I had planned to go to bed about fifteen minutes ago, but I couldn't let myself do so just yet. I wanted to touch on something with anyone out there. It's about family.
Family, you say? Whew. Now that's a loaded topic. Why in the world would I possibly want to talk about that? No, really, I'm not even sure myself, which means this will be "the blog post of free-flowing consciousness." God help us all.
Okay, honestly, there is (sort of) a point here. See, my Great Uncle just passed on, and it's really sad to consider that I never fully appreciated what his life meant and who he was as a human being until now.
Why is that?
I mean, it's like we don't truly believe that our loved ones are only here for a short duration before they move on to the next thing? But it's real. Life, death, and the ever after, it's all real, and we forget, whether it's out of fear or simply cluttered lives, that the ones we love are here, in this moment, right now. And we have a chance to show and tell... we have the opportunity to reach out and make a connection or heal a wound (even if it's only on our end), every day. Tragically, we so often don't feel the impact that a spirit has on our earthly lives until the chance has passed to demonstrate our affection.
I haven't seen my immediate family in too long. My reaction to years of painful history was to become self-protective, very cautious about who I let in and out of the very inner circle of my life. And don't get me wrong, to a certain degree, I believe this is good, even necessary. I believe you need to choose carefully the kind of energy you permit to take up space in your world. But, on the other hand, you can't use this as an excuse to hide from the risk of getting hurt, especially when the greater cost is the loss of potential joy.
I called a parental-ish family member that I haven't spoken to in about five years the other day. And though reconnecting was something I felt would bring me some closure, I expected that the phone call would be painful... awkward, at best. I geared myself up for the worst. I expected to be torn down, because, somehow, whether she intended it or not, that's what always ended up happening. I dialed, I hung up and set the damned phone down next to me, saying, "I can't do this."
Then those annoying little words... ones that I'll call infuriating tonight, though I usually refer to them as inspirational... popped into my head. It was the quote from Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt that I use so often:
"You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
So, I held my breath and dialed again. It rang... and I begged the heavens for an answering machine. But, as it seems, the heavens were gone fishin', and someone picked up the phone, instead. Now, what resulted was nothing like the nightmare I'd prepared myself for. Actually, it was far more civil than anything I could have allowed myself to imagine. Somehow, maybe, enigmatic parental-ish figure seems to have mellowed with age (or perhaps impending mortality). But, whatever the reason, I was able to have a normal conversation with them, and this has rarely ever happened. It left me quite relieved, and utterly confused, but I'll take it.
Now, I guess it's time to keep taking chances with my heart. Because what's the point of having all this love if I can't use it on those annoying souls who need it most?
Peace, my friends, and lots of it,