I recently sold our farm. Another bit of closure transitioning into my new life alone.
But this one is toughest.
This was a plaque Ben had made for us. I’d forgotten all about it. I’d forgotten about it because I stopped going up there. Why? Because I drew a line.
I made Ben make me a promise and he broke it. It was the only promise he ever broke but, oh baby, I dug in, I held my ground.
Like every home we shared, Ben made it beautiful. He dug trout ponds, cut walking and riding paths. It was a place of peace that I closed my heart to, because of a few stupid words. The last time I went up there was on Father’s Day, honoring Ben’s request to let it go for that day. The last pic of us there is on the porch together- both bald, hugging, eyes sparkling.
And now, leaving this ground and closing the gate behind me, I think of all that time, all the laughs and snuggles I denied us because of my relentless resolve.
It is my greatest and most painful regret. And if I told you all that place held for us before that promise, I don’t think my heart could hold the agony of thinking how many of those heart filling memories I gave up. And if I told you how ridiculous the promise was, you would agree the line I drew was not worth the cost.
It was a simple difference between how we thought about hunting. It never touched our love, but I prevented it from being even richer with memories. I wouldn’t talk about it. Ben asked me to talk. He kept inviting me. I held my ground.
Why am I telling you all this? This November someone will win and someone will lose, but unless we pull this together, unless we learn to speak to one another and work together, we will all lose our country.
Ben and I held opposing opinions. It didn’t affect our love. It affected our short time here together on this planet. This difference did not break us. We kept working together, loving each other. But as I read posts I worry. I worry people will be like me and hold adamantly and unapproachable on issues we should, we need, to talk about.
If we lose our ability to communicate and keep name-calling, ridiculing and berating one another, if we don’t see the value in each other’s point of view- what will we have? What could we possibly create but a breach we will never unite?
So we can decide.
We can draw lines with our angry, hateful words and erect walls that cut ourselves off from each other. We can sit with our rigid, inflexible righteousness, emotionally hardened and leave unresolved issues to grow.
What could be better than working together to create a better country by listening and talking to one another?
That plaque rests by my bed.