There’s a photo hanging in my staircase that I pass by a million times a day. It’s from my wedding, but not one of my husband and I. It’s one that every time I pass causes me to stop cold and breathless as my heart aches.
Growing up, I longed for a sibling and I eventually got one at 8 years old, a sister. But even though I was an only child for what felt like forever, I never truly was alone. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a big family with lots of cousins and privileged enough to get to be raised with them. The years we spent in childhood created a solid foundation that blossomed into tight, close knit adult relationships.
Unfortunately, like so many relationships, we’ve faced trials and tribulations. Some that we shared together, others that weighed more heavily on specific individuals, and of course we’ve all had our own demons to fight. Still, through it all I never thought there’d come a time when we wouldn’t lean on each other. I never thought there would be a time when we’d be afraid to reach out to one and other out of fear of the person who’d be responding back.
I never thought there would ever be a substance, a person, or pride that would stand between us.
But alas, it would seem the older we get, the more transparent life becomes, possibly because our ability to hide our drama behind bullshit becomes less effective. Or maybe because as we experience more and more of what life has to offer the signs and warnings we were oblivious to become more and more apparent. Whatever the reason, realizing the new reality of a once cherished, longtime relationship leads to a feeling of hopelessness and heartbreak.
And perhaps, in the midst of heartache, naiveté allows us to cling to an ideal of what once was, believing just maybe you can get back to the way things used to be, even though your mind knows it to be impossible.
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