My grandfather is not a good dad.
He was a truck driver, which meant he spent a lot of time away from home. Yet on those far and few occasions he'd be coming home, he'd call my Nana and tell her "Get the girls ready! I'm taking you all out to Seafood Shanty!"
So, my Nana would get my elementary-aged mom and aunt dressed in their nicest outfits, get them all excited about Dad's coming home and how good dinner's going to be, and then the three of them would sit in the living and wait on his arrival.
And wait to the point that it was now too late in the night and my Nana needed to get the girls ready to go to bed.
This didn't happen only once. Multiple times, my grandfather stood up his family for what was supposed to be only one drink at his favorite bar.
That's the kind of parent he is. He's just not nice, sometimes.
But even still, when his health dropped this week and he had to be hospitalized, my mom was caring to him the way he never was to her.
She didn't quit on him.
Recently, I've been struggling with the idea of how our society is so for "cutting people off.” We are in the age of making this our "selfish year" and being "one and done" on chances for people.
But is that a good mentality to have?
Understandably, the idea of "not giving anyone a chance to hurt you twice" seems to do just as it's meant to do- protect your heart, but how much protection is too much?
See, I'm in the business of hurting. It's not a good one, but it keeps my life sizzling. What I mean is, I will constantly believe in the good in people, no matter how many times they hurt me. I will root for them until they're blue in the face telling me "stop caring", and even still I won't. I just don't do endings. It's not my heart's nature to end at all. So, I hurt.
Even with my lifestyle of self-induced heartache, I still believe caring exponentially is better than keeping your heart safe in a bomb shelter. I'd rather get burned and feel the vitality that pulses from the blister than never know the joys of heart and warmth and fire at all.
It seems like this mantra of ends was born out of pain and the fear of more potential pain, so yes, living your life like this will save your heart from some possible hurting later, but it also will strip your life of all the potential shine that this person you are now, cutting off once brought to it. Zooming out, if we all indulge in our own selfishness than we lose a sort of sympathy for humanity as a whole.
I believe the universe puts people in our lives to teach us specific lessons, and also for us to teach those people their own. I believe the universe does this as to make all of us exactly who we need to become in our own respective paths in life. Now, I'm just saying, if life is just many infinities of coincidences that led Harry to meet Sally, then why don't we play nice with those the universe fit in around us?
Life is so much lighter without the ghosts of heartaches, hurts, and other horrible happenstances cluttering our histories.
My challenge for you, noble reader, is to go resolve an old haunt. Swallow that pride, chase it with some confidence, and go remedy someone's heart you hurt or remedy your own with your contacting this certain "them". Get your closure.
Think about it, what are you going to regret more, the attempting to or the wondering of what could've been if you tried?
Don't think it won't be hard. Uh boy, it's gonna be hard, and it's gonna be hard because we never know the outcome of putting in that effort to remedy- are we stretching our hurt a little further for a breakthrough or towards a dead end? We just don't know, but as I always preach, the best parts of living are the ones that make us work for them.
I promise you, the honey is sweeter than the beekeeping, and you will be thankful for the closure in the long run.
However, take this with a grain of salt. Sit there and really brew on that fine line of what relationships are worthy of fighting for and what is simply draining on your heart.
Natural endings are caused by the universe realizing the lessons you two learned from each other are complete and you both must now move on to your next lesson-bringers. But these self-induced endings that you inflicted- these are the ones I challenge you to dig up and bring to the sun. Remedy those that are worth your time and nothing more.
My mother's relationship with her father reminds me that people are inherently worthy of love, and we were made to be resilient enough to love back the way we were not loved.
I challenge all of you to act as my mother acted. Love harder than the world loved you. Can you do it?
Are you brave enough to put your heart on the line, once more?