A Hard Lesson

What Time Healed

Photo by Jamie Kern on Unsplash

One day I was watching Steve Harvey when I heard him say something that really touched me. He said, “Even if you get it wrong . . . you can make a thousand mistakes and it’ll still be okay. You can’t let those mistakes define you and those failures conquer you. All of that stuff is just the ingredients that go into the cake that’ll make the person that you are. People don’t want the ingredients. They just want the cake.”

Having to deal with the reality of not having my mom, my queen, made other little things I felt about people’s personality or things that I had allowed to really bother me, seem trivial. It made a lot of other situations that once felt big, become very small. Have you ever glanced at a school paper or project from when you were in school? Or if you’re still in school, perhaps you’ve come across an essay or something from a year prior. If you stare hard enough, you may see a number of things that you wish you would have done differently or maybe there’s something more you would’ve added to the assignment. That’s how I feel when I think of my aunt Cythan. I was a good kid growing up. I didn’t do anything abnormal of being a kid. Years ago, I would’ve elaborated on why I did certain things or said certain things. But, when you truly take responsibility for your actions, you don’t focus on if there was a reason for it. You focus on yourself and your part in the situation. I’ve always been told that I’m wise beyond my years. But, I don’t ever try to come across as a know it all. No matter how wise you think you are now, in some years from now; maybe even months, hopefully you’ll realize that you are much smarter and all that you thought you knew then is nothing compared to what you know now.

Cythan passed away when I was sixteen. She was a dialysis patient. She passed away on a Tuesday. Tuesday, April 25, 2001, to be exact. She used to go to dialysis on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday every week. For a long time after she passed, I used to “hear” an echo of the sound of the clothes dryer door closing because that Tuesday; as I was headed out of the door for school, right before I closed the door; Cythan closed the dryer. She was about to dry laundry.

We had many good times together, but that time frame was a little different. We weren’t getting along. We weren’t even speaking. I don’t want to try to put the blame on anyone, but at one point in my life, I used to think that there was an influence outside of the home that was casing division because Cythan and I went from getting along to no matter what I did, it would just end in a disagreement. I can’t tell you how it began. I don’t remember, but I know all to well how it ended. If I could turn back the hands in time, I would’ve just let her fuss. But, I always had a reply. Had I known the day I walked out that door that she wouldn’t return home, I would’ve turned back around, went inside and said, ‘I love you. Let’s not fuss anymore’.

That situation bothered me for a long time. I was embarrassed, I was depressed. I cried to mama, but I held my tears in front of everyone else. At the time, I felt that people were going to wonder what I was crying for since they knew that Cythan was fussing so much about me. I felt that they were going to feel that I didn’t have the right to cry. It even bothered me for a long time when people would bring up her name. It made me feel uncomfortable because I knew that we weren’t on good terms before her passing. If I could tell young Jane anything at that time, it would’ve been to pick your head up. You know that you loved her and you hang on to that. As bad as it hurts, just learn from this situation and keep telling yourself how wonderful you are. You are going to be an outstanding woman and everything that you’re going through today will contribute to that. I couldn’t think like that at sixteen years old though. I felt horrible. I didn’t want that one situation to define me. I am a good kid. I have always been a good person! I kept telling myself. I cried and I cried. But, it got better. It took some time, but it did. This was a lesson that I learned. It was hard to now that the last emotion from the thought of me by someone I loved was anger. It’s very important to settle differences in the moment. When someone is gone, you can’t get that time back. I can’t tell Cythan anything right now. That wasn’t a good feeling at all. But, I learned from it; refusing to allow that situation to define me.

A Note From Me To You

I just stated it got better. It too some time, but it did. Whatever you’re going through today, will be much easier to digest many years from now. If you allow it, it can shape you into who you’re meant to be. There’s nothing wrong with crying. And, when you’re wrong about something, be honest with yourself. That’s the only way you’re going to grow. There are people who spend their entire lives blaming other people, and they are the same people that they were 30, 40 years ago because they refuse to accept responsibility for their actions. Take the excuses away. Stop wanting to zoom in on why you feel like you had a right to say certain things to people or why you felt it was okay to do what you’ve done. The question is, were you right or wrong? Who you are tomorrow, depends on what you allow yourself to learn today. You are not defined by anything you have said. You are not defined by anything that you have done. Learn your lesson and move on.