Sometimes we have to do hard things. That’s life.
I tell my boys this ALL.THE.TIME.
“I can’t pass that swim test. It’s too hard.” That’s life.
“I can’t do all of those math assignments they gave us at the end of the school year that we’ve waited all summer to do. They're too hard.” That’s life.
“I can’t run that fake twenty-three blast with a backside George reverse. It’s too hard.” That’s life. (And, also, football.)
As an adult, I have to do hard things, too. We all do.
Like seeing your mother for the first time in over fifteen years. Which I did earlier this month.
Since I’ve been back from Vegas, those who knew that I was going to see her seem to want to ask how it went but are afraid. Maybe they’re afraid I’ll cut them off with an, “I don’t wanna talk about it.” Maybe they’re afraid I’ll go into the fetal position. I can assure you that neither will happen because it went well.
Not just well. It went better than I could have ever imagined the reunion to be.
Now, that’s not to say that it wasn’t awkward at times because it was. It was much like talking to a stranger except a stranger who birthed you thirty-something years ago.
But it was good. Details of conversations aren’t really of importance. We talked about my boys, I showed her some recent pictures and shared a little on their personalities.
While we didn’t go into many details of her current life, I think it’s safe to infer that she’s living a tough one — very little money, roommates, disabled husband. It was certainly not picturesque.
Physically, she looks at least twenty years older than she is. I was not surprised by this as I know what decades of drugs and alcohol use can do to a body. Mentally, there are some hiccups but, again, all typical of the use.
But you know what? There was more laughter than tears. There were more smiles than frowns. We weren’t dwelling on the things of the past but simply talking about the here and now and enjoying our limited time that day.
And, for the first time in a very long time, I felt like the daughter, not the mom. After about a thirty-minute lunch, my mother headed to her bus stop and we headed back to our hotel. And I was one hundred percent okay with how things went.
While I had a good bit of anxiety emotionally preparing for this reunion, I am so very glad I did it. Friends, we never know when our last day on Earth will be. Not a one of us. And regrets go with us forever.
Forgive. Today, forgive. For you. For them. For everyone around you. Bitterness is toxic and will strangle from the inside out. From one (former) Bitter Betty to another…take the first step. It's not life changing, it's life giving.