A text sent by my Little (of Big Brothers Big Sisters) last week :
Simple as it was, this was a pretty special text for me. We’ve been in our Little/Big relationship for about seven months now, and this is our very first ‘I love you.’ Despite the fact that it was casually sent over a text message, my heart still melted a bit. Those few words reminded me that, though I can’t make anyone’s life perfect, there is an incredible amount of power in caring for someone and giving them the chance to care for you back.
This has been something I’ve been clinging to when it comes to my family lately. My mommy has been having some health issues lately. Various doctors are doing lots of tests, and though not life-threatening, it’s understandably frustrating and scary for her to not yet know what’s going on. I’m over more than I used to be, and help out with my youngest brother and sister whenever I can. Still, it doesn’t seem like enough.
On a different level of pain, My nineteen year old brother has been having some heart-hurting issues. He’s taken up calling me every night before he goes to bed, I think more or less as a replacement for who he was used to calling for such a big chunk of his life. Brother,whom a good amount of my friends would do (ew)/date in a heartbeat, is coming out of his first serious relationship of three and a half years. This boy amazes me; He is patient and caring and thoughtful and the exact opposite of me at nineteen. When I informed him I was writing a blog all about him, he nonchalantly laughed and said, “Oh God.” And when he wonders out loud how someone could do this, how everything can turn into nothing at all, how he can give a girl he thought he’d marry a second chance only to be hurt once again–I don’t know what to tell him because I don’t know. I wish my 28 year old hubby could give him a good man-to-man talk, but both of our only serious, 1+ year relationships have been with each other. And though I have been broken-hearted once before, I know it’s not the same. My relationship was much shorter and I subconsciously knew the whole time how it would end. The pain I felt–the unstoppable tears and the heart actually physically hurting and the not wanting to ever get out of bed– must only be a fraction of the hurt he’s feeling now. And that hurts me, for him. I tell him that one day he won’t feel like this anymore, and though I know it’s true, I remember hating to hear that years ago. I remember not believing it at all. I remember going through the same thing with friends, most who are in much happier places now. But I know he’s at the point where he can’t even fathom not feeling the way he does now. His healing process is going to take time, and it’s nothing that anyone else can heal for him. Nothing I can say or do seems like enough.
I’ve learned that I am helpless. I’ve realized that I can’t repair anyone’s life or problems or heartaches.I am not able or equipped to make hurt go away. The most I can do is be there. I can’t give doctors the ability to know everything, but I can spend time with my little siblings while allowing my mom to go to her doctor appointment. I can’t snap my fingers and make my brother fall out of love but I can talk to him on the phone until he’s ready to go to bed. I can’t give him the most enlightening advice but I can lend a listening and understanding ear. I can’t protect my Little from all the hurt she’s going to face in her lifetime, but I can be there to help make her a smoother path. I can’t fix the lives of those I love. I am incapable of making everyone better. What I can do is not enough to heal. But it may be just enough to produce a smile, a laugh or simply the knowledge to know that they are loved and that in time, they may just be okay. And that is something.