Someone, (not the Buddha – in spite of what Facebook says), once said, “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” It’s apropos to this post because I was sitting here thinking about my trip west to visit my nephew and his new baby.
First, OH MY GOD I LOVE THAT BABY!!! She is the most beautiful thing since…since…well since my last grand-baby was born! This one has touched my heart so much because I truly believe she was sent to save my nephew. Usually I wouldn’t be this thrilled about a birth to a couple so young. But this little angel is just that, a little angel sent to help him understand what true love is. He’s not there yet…but he’ll get there.
Anyway, he lives in the very small town (pop. ~2293), in which his mother still resides. Because of their proximity to one another, she’s still making every attempt to fuck up his life. It’s like she can’t stand for him to be happy (in fact, she can’t stand for anyone to be happy). He’s written her off and told her and her husband that he wants nothing to do with them and that they should stay away from his family. He’s even gone as far as to investigate a restraining order. Has that stopped her? Ha! That only makes her more determined.
In addition, like all small towns, word travels fast. Everyone is fully aware that she’s a drug addict and an alcoholic. It’s fairly easy when you drive around town running into things and nod off in the check out line of the local Dollar General. Or show up at your son’s house and try to break in to see his baby and refuse to leave…even when the police show up. Because it’s your right to see that baby! She’s your granddaughter! You have rights! Really? Good grief.
Anyway, all of this just serves to make my nephew’s blood boil. He’s still hanging on to so much hatred and resentment (all of it deserved mind you) that it’s beginning to turn his heart to stone. She’s so toxic to everyone she touches. She’s like a cancer that grows the longer you allow it. While he was living here I tried to boost his immune system and help him see that if he allows her to continue to infect him with ugliness, then she wins and he loses.
But, if he lets go and just moves on from all that darkness and sickness, then he wins and who the fuck cares what happens to her. Seriously.
His girlfriend says that right after he moved back he seemed softer and more gentle and loving. But the longer he’s there, the harder and more angry he gets. My visit was like a booster shot…one he needed and one I believe I’ll have to deliver from time to time until he can finally, and blessedly, let her go.
As for me…well that’s an entirely different story. I try and try and try to let her go but as long as she’s hurting my family, there will always be a kernel of resentment and anger that I’m going to have to manage. However, I actively work on that every day. I’m not at the point where I can even begin to forgive (I may never get there) but I am at the point where I can see that moving on and being happy and loving is the best thing for me and she can burn in hell for all eternity for all I care. (Ooops…guess that was that kernel bubbling to the surface.)
And so I pray and love and hope that he can let her go and move on with the blessing that God has bestowed. I pray that he can see how much this young woman loves and understands him. In fact, how much she has loved and understood him since middle school. I pray he comes to understand that her family can teach him a lot about how real families behave. How they love and interact and support one another. How they can be a western extension of what he has with us.
I often wonder why my sister is still alive (God knows I’ve prayed for her to die more times than I can count). She has abused her body with so many chemicals for so long and placed herself in such dangerous positions…how is it that she still breathes? But I’ve come to realize that God won’t remove her from the planet until my nephew has moved on. See, for many people, the longer a loved one is dead, the more saint-like they become. We tend to forget their transgressions and only remember the good things. That’s good – unless you’re a young man who was raised to believe that he’s worthless and responsible for all of his mother’s unhappiness. In that case you need to see the world as it really is and your place within it before she can depart. That is the only way to ensure that she won’t be canonized after she croaks.
So, as always, everything in God’s time. I’m working on ridding my nephew of her toxicity and I’ll leave her fate to her Creator.
In the meantime, she might want to remember my mantra…don’t fuck with my family….I may be old, but I’m sober.