My 4th was filled with unexpected illuminations, of the personal kind. Stunned to hear two friends, both in their sixties, discussing risk of dementia, worried about the potential of being a burden on their children. In their sixties!
The biggest surprise on the 4th was discovering that someone I’ve long turned to for clarity about & a more tender perspective on my complex & frustrating sister is & has been for lo these many year engulfed with anger at her for not being what my friend felt/feels I deserved. Her ire seems especially stirred by Mim’s lack of kindness towards me.
How could Mim be kind toward me? She held a deep distrust of kindness. To her dying day, she held any kindly action toward herself as suspect, totally – and I mean COMPLETELY – rejecting its sincerity.
The depth of my friend’s outrage over the perceived injustice blew me away. How had I missed it? Small wonder it took me so long to step far enough away from my confusion & heartbreak to get a clearer picture of Mim’s unhappiness. Never suspected that the “wise woman” to whom I turned for decades to help gain clearer sight was clouded by her emotions!
Two days later, it still astounds me. She wouldn’t allow me to say a word in Mim’s defense. “She should have been there for you!”
None of it made sense to me, until I remembered how close she is to her own baby sis, a naturally tight bond made snugger tighter when their father died when way too young.
Perhaps it’s as simple as my friend’s horror at life without the love & constant support of a sister.
Was also taken unawares by her statement – “All you wanted was to love & be loved!” – which made me realize how forcefully she was projecting her feelings onto me.
Yes, I thrive on loving, on being a friend, on providing support when I can, on being present. But since I never experienced the same in return, expecting it never occurred to me. The very thing that’s an essential nutrient for her wasn’t missed by me. But it was clearly on my radar, since I embraced it fully when John showed up. But expect it from my family? Nope.
How could someone I thought was so wise – infinitely wiser, more experienced in the ways of family & relationship than I – be so shut down in her opinion of a tortured heart? Am still shaken by July 4th’s unexpected, unimaginable illuminations.