I have this reoccurring flashback. It takes place in the predawn hours of 1969. I sit in my childhood bedroom watching the first glimmer of the New Year’s morning light stream in through the window.
Deep inside, I know I have been abandoned by my brothers, who are, respectively, 10 and 12 years older than I. They left the night before with a promise that they would return before midnight to celebrate the New Year with me.
Deep inside, I know the painful truth, but on the outside, I create my own reality to help alleviate the pain. I act as if I have faith. As if my brothers will keep their promise. Otherwise, I have to force myself to feel the raw reality of rejection, which I choose not to do.
I think a major difference between being a child and an adult is that everything a child holds precious rests on having faith in adults. My brothers weren’t quite adults in 1969, but did I see them in my dreamer’s eyes? Or faith-filled eyes?
Either way as a child in 1969, I finally acknowledged the truth. I wiped my tears that stemmed from betrayal and loneliness. Feeling safe underneath an old quilt, I lulled myself into slumber. Behind the sadness, I started to come to terms with acceptance. My brothers happily dumped me and went to party and celebrate the new year. As a matter of fact, the next day after they came home, not a word was mentioned, and we moved forward into the new year. Oddly, there was nothing to forgive. Call it faith, naivety or stupidity, from my child’s perspective, they were my brothers, my heroes. No wrong could tarnish my rose-colored vision.
You would think that years later, after all the misfortunes, bad luck and horrors in my life, I would have retired those rose-colored glasses by now. Numerous incidents of unfulfilled promises constitute a lack of faith in people and, I admit, resentments sneak up on me and bite me in the butt, especially at night when I am most vulnerable. Most mornings, however, upon awakening, I brush my teeth, the first sign of trudging forward. In those early hours of day, I retrieve a lens-cleaning cloth and carefully wipe away all the smudges on my glasses and obtain a clearer vision as best as possible since my glasses are old and scratched. The rose tint has faded, but when I squint hard enough, new year into mid-year, spring into summer, I can still see how rose plants propagate freely from stem cuttings snipped during the darkest seasons of my life. Choosing to create a faith bouquet, even if it only feeds my dreamer’s imagination, is strictly up to me.