The Art of Loving Longest

Photo by Patrick Porto on

I’ve been crying all day so if this whole thing is miss spelled and littered with poor grammar it’s because I’m blind and tired and don’t care so please don’t comment on how I could do better. I’m alive and I honestly can’t do better than that. My therapist outlined today the effects of actions taken and the feelings felt by my son, and it broke me. The reality that in saving myself I had had to hurt someone I love is a pain I hope none of you ever feel. I loved my family but it was plainly toxic and the pain of staying coupled with the reality that I wasn’t wanted on any level only pushed me further away. I pray for forgiveness; I pray to be able to forgive. I walk in the spirit of contrition and beg angels bless my loved ones and help them find rest. I beg to have my grief lightened, I pray for a clean soul, and a heart as light as Anubis’s feather.

Over and over again I hear Miss Celie, from Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, yell, “Dear God, I’m here! I’m here!” and all I can say is yes, I’m still here. Thank you God, for stilling the pain, even if just for a moment. Thank you God, for drying my tears, even if only for a day. Thank you God, for helping me see my son grow up, even if only to lose him in a situation I don’t think I will ever fully understand. Our ways have parted and you are grown and no matter what I may wish, I don’t know that I’ll see you again, but thank you over and over for the years of love.

I want to tell you that rebirth is beautiful, that loss and grief have an end, that the pain of isolation and loneliness find there conclusion, but if I said that I would be a liar. The few things I know about myself are that I am honest, that I am faithful even after my trust has been tested a thousand times, that I love deeply and completely and forever. I love my family, I love each and every one of them and even if we never touch eyes upon one another again, I will not stop loving you. So, live your lives, be beautiful, laugh, play and know that you are loved beyond measure. This is the art of loving, as Ann Elliot from Jane Austen’s Persuasion says, “All the privilege I claim for my sex is that of loving longest, when all existence or when hope is gone.”

I am resigned, I have surrendered, I have cast hope on the fire and accepted my place as no place at all. I may be invisible, beyond that age of notice or redemption, but my heart is full of love and its light alone guides me. For even though I love you, I love me as well. This is the year of living bravely, of letting go, of choosing me. In choosing to live a life I could respect, the son I love was hurt. But even in this pain and isolation I now live in I am not betrayed but am instead whole in a way I have never before known because again, I have chosen me.

Go with God. Sometimes the innocent get hurt. Living with betrayal is not an option. Self respect is not selfish.

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