I don’t have to say who this is written to, because after a few sentences that will become clear. In my mind I imagine you starting to fidget in your seat, thinking “Dear God, what is she going to say”. Well, relax You, no deep secrets will be revealed. The current pace of life has been way too fast lately, and I wanted to find a way to slow things down and say I see you. I also wanted to give you something tangible to look at every time you wonder if I stand with you in your grief and anger. I do, and you should NEVER apologize for how you feel.
See, your feelings are yours and yours alone. You don’t owe anyone, not even me, a brave face, encouraging words, or a positive disposition. I am woman enough to admit that THIS was the piece I did not understand for quite some time. I always thought that if I could be positive about my illness and all the heartbreak associated with it, the least everyone around me could do was put on a brave face because they did not HAVE to deal with it or experience it…never did I intend for that to apply to you. I realize now that while thinking that way contained elements of truth, it was also heavily flawed, inconsiderate, demeaning, and flat out rude. It took me watching you struggle to be brave and optimistic, in an impossible situation.
During one of my recent battles with Sandman, a random question came to my mind recently. One late night I asked myself, “if life had a rewind button, would you press it”? I want you to ask yourself this question. You don’t have to answer aloud, just think about it to yourself. Only God and you will know the true answer, but be honest. Would you press it? If so, at what point in your life would you press it? Would you use it to undo bad decisions, take away painful memories, or even use it to erase ever meeting a particular person? Think hard and choose wisely, because you only get one press.
Now, I know you well enough to know that you are likely wondering where this question is coming from. You are searching your brain trying to determine if you have recently done something to upset me. Well, rest assured that you haven’t. My question comes from years of seeing pain and heartbreak in your eyes, and hearing your cries at night. Yep, I hear the whispers to God asking for some sort of cure or relief, and your periodic early morning weeps. I feel your soft warm hand against my back or stomach as you check me to make sure I am still breathing. I feel the warmth of your breath in my ear, as you whisper “keep fighting” when you think I’m fast asleep. I hear the late night pacing and shuffling of your feet, as you try to clear your mind so you can sleep; and I see the red eyes and tear tracks once you exit your extra long morning showers.
I gotta say, initially my answer was a quick “ABSOLUTELY”. Honestly, before the entire question was out, I blurted out my answer…you know how I tend to be. But, I realized that I answered in haste, and took a quick pause to really think about my answer. I then started playing out in my mind the scenarios or periods in my life I would use it on. Would I use it to remove every diagnosis I have? Or, maybe I would use it to remove my Auntie Sandy’s death. Funny thing though, the more I thought about what I would use the button to remove, the more pieces of my life I saw fade away.
See, if I used the button to remove my Auntie Sandy’s death, for example, we wouldn’t have our youngest daughter. After 2 years of unsuccessfully trying, she was conceived days after Auntie Sandy’s death…due on what would’ve been Auntie Sandy’s 51st birthday. I then thought about possibly pushing the button to go back to October 1997. I’m sure you remember that day, right? We were two kids on the phone waiting on Brandy and Monica’s video premiere called “The Boy Is Mine”. After the video ended you asked me to be your girlfriend, I said yes, and the rest is history. But, after lots of thinking, I realized that if I used the button to go back an say no rather than yes, life as I know it could forever be different.
I then decided the results may look better if I went back further and took back the encounter that made us friends. I KNOW you remember the day that you asked me in the church sanctuary “hey, are you reading the book To Kill A Mockingbird”? That was the day you became my friend, rather than my arch enemy as you’d been before. We talked about that book for hours, and immediately became friends attached at the hip. When I mentally changed the facts from that day, most of the things in my life that are good faded away…and they all started with you.
We live in a world where everything seems disposable, friendships, relationships, jobs, and marriages. But, You, you can rest assured that you are NOT disposable. Showing how you feel will NEVER move me to want to erase you from my life. I am here for every piece of your anger, resentment, feelings of betrayal, hope, positive energy, and whatever else is within you…that is how this works. We are taught to hide certain emotions…particularly in these types of situations. But, that is actually the worst thing to do. I want you to walk and own how you feel…no apologies or explanations ever required. Do it knowing that NOTHING you feel, can make me press that button to remove you.