My uncle said to me, “We can never let ourselves fall into the trap of self-pity.” He said that yesterday, three days after having a triple bypass. He’s 100 percent correct of course. He is righter than right and I’m glad he reminded me of it.
I’m not only grateful he said it, I’m particularly grateful that he said it to me. Now, it turns out, in addition to reminding myself to be brave every day, I also have to remind myself not to go down the self-pity trail. These days there is pressure to do that, big-time pressure; a different kind of pressure than I’ve felt in the past - and not.
Yesterday my sister told me I am too sarcastic. This is quite true of course. I am nothing if not sarcastic. I love sarcasm. I admit it. Sarcasm to me is one of the most beautiful gifts on earth. Sarcasm keeps me sane, both me and others.
I can't imagine giving it up (okay, maybe I could give it a shot during Lent.) Is she kidding? In this world? She wants me to be less sarcastic? Why doesn’t she just ask me to stop breathing in and out? I can’t do it.
Yesterday my sarcasm caused her to burst into tears. I felt horrible, like I did it. It’s a weird thing because of course, I did do it, in a way, and in a way I didn’t. She is an alcoholic and she is very fragile (and I am a moron because for a moment I forgot both of these facts.) I’m pretty certain alcohol had something to do with it.
Then I thought to myself, when the last time I burst into tears because of something someone said to me? It’s been awhile, which either means I'm a tough cookie or that people have gone easy on me lately.
Even knowing she may have been drinking, her crying still shook me up. It did. Not that she was crying; she cries a lot. What shook me was knowing that somebody could have that kind of strong emotional reaction to something I said in sarcasm.
I knew it wasn’t my fault – not entirely, but that didn’t help much. I think of the delicate mind and heart inside that beautiful person that she is. She is on the freakin’ edge right now. I want to go out there and pull her off the cliff, but I can’t. I’ve tried before and there’s no pulling her off the cliff.