Thursday, March 20, 2008


"I became what I am today at the age of twelve...I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years. One day last summer, my friend Rahim Kahn called from Pakistan. He asked me to come see him Standing in
the kitchen with the receiver to my ear, I knew it wasn't just Rahim Khan on the line. It was my past of unatoned sins...I thought about something [he] said just before he hung up, almost as an afterthought. There is a way to be good again..." Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

On Sunday afternoon, I drove nervously to see her, this childhood friend-sister-twin, whom I'd amputated, like an arm or leg, in a moment of immaturity and selfishness, twenty-one years ago. She'd been the most significant part of my life- the person who'd filled my soul with pure joy- the kind that comes from your gut, with bursts of laughter that could cure even the most miserable teenage angst. Being with her had made me feel normal- a seemingly impossible state of being during the awkwardness of adolescense and all the insecurity that accompanies it. And then, somewhere along the way, I lost sight of her and I did some stupid things and then she was gone-

As I made my way down her driveway, glimpsing out of the corner of my eye, that familiar face, that girl I'd loved to my core, I felt the enormity of two decades of loss- the dreams where she'd appear- haunting me- forcing me to remember- reminding me...all was not well...that I needed to make it right...there were years of letters written then discarded without being sent...then one in January that I let slip into the mailbox...

And as I reached for her, sinking into her arms, I allowed myself to let go- of all the pain and the blame, sobbing, holding on, I felt redemption and renewal and I thanked God for second chances and, without words, I thanked her for allowing me to be good again.


Christianne said...

Wow, Judy. What a powerful story. I felt such connection to it because I have those stories of my own. Really, as I was reading your words, my eyes were growing bigger and bigger because I honestly didn't know other people had the same stories in their own lives, of relationships let by the wayside and abandoned after immature acts done out of our own brokenness. It made me feel less alone and less shame, so thank you.

And, I love how you connected your story to that of the Kite Runner. When I read the first paragraph, with the quote, I felt the words dipping into me so familiar, and I love them. They are so haunting, aren't they? When I read them, I thought this was going to be a post of your review of the book (which I also would have welcomed reading, as I love that book), but it was so much more powerful to read how you related the book to your own life. Wow.

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