I Held a Child and his Face Looked Just Like Yours

I reunited with a friend I refused to speak with for almost 10 years.  During an argument, she said I would die alone with 50 cats in response to me checking up on her regarding something personal a mutual friend had shared with me.  She was upset that I called her on something she did not share with me, but I felt as her friend it was important to be there for her.  I guess I was wrong.  Her remark spoke directly to the insults I had withstood from my mother my entire adult life.  My lack of a boyfriend or husband would banish me to my death bed alone and with cats.  I wasn’t a real woman.   What my friend said was searing, and with one blink, I cut her out of my life without blinking.  I was already in pain, but she cut me in an area I imagine she knew I was vulnerable in, so she became dead to me.  An 8 year friendship was gone in the blink of an eye by my own doing.  When the pain would get too great for me, I’d go numb to defend myself.  It was a terrible coping mechanism that hurt more than it helped.  No matter how many times over the years she tried to contact me, I nursed the pain and refused to accept her apology.  It was a very low blow, and I chose to hit her back with all of my strength.  She was dead to me.  In 2016, I began to question myself and my old self-sabotaging behaviors.  My heart began to melt as I began to question my impractical behaviors.  I began to honestly examine my motives, practices, and revisit the mistakes I made and the grudges I held.  Last year, I began to talk to my friend again.  I finally shared what had caused me to disappear.  I acknowledged that how I disappeared was wrong, and I also stated how painful her comments were.  She did not even remember saying the comment.  She apologized without malice, and with sincerity.  The only thing she knew is that I didn’t want anything to do with her.  We slowly began to talk again, and I felt forgiveness flood my chest.   The pain had melted away, and I felt like a new person.  When I went home recently, we met up for the first time in almost 10 years.  She hugged me like no time when by.  She hugged me as if she saw me out on the Oval in 2001.  Her energy hit me like a bolt of lightning.  I had spent years in pain, when she never stopped loving me as her friend.  Then, a little toddler with her face ran up to me and I picked him up.  I knew she had a son, but I hadn’t met him.  I felt so humbled to receive such positive energy and love because for so long, I didn’t feel worthy of it.  I looked in her son’s eyes, and I saw time.  The next generation had taken over, and I had spent years in my own head and wallowing in my own pain.  I know I’ve done things to hurt people, including my friend.  I apologized for disappearing.  I thank God for another chance to love and receive love from my friend.

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