Better Days and Difficult Decisions

I’ve heard time heals all wounds. I don’t believe that’s true. It seems more likely they become easier to deal with or accept. It’s always there. Each time you look in the mirror, in a memory or story you tell or in hopes of a better tomorrow when we wish things could be different but have no power over the actions of others.

There are certain things impossible to accept and I struggle to forgive myself when I struggle to forgive others.

My children’s bio-dad lost his step father not too long ago. His mother is now in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital where she is expected to die- if not already.

I feel his pain. I feel the pain of someone who has caused me pain over the course of decades. Someone who has been cruel, hateful, abusive. Yet, I’ve been swallowed whole with empathy. It’s challenging me.

I feel conflicted.

He’s alone. He has nothing. These are results of his choices and actions. Throughout my children’s lifetime there have been times I’ve stepped up. I’ve been the bigger person. I’ve been tolerant. I’ve been there for him even though he’s never really been there for me, or us.

I often wonder if my expectations exceed his abilities. Is it possible he’s done the best he could even though it was never good enough for me? He’s physically pushed me. He’s emotionally pushed me beyond my limits. He pushed me away with abuse.

My husband and children are sleeping. When they wake their love will fill the room where I sit. I have everything I need. I have more than I ever believed I was deserving of. In this moment I’m overwhelmed with guilt. Guilt that he never has. Guilt that chances may be he never will.

The sun is coming up. Its brightness blinding. There’s a sensation of warm streaks pressing against the window making its way through the cold morning air. I place my hand on the window and touch it, It’s almost 100 million miles away but at the same time it fits in the palm of my hand.

A difficult decision lies a head for me.

I feel conflicted.

I need to teach my children to never- ever tolerate abuse in any form but I also need to teach them to lead by example, have empathy, be the bigger person and help those less fortunate. In order to do so on both counts I need to lead by example myself. Actions will always speak louder than words.

He’s a double edge sword. They’re both right and wrong decisions. Whichever I choose.

Sometimes avoiding situations is simpler than mustering up the courage to face it. How grand it would be if we could just disregard all the things we don’t feel like dealing with.

I can admit when its come to him I haven’t always been the best person I could have been. Shouldn’t we always strive to be better people today than we were yesterday? I wonder what that would entail between him and I. I’ve fought back, I’ve shut him out, I’ve blocked all communication for months at a time or even more. I never did it to be selfish. I did it to protect my children from harm.

Now they are grown. It would be irrational of me to believe I could ever fix it. Fix him. What does that mean, anyway?

My husband and I discussed inviting him to stay with us for a week while he mourns. My husband, who is far more understanding than I’ve ever been supports this idea.

It weighs heavy on me. A long time ago he and I chose different paths. I’m not convinced I have it in me for our paths to cross again but I’m not sure I have it in me to be inhumane, either.

At some point, whether it be a crossroad or where the sun touches the earth, or in the darkness of the night, everything ends.

I don’t have answers. All I can do is what I trust is the right thing.

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Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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