Summertime reminds me of backyard barbeques, trips to the beach, and pool parties in the yard of my childhood home. My siblings taught me how to swim, and cheat at cards, and how to apply sunscreen. There are a lot of us: I have nine siblings, each of whom I adore. On this summer day, though, I ponder one in particular:
Diana has always been my hero. She’s forever awed me with her perfect teeth, confident stride, feathered blonde hair, and blue eye shadow.
When I was a little tyke, I’d climb into her bed and pull the covers over my head whenever she’d go out with her boyfriend. I felt safe in that bed. In there, no bogeymen would get me. The pillow smelled of her perfume. As a bonus, when she returned from date-night, she’d carry me from her bed to mine. I loved clinging to her neck as she moved me quietly through the house.
A few years ago, I did something stupid that caused me the loss of her respect. No matter how hard, loud, or tearful my cries for forgiveness, my sister no longer calls. She ignores my Facebook friend requests. She recently sent me a text message, though. I keep it on my iPhone and I see it every day – kind of like having a close friend nearby.
Even though I miss and ponder Diana, I am not pining for her. While I love and adore her, I do not lament her. It took me six years to get to this peaceful place, and I got here because I became committed to having a relationship with Diana (and her wacky, loveable husband, Bob), while releasing my attachment to how a relationship may come to be. So many years after the explosion, I accept that I am how I am, and she is as she is – and it’s all good.
More simply: I’m no longer attached to getting her to forgive me. Instead, I am committed to being in relationship with her – and this is a lifelong commitment; one that I will not abandon, not even if she stops wearing blue eyeshadow.
Today I ponder one in particular, a woman onto whose neck I clung so many nights as a child. When will I speak with her again? Who can say. While I miss her, I pray that she and Bob are well and happy.