My Dearest Friend,
This Sunday is a beautiful one. It is the kind of Sunday that would have seen us sitting on the porch discussing our life choices with one another. You would comment on the soft breeze as it blew by. I, no doubt, would make a snide remark about how loud the birds are chirping.
We would laugh over nonsense. Over nothing at all. Oh, how I miss you.
My son has started baseball. His sister, not really one for organized sports, is drifting towards the arts. Music and drawing have become her passion. Her requests are many. Mostly, she longs to begin some sort of piano or guitar lessons. She wants art lessons as well. She begs for some type of instruction that will broaden her scope. She knows money is tight and she is patient with me.
And I am frustrated.
Life choices. I wish God would grant me a do-over. A second chance to attend college and get some sort of education and skill behind me. I wish I wouldn't have quit that job or left that man. Would it have made a difference, you think? Would I be better able to provide for my children now, had I not been so stubborn and refuse to take the road most traveled? Maybe if I'd applied myself a little bit more in high school it would have made a difference now.
These are foolish questions that do nothing more than make me insane. I know, deep down, there's nothing I can do about the past. It has taken its hold and worked its voodoo over my present. The only recourse I have is to apply my skills to the here and now and hope my future is better for it. Hope that my children's future is better. Yet, I still wonder......
......whether I am actually doing right by them. I don't think reassurance will ever come.
I cried a few days ago. Cried out my frustrations at my inability to redirect the earth's rotation. I feel powerless over it all. Work had me stressed to the breaking point. Fear of having to start all over again when I have barely begun again had me in tears. I barely made it to work. Barely made it through the day. That morning, I yelled at my children. I raised my voice out of grief and impotence. The look on their faces haunted me the rest of the day. It seems that my biggest fear is coming true.
I fear that I am turning into my mother.
I never understood the woman that gave birth to me. Growing up, her stress played out like a shadow over my childhood. I understand that type of stress now. How she must have longed for a better life for herself. For us. Like me, her life choices brought her to the breaking point as well. Now, some thirty years later, my mother is sick in mind as well as body. I pray for her nightly. But, I can not bring myself to visit as often as she would like. I tell myself it is because the time spent with her is too stressful for me. In reality, it is because I sense that she is my future.
And I can not bare it if that is the case.
My dear, sweet friend. You used to always question why I would never take you to meet her. I think, deep down, it hurt you to be kept a secret from my life. From my friends, family, and the rest of those that make up the world in which I live. The truth of the matter was that I didn't want to keep you from them, but it was them I was keeping at bay. They are all little snippets of me. I didn't want you to bring it all together. To see what I would eventually become. I had hoped that if you went untouched by my life that you would be able to redirect the path I was walking. That your goodness would influence me in such a way that I would be safe.
Plus, you were such a special creature, I wanted you all to myself.
I have written a play. It has been such a scarey experience, that I am not clear if I will ever attempt another one. There are people working behind the scenes now to see it to fruition. But, as of everything else in my life, I am frightful of the outcome. I am filled with so much self doubt. It is this doubt that creeps up on me at night. That keeps anxious knots in my stomach. What if the play is not any good? What if no one comes to see it? Or worse, what if it is a success?
You would laugh at me over these silly questions. You would tell me that if God gave me a gift, it is not for me to doubt it. You would say that I am doing what I was meant to do. Then you would hug me. And we would return to our casual conversation about nothing.
And all would be right with the world once more.
I have a series of projects that I am lining up in front of me. They both include photography and writing. Most of the projects I can complete alone. Some, I must enlist the assistance of others. I am doing this so I can keep my mind off the larger picture. The picture that keeps me lonely and isolated.
I have become so bitter in my loss and disappointment that I no longer trust others.
It is not just the loss of you. You were a powerful blow to my heart. But, I know that tomorrow is never promised. I have lost enough loved ones, young and old, to know how to handle grief. I know the process and I can recite the steps as if I were reciting the alphabet. But, it is the loss of the living that has caused me to turn inwards. Those that promise their friendship and then snatch it away when they discover that I do not fit into their puzzle. Those that get close and retreat without a moments notice when my thinking is too much for them.
The worse thing to experience in life is not the death of a loved one, but the death of a friendship.
They steal your time, these people who claim they never want to hurt you. The ones who talk in soft tones and make you laugh. The ones who invest their time in you and establish themselves as part of a routine only to snatch it all away like a magician doing a slight of hand trick. It is heart breaking. And I have had enough of it. I dare not invest in another soul the way I have invested in them. I keep to myself. I accept calls from those that need an ear to listen. But, I do not exchange emotions with them. I do not let them get close to me. I no longer rely on them for anything.
My heart is fragile. It has not been glued back together after the last break and I don't think it ever will. I no longer feel safe with anyone. This causes me more sadness than I can openly admit to. Without our friends, those that we can trust to keep our hearts and minds safe, we are nothing more than an empty shell that can never be filled.
I've been through way too much to be like this now. I have lived when I should have died. I have regained my trust and faith in humanity when any sane person would have slept with one eye open. So, why this? Why now? Why was it a single person with brown eyes and a sweet smile that ultimately was the straw that broke this camel's back?
I do not understand this path that I walk down. I doubt if you were alive you would understand it anymore than I. But, I do know, that if I had your voice to listen to, your words to take in, I would have some other idea of what to do with all this pain. Or maybe not. Maybe I am supposed to put it all into my little projects. Maybe God has given all this to me as material to use and to prosper from. It would be nice to think that is the case.
I must go now. My sweet daughter wants my time. I am happy to oblige her. Take care for now, my sweet friend. Perhaps my next letter will have more news of good rather than despair.
With All My Love,