“In Sickness and In Health” is not just a vowel for marriage. We make a commitment to those around us that we love to form an unbroken bond. When a family is formed, we choose to pay those acts of respect towards one another. We choose to take accountability for our wrongs. To be there in our darkest moments, “until death do us part”.
It had been sixth months prior that I had pushed him away again. Pushing him away when our relationship returned to it’s turbulent state was something I had to as a form of love for myself, so I had been told.
I could capsulate the tears that formed inside my eyes but never did they drop. I could encase all that was from my eyes and make into my very own ocean. Numbness rose up my body from the coldness of my spine and I was brought to the reality that nothing could soothe the pain that was swelling in my stomach from the words that I heard.
“It’s called Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma” he said over the phone.
So many layers.
Layers of questions. Layers of anger. Layers of disbelief. No layer providing a map.
All that I was left with was this deteriorating map of what was inside me all along, yet I still could not see it.
Everything that existed between us did not matter anymore. There was just a space of forgiveness that overlapped the pain, peacefully. No longer did we dance around past hurt, like passionate lovers in the midst of karmic tango. There was finally an ending to this sense of peace that I had yearned for since a little girl, and we could coexist with it. Together. A choice we both made.
I found it difficult to show him tears. Part of my mask I wore around him was to show strength. I held my tears close so that I could have a rail to balance onto. In that moment, it was one of them. I couldn’t show him my emotion.
There is an infinite emotion that exists within me that runs deeper than the oceans I have crossed since I was young, and I will forever be guided by them.
There are certain layers to trauma that I have come to find comfort in, due to their familiarity in my life. It is just the way it has been and I have weaved myself in and out of them, because that was what I have known. I meet fear, offer it a warm beverage on a cold dark night and we just sit.
I looked at the monstrous lump on his neck, “does it hurt?” I said.
“Sometimes” he replied.
Sometimes; a grandiose use of a word that paved a way for a world of analysis for me. A word that is filled with a colourful spectrum to wonder upon the times it might be bad.
If bad, then how bad?
If bad, would he ever tell me when?
There are these moments when I stepped back and observed myself and how I have behaved before the moment I arrived in that out of body experience. I observed all my imperfections and of those around me, deciding to choose forgiveness because I concluded that it was possible to not be perfect and still be loved by him.
Forgiveness overrode all of that I tried so hard to cling to. Since that moment, I have stopped believing in all things spiritual and their deeper meanings, because moments like these will truly wake you. The deep meaning was he called me because he loved me. That for me was the “In Sickness and In Health” moment, and that for me was all that mattered.
I remembered the times he had been there in my moments of need. In the moments I had hated him so much but he still arrived for me in every crisis, because that was an underlying love and indeed, that is forgiveness.
Perfectionism —I have spent my life trying to fit it.
To be a perfectionist, trying to reach for this idea of perfectionism in the hope that it would please him. Yet, now he needed me to console him. He needed me, like I always needed him and suddenly everything felt perfect in those minutes. He needed what I had spent three decades trying to do for myself. No school grade to show. No bad table manners to show. No weight loss to show. No failed love life, either. He just wanted me, as how I could show up for him, and I did.
I clung on to his lack of expectation, and for that, I was no more in a battle against my authenticity and neither was he with his own.
I wont talk how life is short. Life is perfectly timed, yet life is often wasted on reflecting on the enhanced aspects of who we need to be, where we need to be or who we must become to please those around us. Instead, rarely do we take ownership of what makes us whole for ourselves.
One day, what may have been rejecting us for decades, might come back asking for what we were born here to do in the first place. Quickly, all of the fire we light so boldly to keep us warm in the walls of resentment is vanished. All that we held onto in that blink of an eye is blanketed by what is truly important. The fire distinguishes itself. The walls are pushed down on their own. We are shown that forgiveness does exist and it is not from anywhere other than ourself.
Was that my missing puzzle piece all along?
In my life, I always thought I had been represented as an intricate puzzle piece because I listened to those around me and their misinterpretation of who I am. I am not saying it is found. This moment taught me that no matter how anyone has wronged me, forgiveness is a power that lies far in the depths of life. It uncovers a truth and unravels the essence of what this intrinsic cycle of life is all about.
Who will you forgive?