy minding my own business over here so I really can't make any promises.

But it is Easter. It is springtime. Things are coming back to life outside my window. Maybe things can come back to life on the inside as well.

I'll think about it.

Bring more wine.

1 comment:

STATJR said...

Love this post!