July 7, 2014
The ties that bind. Two things spoken to me in the past have been running through my head over the last few days.
One said by an aunt, after having children later in her life: “Kids cut you to the core,” she said. While I thought maybe I knew what she was saying, I later decided that most likely I never would know, really, till I had children of my own.
The second was not spoken by a relative of mine, but by an artist I enjoy. She noted that when something happened to her sister, it felt as close as if it had happened to her.
This week my brain has merged these two statements, so that I have come to the conclusion that my own truth is that, for this particular situation of my life, my relationship with my sister is cutting me to the core. Not in a bad way . . . but in a brutal one.
Being here with her now, after several years, and after significant life changes [in her case, the birth of twins and in mine, the advent of married life] has done something undeniable to my “innermost being,” as King David so aptly put it. I am broken.
This evening, I clung to little B as he slept and I wept. My husband tried to relieve me of the child but I refused to let go. I rocked myself to comfort with his little body while I cried, aware that the heaving in my own chest was the same as that which I was trying to calm in him so soon before. He slept soundly through it all, blissfully unaware.
We are strange creatures, us mortal souls. How quickly we cycle through the seasons of a life! In some seasons we are hardly aware of the passing of the moments. Childhood comes to mind as one example of this; and, likely, the latter stages of some lives also fall into this category.
In other seasons, moments are agonizingly long, each one seeming to last an eternity. Motherhood, for all its supposed brevity, can I think fall into this category as well, when the cries of an infant are inconsolable and one’s nerves are shot.
But what do I know of such things? The older I get the more I know about how little I know . . . and this is just one of the areas in which my ignorance is glaringly evident. Yes, what do I know? In the here and now, about all I can think about—can know—is that I am tied to my sister and, consequently, to the little ones who have sprung from her, with cords stronger than any human creation can sever. Bound.