I wish I could wax poetic on this one, and just express it elegantly and neatly. But I can’t. It’s not elegant, it’s not neat, and it’s just rising in my brain interfering with everything else I need to get done today. And this ringing in my ears won’t stop, especially the right one, and the mystic in me thinks that means something about how my chakras are blocked. See, I even feel better now as I’m writing. I was blocked, and now I’m getting unblocked and flowing again.
So, what’s bugging me is a HUGE “what if?” Goddammit, I hate them. I really hate the feeling that I did the wrong damn thing at the wrong damn time, and that if I had only listened to what I really wanted to do and just said f*** it to everything else, I wouldn’t be in this mess. But I got in this mess because I applied the lessons from the past to my present, at the time, and did the best I could. So I just have to forgive myself that it turned out to be the wrong lesson. Or maybe the right one, because it wasn’t just all about me.
What if I hadn’t said no on that Tuesday afternoon? If I hadn’t said, just come over tomorrow night after the girls are in bed, and instead had agreed to wait until Friday, and had you come over for Shabbat dinner like you wanted? What if?!?
And I said no out of fear, as I told you on Friday afternoon. It was fear, plain and simple. Fear that you would leave (which you did), and then my children would be hurt, too. It wouldn’t be just me with a broken heart, but them, too. It had happened to them already, in unforeseen situations. I once had a friend who had spent time with all of us, and when she got mad at me, my children couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to see them again. That sucked. And that other time, which was huge, when they had their own independent relationship with a person who couldn’t stand to have me around, and so blocked us all from ever talking to him again. That really hurt them, very deeply.
And you did leave, after all. Pretty damn quickly, too. So they would’ve had broken hearts and I couldn’t have that one more time. And since I could see this one coming, I did have the duty to protect them. I know that, and there’s not a person alive who would say that I did the wrong thing. Not even you. I was being a good parent, and that’s the honest truth.
But. What if? What if you had come over for Shabbat dinner, and we had some more time together restrained by the presence of other people, to get to know each other some more, and to talk and laugh and sing by candlelight? What if you had fallen in love with me that night, fallen in love with them too, and started to see them as a bonus in your life, instead of a threat to it? All of us as something wonderful enough to change your plans for?
And here’s the big one that just kicks my ass – would you have left at all, if I had let that happen? What if I was so afraid of something bad happening again that I strangled the amazingly good before it could breathe?
It’s Shabbat again tonight, and for the first time (because I was just too tired last week, after landing that morning), I’m using my new challah cover and my new candlesticks from Jerusalem. What if you were there, too? What if you show up at my door, asking to be let back into my life? You were never there, and yet I still feel the hole left from where you could have been. And let’s just come full circle…the same movie I took my daughters to that night is the one we’re renting tonight. Symmetry is a bitch, sometimes.
There’s a part of me that hates that I need to write this for the world to see, because of who it might hurt having these feelings out there. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I’m just trying to get this out of my head…better to have it out here then constantly rattling around in there.