The dreams about Don kept coming, so vivid. Sleeplessness too, waking after a dream feeling something urgent needed doing, but what? After no reply from a newsy email to him, I emailed again keeping out any criticism about being totally ignored but integrating concern that no reply was forthcoming.
An answer came so I initiated a visit on the way back from lunch with Shane, something we do now and then at his cafeteria; more like a four star restaurant because the chef’s try out their new recipes which are previewed in the store’s magazine sent out free during the changing seasons.
These lunches with Shane have brought us closer. It is easy to lose closeness with one’s grown child when they do what they are meant to do, become independent. And in his case that means job, family and kids. So we see him outside of those responsibilities at his workplace.
He takes pride in sharing this with us. So do I; seeing how far he has come, what he has accomplished, and what he can do…it fills me full up, bursting with fullness and wonder. How can my kids do and be so much when I struggled so and still do? Just miraculous.
It has been over two years since I’ve seen Don and his wife even though they live in the city near-by. It was time, but has taken me this long to feel ready. It was OK, not great, because being with so called ‘family’ means being half of myself.
It is not OK to talk about reality. I won’t ask WHY you didn’t help, do something, anything. When you rushed into the bathroom because I was screaming in the tub because it hurt ‘down there’ did you tell Mom? Not that it would have helped or mattered if you did.
If you or Seth had intervened somehow, could you have spared me from Tom, Chet and Paul’s attacks? Is it fair to expect that of a 16 or 14 year old?
Of course I say nothing of this. I pretend which causes a great deal of sadness inside myself for what could been and for still wishing for what could have been. I did feel more real because I have spoken up enough for others to pay attention to the fact that I’m not a puppet but a real person who deserves respect. Cross the boundary and I will object.
I gaze at Don, his arms thinner occurring as one ages, his hair in disarray. He just turned 70. I have a deep connection with him despite our estrangement. And though he doesn’t speak of my past, nor I, I believe the depth of his inner rooms hold my pain.
It is unfair of me to say he doesn’t care, as I believe he always has cared. During my tumultuous 20’s he saved me. I cannot hold him responsible for what happened to me, though these last beseeching remnants remain like lingering dust balls in hidden corners.
Nor will I ask why he didn’t or couldn’t save me. That scrapes sorrow against tender tissues within that no answer can explain or remove. That we bridged the estrangement is enough for now.
I feel present with him not in need of him like I once did.
I sleep deep and long and feel at peace.