And then it snowed, big fat flakes gracefully wafting down with the morning light. That Christmassy feeling tempered by the greyness. Tempered with missing the closeness of the few people tolerated and loved.

My sons decided not to be together after the eldest Shane down the road cancelled his upcoming trip the day after Christmas. He had decided to go to Cory’s after my decision not to have him home for the usual annual gathering due to safety concerns. But that was back when our area’s infection rate was very low. Now it is burgeoning everywhere.

It was hard not to offer my two cents about this upcoming trip which with my tendency towards anxiety could have been a bucket full of worries thrown at them. Guilt wants to eat me up over my one sentence to Cory, “I don’t think you should.” And my other one sentence to Shane, “You and your wife ought to talk about what you may feel are more drastic measures to protect you and your family.”

Then it was left it up to them which it was anyway. They got away with in the summer, spending a week with two families together at the ocean. That worked out, was it wrong to say anything this time? Did my one sentence to each one take away time together that could be shared and OK? Or did I behave by saying one sentence only, then leaving it up them? That is really great progress on my part, can’t you see it? The alligator of self-doubt is at my tail willing to chomp away.

That regret thing, or the feeling of always doing something wrong… saying something wrong, always being wrong, wants to creep up and take a bite out of me. That has been my hellish life, a captor of my own self-hate. I grew up hating myself. If I hadn’t been a reject at birth, my brothers wouldn’t have hated me so by attacking me. That is the war in me. Self-hate vs self-love. Wisps of gentleness dispel harshness that often ate me alive wishing for life to end.

The daily wish for death faded over time as internal work continued. It took decades to repair what could be repaired. Then a few decades more before living fully with love and peace, frosted with compassion, arms open welcoming me home…

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