A Cycle Completed… Or Perhaps Just Started

“Growing up is never easy. You hold on to things that were. You wonder what's to come. But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be. Other days. New days. Days to come. The thing is, we didn't have to hate each other for getting older. We just had to forgive ourselves... for growing up.”~The Wonder Years (American Television Series)
On Sunday the 26th of March 2006 I attended Metropolitan Community Church in Saint Louis for the first time. MCC Church was a place where I met amazing new friends, learnt to reconnect with my beliefs, and had a general overhaul on my life.

That first sermon was about forgiveness, to be able to forgive is to be able to move on and thus be able to continue growing yourself. That day was also my mothers 54th birthday.

For those who knew me in High School, or even while I attended College, you knew that I did not have a relationship with my mother. It was a relationship I did not want, and so it did not exist. I only spoke to her when she called me, I only visited home to see my younger brother and nephews, and I made sure I was 100% independent of her – so as to ensure I would never need her.

My reasons were many and few at the same time. Some were logical, some were emotional, and others irrational. But nonetheless they were strong enough reasons that I kept the hatred alive for the majority of my life.

On Sunday the 26th of March 2006 I called my mother and forgave her for all that I hated and asked for forgiveness in return. I thanked her for creating me and though I did not agree with her methods, I am who I am because of her.

I would be lying if I said my life didn’t get better. Life worked a bit more smoothly, and though hardships continued to appear and disappear I now had an extra form of support to get me through it. Our relationship isn’t 100% perfect but it is a million times better than it was back then. We manage day by day but regardless of where I am or how I am, I know I have a mother and that’s something that can’t be taken for granted.

***

On the 2nd of May 2011 I made a promise, a promise to my paternal Grandfather that I would go and find his son, forgive, forget and move on.

This was by far much harder to do than I could anticipate. I’ve always felt that I should not be the one searching him out, should he not be the one to find me?

A great friend of mine told me to be the bigger man, because obviously he wasn’t up for the challenge.

On Thursday 12 May 2011 my father turned 54.

My paternal sister Adriana invited me to his dinner, not to his knowledge, and I accepted the offer, trembling along the way.

I waited outside his building, pacing up and down the block, for forty minutes. I was afraid of what would happen, what would be said, how I would react but most importantly if he would he accept me? I already accepted him in my mind, I just had to do it physically.

I refused to enter alone and so I waited for my sister to show up, talking on my cell phone to another good friend for moral and emotional coaching. My sister eventually arrived and we entered together.
As I walked through the door I could feel my heart beating on the floor, my legs as thick as cement – unable to move forward or perhaps just unwilling. His face peered through from behind the door and the look was not of anger or surprise but instead of welcomed relief. We hugged and I wished him a happy birthday. I sat on the couch and stared out the window with a view of Midtown Manhattan and the Western Bronx.

We did not speak.

The night was long and a bit nerve wrecking but I survived it. It was his birthday and after almost 7 years of not speaking to each other I knew I had to keep it civil. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to live up to my promise but now I have to promise myself that I will continue to work at this relationship and bring it to the point of where I am with my mother. It will never be 100% perfect for me but I hope it can be 100% amazing for my children to come.

This was Step 1.

Roll on Step 2.
A Cycle Completed… Or Perhaps Just Started A Cycle Completed… Or Perhaps Just Started Reviewed by Unknown on 18:36 Rating: 5

2 comments:

  1. I know this was written a long time ago. I was curious how things worked out after this meeting.

    Meli

    ReplyDelete

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