My wife has a great saying on one of her motivational chalkboards = hard work is hard for a reason, so work hard.
Last night, after receiving an overly-transparent check-in text message from my aunt (yes, the aunt of last weekend) in the afternoon, I called her. I knew it would be hard. Hell, I usually know what conversations are going to be hard. That doesn’t mean not having them is the solution. Mom and the middle sister haven’t spoken in a quarter century. That’s because the hard conversation didn’t happen. The middle sister’s daughter, my cousin, practically grew up with a piece-meal family as a consequence. That’s because the hard conversation didn’t happen. Both Mom and the middle sister feel like the black sheep as a result, feel hurt and abandoned – both of them feel that way. That’s because the hard conversation didn’t happen.
I called my aunt knowing these things. The hard conversation happened because even though it has come to the point that the benefit of the doubt no longer swings in their favour (as their honest mistake from last week demonstrated), even though she didn’t call after a couple of awkward and frosty encounters that fueled that pendulum of doubt swinging in the wrong direction, even though I was able to maintain an awesome relationship with their kids through it all, I love them. I love them for everything they have done for me, for all that I believe in them for, for the people that I know they are.
I called them because while they should have been aware of these things, who’s to say what “should.” There is just what is. The door is open, the awareness there, the seeds planted and our tears have fallen to help them grow. Blind faith in them, because that’s what it nearly has come to, has the chance now to be faith, to see. That’s because the hard conversation happened. The hard conversation of 58 minutes and 59 seconds; no longer will an hour will be spent without love and care.
My wife and I have to talk tomorrow about our recovery direction, about how we will move forward after last weekend’s breaks. We will speak of hope for recovery, of reclaiming our dreams, of rest and stress management, of reclaiming healthy minds, bodies and souls. The hard conversation will happen, because the beautiful things are never simple and the blackness cannot scare us away from them.
The beautiful things are beautiful for a reason; the beautiful things are always worth it, so love hard.