But then a few things happened. The first is sad. My aunt had been diagnosed with cancer some time ago and we knew it was nearing the end. We went to visit her a few weeks before she ended up passing away. Now, I was never terribly close to her, she lived a few hours away, didn't have kids of her own, so we only really saw her for holidays, but she was always there, always smiling, and I cannot think of a single bad memory of her. And while she wasn't terribly young, she really wasn't old either. It reminded me that life is short, cliche as this all is, and there isn't enough time to be angry and bitter at everyone who has ever hurt us. I have worked so hard to try and create a safe place in my home, not just for me and Alan, but for those we love to come and feel safe, recharged, and happy, if only for a little while, and my bitterness and pain was going to ruin that if I let it get out of hand. At the memorial service, I felt a weight lift, I felt better. My aunt always had a smile on her face when I saw her, even in the hospital during our final visit. She exuded positivity. I can do that too. I really can.
The second thing to happen was much more uplifting. After 3 years of silence and distance, my friend Jenn approached me at a mutual hang out to apologize for events that happened at the end of our time being roommates. I'm not going to go into specifics, but suffice it to say, it was a nasty and uncomfortable mess for all involved. Jenn and I had been friends for over 10 years at that point, and it had hurt to lose her and that history more than I could truly explain in a blog entry. People were hurt and lashing back at each other in a nasty back and forth that got out of hand and seemingly terminated our friendship. After 3 years of next to no communication except glances at each other across the bar we both go to, the sincere apology was more than amazing. It seemed to be exactly what I needed.
Besides mending our relationship, the timing of this event happened in the exact time that I needed. I just needed a little sign from anywhere that said, "It's ok, it's going to be ok. You're really not a terrible person. Just maybe a bit too loud." This little reminder was enough to say "It's ok to worry about your friends, it's ok to have concerns and to voice them." After the last entry, I was so hurt about how I had become a scapegoat for people's unhappiness that I could have lost my grip entirely, but now I am happily light and free. I've been working to rebuild the bridge that's now mended, and rebuild a strong part of my heart that was hurting.
Earlier in the evening, as I walked around downtown, there were beautiful chalk drawings everywhere. I happened to snap this picture of one, the only one I took, and later in the evening, it took on new meaning.
Hope is there, we just don't know where to find it sometimes. Thanks Jenn, for helping me find mine.