Some thoughts from Flight 746, between a beautiful sunset and a gin & ginger.
I do not know how it happened that I became a woman who is so often unkind. I could lay blame many places: the chemical imbalances and fits of mood that have haunted me since childhood; a thousand small, forgivable traumas; men, women, and ex-best-friends who broke my heart a dozen times; my penchant for melodrama encouraged by my career and its community; my many vices that from time to time bare the ugly teeth of unsatisfied habit; but these are weak claims, petty causes for deeper troubles. Why, then, does this family’s Western outpost house such a biting ambassador? Why, then, am I, at best, a stranger and, at worst, a stone cold bitch to the very people I have loved the longest? I have no satisfactory answer. Give me a crack team of psychologists, psychics, anthropologists, and critical theorists, and I will give a few more thorough remarks. My crippling fear of failure, my tendency to over-compartmentalize to the point of antagonism, my admittedly defensive independent streak–these are certainly factors. But I know that none of you merit my level of abuse. Of course you, like me, are not without your flaws and frustrations–it would be against my character to concede otherwise–but hell, I could stand to show a bit more magnanimity. I’m sorry. I am.
And so, a mid-December new-years-to-come resolution: to be kinder. I will turn this resolve to all of you, and I hope you to me, and I fervently wish that you all will put forth this effort to each other. Because while I am well aware of the catalytic role I often play, I know not all is well in our family’s house, even in the absence of my too-frequent anger. So please, take care of each other, especially when I, through the trials of distance and the caprices of character, fall short.
I love you all, truly, and please trust that you are all extraordinarily important to me in many ways, even when outward expression is sadly lacking. I, like many, am guilty of taking love as a given–affection and appreciation go unspoken, assumed. Of course I love my family, and so of course I only tell them my thoughts when they turn from love to something more critical, more coarse. For years of this behavior, I fear an apology will not suffice. I can only hope that the promise of future years can undo some of the damage wrought. But I do hope–why else would I struggle to articulate all of this, to ask for your understanding?
I love you all, and thank you so much for everything. I’ll see you soon.
- Sid Branca Cook, 12/07/2010
PS: Once again, Happy Birthday, Mom.