Day 270/365 I’m Sorry, and also…I Love You

She was distraught….and also incredulous.

“I apologized with all of my heart, and she just said, ‘kay.

Tell her she has to say she’s sorry, too.

That’s how it works.”

Is it?

We have all felt the disrespect of a hollow apology.

Starting when we were very little and hurt by another child, we may have heard our first toneless and disconnected, “Sorry!”

Some are taught early that this word fixes all, and they never care to learn the truth.

Sorry!

Even when they haven’t sought to understand how their words or actions have effected another.

Sorry!

Even when they don’t even know what they’ve done.

Sorry!

Even when they don’t care.

Sorry!

Therein lay the problem with apologizing by rote.

It is meaningless.

“Do you want her to apologize because she has to?” I asked. “If you insist on an apology now, she won’t mean it. Wouldn’t you rather wait until it comes from her heart, too?”

I refuse to force my children to say words that mean nothing without heart…especially –

I’m sorry,

and also…

I love you.

These are important words.

I want them to say these words because they feel them in their bones…

Not because they are what someone else needs to hear.

Not because they have to say them.

Not to get themselves off the hook, temporarily.

I’m sorry,

and also…

I love you.

I want them to say these words because they want someone to know

how they really feel.

 

 

Day 253/365 No Words

Chemotherapy is the oddest thing. My mother didn’t feel the slightest bit sick until they started trying to cure her…until they started pumping her with poison to make her well. I spend time with her almost every day, but sometimes (more and more often) I don’t know what to say…

Everything I say seems wrong.

If I am happily talking about things I’ve done or plans I’ve made, that feels wrong. She isn’t getting out much these days….certainly she isn’t planning trips or buying concert tickets.

When I find myself complaining about my ordinary, day-to-day woes, their triviality hits me.

My problems are small.

I suddenly feel small.

Insignificant.

Helpless.

Sometimes I just sit quietly. I listen. I know that just showing up is much more important than finding the right thing to say. Nothing feels right at the moment, and no words will make it so.

Perhaps (I hope), ‘I love you’ can be heard the loudest,

when it’s quiet.