Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Life Tides

When you least expect it, the ocean rushes in and wraps itself around your ankles.  As it recedes, it leaves it's mark on you.  Wether it's the wet coldness on your feet, a drop or two of salt on your legs that later dry, leaving it's mark only to remind you how a previous moment of joy can leave a salt encrusted stain that's sometimes hard to remove.

That's the way my life goes at times.  I feel I live my life, at times, in tides.  They come in with a rush of excitement and recede calmly leaving no marks at all. Then there are times when the tide rolls in a very calm sort of way but as the ocean recedes until itself, scummy sea foam surrounds you that bubbles under your feet, making your world ugly.  Or seaweed that washes ashore strangles your toes only to remind you that under those beautiful waves there is a world you do not want to be exposed to.  Suddenly your relationship with the ocean reminds you of certain relationships that exist in your life.

Now that I'm a middle aged women, I've learned that relationships are very important to me.  I also learned during my few sessions in therapy (back in my late 20's) and through a Landmark Education Course (on how to live a more empowered life) that I can choose who I want to have a relationship with and who I do not want in my life.  It's my choice.  I'm over the 'family' thing.  I think the term family is overrated.

I have a brother who I have not had a relationship with for over 16 years.  He is older than me, well, at least in the numerical sense, he is 60.  Growing up with this person was a joy, kinda like being at the ocean everyday.  As the years progressed, the tides turned and I found we did not share the same ideologies, morals, values or philosophy on how one should live their life. Is he wrong in his thoughts and ideas, probably not.  Am I wrong in my thoughts and ideas, probably not.  Even though we were brought up under the same roof, with the same set of parents, our worlds do not coexist.

We were thrown back together when my father became ill during the winter of 2010.  I should say, he was thrown back into my world.  I did what was expected and showed respect to both my parents by doing the right thing in communicating with him on a somewhat regular basis and showed respect to my brother in keeping him abreast of all the little details of my father's fading during this most difficult time.  Since my fathers death in November of 2010, I have had no contact with this particular brother, a choice I continue to make.  The choices he made during my fathers 11 month slow ride to the other side and his previous life's choices have never been understood by me, and I will never understand them.

Thanksgiving morning he decided to wash upon my beach by sending a text message to me saying, "Happy Thanksgiving. Give mom a hug from me (and one for yourself). I miss you." The number was not familiar to me. There are a few people I know who refer to my mother as 'mom' that live out of town and thought it might be one of them.  I soon realized the area code was from a place you can only travel to by plane or by some sort of people mover via a 2 day drive.

My reply back to him was, "You too. By the way, how did you get my number?" A simple question coming from a curious person.  No harm, no foul.  I receive a text back explaining I had given him my number when my father was in the nursing home with a very final reply stating ........ "don't worry, I won't use this number again."  Remarks like that tell me one thing. Ugliness.

The tide receded from around my feet, leaving sea foam scum, seaweed, broken seashells and my feet slightly sinking into the soft sand that I normally walk firm on.  Salt has stained my body, once again, where the stains cannot be removed, only to hope they will fade in time.  I know they will fade away, time heals all wounds.

Life is too short to play games.  Life is too short not to be honest with oneself, wether you're on the giving end or wether you're on the receiving end of the relationship.  Life is too short to carry baggage around with you, it becomes too cumbersome, too heavy, and after awhile that baggage thats being carried brings others down because that person expect others to carry it around for them too.

When you least expect it, the ocean rushes in and wraps itself around your ankles. It's up to you how you're going to handle the salt, the seaweed, the broken shells and how far you allow your heals to sink into the soft sand.  I decided along time ago I can choose who I want in my healthy, loving, honest life.

After all, you have to decide to make a choice.  That's the first step ~


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