Well, I did something recently that I never thought I’d do. I reached out to my family.
The anniversary of my mother’s death passed recently, and I found myself wanting to talk to my father and my sister. I’d wanted to talk to them many times over the years, but a combination of hurt and anger and pride kept me from doing so. For so long I thought that if I made the first move I’d be “caving”, and I wouldn’t be in a position of strength in our dealings. But I realize now that I am in a position of strength; it took a lot of strength for me to reach out and do something I never thought I’d be able to do, and I am doing this on my own terms. I will always feel hurt for some things that happened in the past, but that is what happens in life, and I think I can move on and start rebuilding what I lost for so long, and thought would be lost forever.
Today the hurt and anger feels dulled. For the first time I really think I’m ready to let go, and I’m ready to make amends for my past wrongs and let others make their amends to me. I think I’m ready to open myself up to the possibility of being hurt again, because it is worth it for the possibility to feel the love and support I’ve been missing for so long. My husband and children have been a source of love and comfort that cannot be described in words, but I’ve missed my father and my sister, even when I felt I hated them. I wouldn’t change the choices I made; I have needed this time to get myself to a place where I could let go and learn to accept the past as it is, and look forward instead of backward. But I regret the lost time and the pain I know I’ve caused to those that love me.
I don’t believe in the afterlife, but if my mother is conscious in any form somewhere I hope she’s happy today, knowing that for me she was always the glue that kept us together, and even in death she has brought us together again.