Writing a difficult letter to a family member, trying to clear the air of years of messy interactions. The aim of writing the letter isn’t so much to make the air truly clear, (that would take much more than a single letter could do) but just to see if there’s interest by the other party in meeting in the middle somewhere sometime. This is one of those moments where the answer could be nothing, could be a door slam, or could be a positive movement. History suggests its much more likely to be one of the first two than it is to be the third. But the very act of sending the letter will be a positive movement for me. In doing this, I’m expressing as clearly as I can my interest in moving forward. There’ll be no more unsatisfied hopes that somehow if I just expressed it differently that things would get better. No more ‘well maybe they don’t realize how awful their behavior towards me feels’ excuses. My intent is to be free of any ‘it could be different if I…’ misgivings. And then I’m letting it be. And freeing myself up to be either pleasantly surprised by a positive response, or else free to stop feeling bad about a relationship that “should” be better. Its a relationship between people who are tied together because of birth – not because of shared interests, common commitments, or shared values. One would hope some of those would be there, but being born of someone doesn’t guarantee anything more than the genetic material strands shared in common. If nothing more comes of this relationship, I hope to honor the roll these folks played in my early life, and grant that their imperfections and mine make us each individual humans doing as best we can with what we’ve got. But please, God, may my relationship with my own kids be one that I always work to nurture and grow. May I extend love to the human family, both biological and other, that _are_ in my life, and may I always seek to lend an ear and an arm to someone else who may be a bit adrift in the world.
I’ve drafted the letter… now to sleep and then revisit tomorrow before sending it.