For reasons I won’t get into, my dad and I drove grandma back to Ohio from his house in Virginia after she’d been in North Carolina with my aunt for an extended stay.
It was a long weekend.
20 hours in the car with my dad. Frustrating conversations that went nowhere. White-knuckle driving through snow/ice/sleet. Face to face with the shell of a woman my grandma is now due to her brain failing her on a few levels. 14th anniversary of my brother dying. Catching a cold from hell. Late night conversations over a bottle of wine with my aunt who is quite possibly my favorite person on earth. Making last minute decisions. Letting go of my pride and asking for money so I could come back to see them all at Christmas.
Watching. Observing. Laughing. Loving.
The only way to move forward is to forgive even if that’s only ever done internally. They’ll never know what I’ve forgiven or what I’ve let go. They’ll just see that I’m calm, fun to be around, and that I’m very happy. And just letting myself be happy made it easier to ignore the opinions, block out the bullshit, and just focus on each person’s goodness. I disagree with so much they say it’s not even funny, but under that exterior fountain of bullshit, there are genuinely good people and I’m related to them.
In the course of 48 hours I let go of the hurt, anger, and sadness I’ve held about my family. I washed the resentment out of my hair and scrubbed the drama out of my skin. I moved forward.
I let go and I feel amazing.