I guess as we grow older and learn to navigate the wide open ranges of emotion and the tight spots they get us into, we must choose to either rectify or abide with the consequences. I do not, in general, abide well when I know something is out of order. It's like the constant chafing of a new pair of running shoes. A burr insistently digging into tender skin. It's not enough to kill, but too uncomfortable to ignore.
In a perfect world everybody loves everybody and when someone hurts another it's always unintentional, recognized immediately, and followed by the unrelenting begging of forgiveness. In my world, people get pissed all the time, are too freaking self-important to care if things go sideways, and would rather drop you like a nuclear bomb than give an inch. In my world, only I feel the chafe and the dig. In my world, if I'm not the one apologizing or extending the olive branch, the door stays barred. And sometimes it stays barred regardless.
So, I have this unresolved issue that has pretty much fossilized over the past two years and for the most part been buried way under the radar. I wanted it that way. I decided that, this time, as the injured party, I, under no circumstances, would capitulate. I was not going to give in. I was not going to be the weak link. I would not be the one to show vulnerability. I was not under any circumstances going belly up. I would not reach out.
Even when I started to feel the inevitable cloying of unresolvedness, I dug in deeper. Immovable.
I mustered enough pride to keep myself resolute, rock hard and unavailable. I demonstrated how to execute a diss stronger and longer than anyone. I reigned supreme as the coldest most unyielding most heartless human the world has ever known. Until last week.
It's one of those situations where when the news breaks that something terrible has happened you have a decision to make. Do you let the news bounce off your forcefield of indifference, or does it become your Kryptonite? Do you ignore or acknowledge. Do you cleave in half the masonry that has so perfectly encrusted your heart, or do you cement up another layer and look the other way. You tug and pull at the justifications for both sides, but then conscience prevails.
I reached out.
Me: K, my mom just told me about M and I am in total shock. I hope you don't mind my texting you, but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am about her accident and to send my sincere best wishes for her full and complete recovery. I know you have your hands full. No need to respond unless you want to, but please tell M I'm praying for her.An hour and a half later...
K: Thank u. It's been extremely difficult to say the least. Plz say a prayer.
Me: Stuff like this puts life into perspective and reminds us of what is important and what's not. I'm calling a truce and am here if you need someone to talk to. Many many prayers going your way. We all love M very much. And regardless of our past, you are in my thoughts and prayers as well. Be strong.And that was pretty much the end of that. I guess the ice doesn't always thaw on both sides of the lake, but I still think I did the right thing. I broke that ice at least. And I'm not sorry. I wasn't looking to rekindle anything and I didn't grovel - I just reached out. Her response was polite but brief. She did not duel with her conscience as I did. And then the lake froze back over.