Saturday, November 2, 2019

"I think I have it figured out..."

Sitting outside on a crisp morning we sipped tea on the first morning we had spent together in nearly ten years.

She took a long drag of a cigarette and said, "I think I have it figured out, you know."

I looked up from my phone.

"The way we were raised - we expect that love is going to be what we were told. We're going to meet someone who adores us for who we are, fall in love and live happily ever after. It's never like that though, is it?"

I nodded and there was a stinging in my eyes not caused by the morning sun.

And over those ten days in Edmonton we talked a lot about broken hearts, breakdowns, hurt and a lack of peace.

Since our teenage years it seems like when one of us experiences their world turning upside down the world of the other follows. No matter how much we have drifted over the years and how long we went without talking sometimes there would always be the call on a random night from one of us to the other, with tears, and in some weird, dark coincidence tears from the other would follow.

I guess we have always been connected like that.

Except this winter.

When I got the text that asked, "So, remind me how to do this single thing again?" my own heart was full and I was in the middle of the happiest period I can remember. Things were new and bright. I had an extra bounce in my step and I finally felt like I knew where I belonged. People noticed and said I looked lighter and happier.

I was.

I thought it strange as I tried to help as best I could my best friend in the whole world - the person who I have shared a sisterly connection with since I was 2 and she was a 3 year old fresh to the Cove from Labrador City - that for once our worlds did not coincide and I could not share in her heartbreak but could be strong enough for her to lean on.

And then everything righted itself; the happiness I was allowed to taste for that brief moment was taken away.

So I picked up the phone and we grieved, as we had done so many times before.

Except heartbreak tastes extra bitter when you are grown.

I think we are both cynics now.

Starting over but not knowing how to even put one foot in front of the other.

There comes a point when you realize that wishing at 11:11 is a foolish little thing to do because those wishes never come true, and when you think one has it manifests itself in a twisted way that only mocks you.

There is no magic bullet that will fix it all.

What is it all?

It is the burning in your chest and the lump in your throat that never goes away.

It is laying awake all night long with everything going through your mind and wondering what you did wrong and what you could have done differently to change it all.

It is loss and grief, not knowing how to give your own heart closure and grieving so hard that it all presents itself as a darkness that just hangs over everything you do.

It is wondering why you have never been enough.

And it is exactly what she had said - childhood ideals that we carried so long and wanted to believe but now we grieve for the loss of believing in all of that too.

I never expected to be here, nor did she.

But, there is one thing I am sure of -

Hold dear those who have been in your life since you were 2; those who you played mudcakes with and fought over Barbie clothes with.

If you have that person in your life, make sure s/he knows that you have appreciated their friendship and love every single day.

And as we trek forward, phonecalls and texts to try and console the other as we move forward through all of this, I cannot help but think where I would be without her.

Always my confidante; always my bad influence; always my cousin but sister.

Soon we will be sitting on a snowy deck drinking tea in the frigid Edmonton winter.

January cannot come fast enough.

God knows my heart needs it.

1 comment: