I’ve been stewing on this since somewhere around four this morning. And since it’s dinner time right now, I’ll probably be working on this for the next three hours. Or later…
Have you ever really tried to see something from someone else’s point of view? I mean really get into their shoes. Understand their thoughts and reasonings. To understand their perception of the world around them. It’s not easy to do… to step out of yourself and know someone else.
And it’s even harder to teach a 10 year old. Tonight J was yelling at S about her perception of an event. She thought he took something, and it hurt her feelings. He said took it, and gave it back and then G took it. Now he’s mad because he’s being blamed. Ugh! How do you help someone understand that what they think happened may only be half of the truth?
Then I started going through email. I got an ad from on of those places that searches for people from William Ninis, and it made my heart hurt. William J. Ninis was my big brother from another mother. We spent two years in college together, but it could have been a lifetime. He made me laugh. He protected me. He cheered for me.
I say for me… really it was for several of the girls I ran with… He was our Billy. Our big teddy bear. We loved him. He loved us. Our sophomore year he want pictures made with his “family” (seems to me he won a sitting) and we had our pictures taken with him… four girls and Billy… looking at that picture is bitter sweet.
Billy passed away 5 years ago now. He was 35. Way too young. Cancer. Is. Not. My. Friend.
The bitter part is not just that he’s gone. The bitter part is that we allowed time to pull us apart. He ended up living in the same state as I was, four hours away from me. Dying. And I did not know. I found out through the grapevine that he was sick. It took me a week to work up enough nerve to call a number I found that might be his family’s. He died during that week. I never got to talk to him again. Bitter pill.
Billy had a rough several years since college. I believe he was ashamed of what he had done. I’ll never know. He didn’t tell me. He didn’t tell me he was sick. He just stopped answering my emails. And I didn’t call to ask. And part of me wants to cry every time I think about it. I want to hug his neck and tell him I love him.
And I want my kids to not taste the same bitter pill. I want them to understand they need to take care to understand as much as they want to be understood. That they need to be able to look inside themselves and see the people that really matter to them, and keep them close.