Tonight, I got lost in a blog post from a writer I admire and it occurred to me that I still have boat loads of crap to shovel onto paper. It has not escaped my reasoning that perhaps therapy might be the best answer, but that always seems so desperate sounding. I’m not sure if I want to be better or just have someone repeat back what I already know, which is I am terribly messed up.
Recently, I took my family on a fun hike at a local park that we all enjoy. The place has special meaning to me and my prayer is that one day, my ashes will be scattered up there somewhere, anywhere. On this particular day, I offered to show them a new spot that none of them had seen before. It’s not a secret by any means, but the destination is not one that most people set out for.
Namely, I wanted to show them an irrigation tunnel that was dug under a mountain, that runs for better than a mile. There’s a bit of water on one end because of the pitch so you can’t quite make it all the way through without getting wet, so I only took them in about ¾ of the way. My wife and son both loved it but my daughter was not into dark tunnels that took 10 minutes to walk briskly out of. To her credit though, she was a trooper and we made it in as far as we could go without a splash and then made it back out without any tears or someone tripping in the dark.
The overall effect of a tunnel like this is that when you first walk up to one end, the other end appears to be much closer than it actually is. Only after you get in a couple hundred yards and your eyes begin to adjust, do you realize how far you still have to go. And once you get in about half way and turn around, you realize just how crazy you were for walking in there in the first place!
Mostly, I love the experience of walking into that tunnel and then emerging on the other side, then turning and looking back. I realize that I am fully capable of returning the same way but when I have made that hike before, I then prefer to go another way and continue my hike. I really don’t want to go back to where I started because now my view has changed and frankly, I’ve already experienced what’s at one end of the tunnel, so now I want to discover the other side.
In this life, my brothers and sister are at one end of that tunnel and I’m at the other end. They refuse to have anything to do with my end of the tunnel and in fact appear to question whether or not I even went into the tunnel in the first place. I’ve called out to them repeatedly, asking them to please come and check out what I’ve found but it’s as if they cannot hear me. There have been moments I have caved over the years and run back down to see them, only to find them standing in the same spot, unable to move, unable to see anything beyond a few feet. I feel for them, honestly I do but I am finding that my patience is running out and as I stare back at them now I realize there is nothing I can do or say that will make them change.
I never could have realized how my relationships with my siblings would turn out, especially given how we grew up. It’s not that we were best buds or anything but we weren’t distant either. Yet today, we are worlds apart and while there have been sporadic attempts to connect, it almost seems as if the tunnel is getting longer and darker as the days go by. My belief is that before long, I will no longer even see them or hear them, they will forever be lost at some distant starting point that I refuse to go back to. Call me stubborn, call me irresponsible, but I have made more trips back to that end of things that any one person should have to and it has amounted to nothing but complete disrespect for my wife and kids and even me at times. It’s as if I’m not even there when I do make the effort to see them.
The harsh part is this only makes me feel even more guilt, as if I consider myself too good for them now and therefore they should roll out the red carpet when I show up, but this is the furthest from the truth. I would only love it if we could all sit down and just talk, but anymore, even that is wrought with difficulties and distractions. Everyone has their own busy lives and to expect everyone to just stop is absurd but a guy can certainly dream, right?
The tunnel is long and dark but there are other ways to reach them and I have been working on an end-a-round that might work. I’m certainly not one to give up too easily so I will forge ahead, hopeful for a day when we might walk through that tunnel together, or possibly find another way around.
My sibs are as messed up as I am, I know they are. We have all been rattled at this point but we are a resilient bunch and eventually things will work themselves out…or at least I’d like to think so.