A couple days ago I came to a fork in my road. One was long, winding, and full of reminders of personal shortcomings. The other was short, but so small only 1 person could possible walk it. I thought to myself, “I’m strong enough to walk the road alone”. So I started down that path. I felt odd. Like I was free from all the things that hurt me in my life. I cast my old life aside, no more burden, no more guilt. It only took a few miles before I realized I was totally alone.
So I went back to that fork. Every step I took was painful. Brought up memories I didn’t want to relive. Emotions I didn’t think I could bear. But….I felt again…real, deep, and full emotions. The people I hurt did not all despise me. Just the reverse, they treated me with kindness and warmth. With my head hung low I trudged. No angry words greeted me. No glances of fear. No pity was shown either. Just understanding. So I pushed on, miles and miles, the years I had let myself be hurt, by people who had not cared. Yet my family, even my wife, whom I feel I wounded the gravest, held me in their thoughts. Kept my close to their hearts. I almost gave it all up…I was scared.
My feet burned from the walking, my back sore from not resting. The pain reminded me…I was alive to feel it. I made choices that I should not have. Looked too closely at what others had. I knew my grass was the greenest, but not how I could keep it that way. You see, I could no longer work, too much pain. I had focused so much on that pain, that I had not seen the burden I had left behind for another to carry.
Yesterday I walked back, more miles. I picked up my own burden. It was mine to bear. I had been so wrong in the way I coped with the pain, and I had been put back on medications meant to numb the pain, which they did, but I was left completely numb. My thoughts started to turn on themselves. I said things I never would have, did things that frightened those closest to me. I thought I heard a call. I heard a cry for help. It was her voice in my head. The one that always told me it would be alright. So I ran and ran. I looked for where I had heard it last.
I was standing in my house, once our home. It was empty…hollow. I looked around to see if I was really alone. I was. As I started to pick up the old and unwanted feelings and memories, I uncovered where the sound was coming from…They were set around the house. Small reminders of the promises I made. The vows, still unbroken. The heart I had hurt with my inaction.
I ache inside. I yearn to hear that voice again. I’m willing to listen. To hear. I’m sorry. I was wrong. I was wrong to expect someone else to fix me. To heal me, when I was not ready to heal. I was wrong not to listen. I was wrong to have walked away.
Now there is nothing left. Only the road ahead. I hold hope close. My eyes now focused on who I truly desire. My soulmate. I meant every word of my vow, I have not broken them. Don’t trust my words. Allow me to show you.
I will rebuild what I let fall to ruin. I will spend the rest of my days proving my devotion. I won’t ask you to believe me. I won’t demand you to listen. I will simply do what is right. I will bear my fair share. Teach our children to do the same.
My ideas are many now. Legions of romantic gestures, ideals of goodness, and plans to change all that was really wrong. I have let go of past grief. I will keep my house in order.
She was right. I needed help that no one could give. I needed to let go of the past. Let it be. Dream of tomorrow, but live today.