The Reconciliation Clock

by Mark on October 7, 2010

The reconciliation clock is a stopwatch. Seconds tick by as we fight and feud with loved ones and friends. We believe there is enough time to reconcile, but fate presses the stopwatch via a car, an artery, a disease, or a bullet. The dead move on. The survivors suffer a lifetime of regret.

My sister, Chris, and I did not get along. Both of us were fiery red-heads. I considered her a lazy, whiney slacker. She considered me a cruel, oafish clown. There were arguments, but mostly silence. Even when Chris was diagnosed with a severe case of Lupus, our feud continued. She horribly suffered for twenty-three years. I delayed until the final three before reaching out. My best friend, who lost her husband in a car crash, pushed me. “Just say you’re sorry. Ask for forgiveness. Expect nothing else in return. Don’t wait.” I met with Chris and followed those instructions. There were tears and a little skepticism. In the following days and weeks we spoke more frequently and remembered special dates. As I traveled the world, Chris would get post cards. She kept them all. She sent me one of her paintings, a flower. I wrote a short story about it as a birthday gift. The clock was ticking and fate pressed.

My sister’s husband asked me to fly to Michigan for a final visit. Chris lay in the hospital. Lupus, which at times blinded and crippled her, now attacked her circulation and liver. Inflamed veins pressed against her pale emaciated face. We held hands. She thanked me for the last three years. I did the same. We expressed our love. Chris fell asleep. A few days later her clock stopped. Losing a sibling is terrible. Over the years the memories are about what we did, not what I did not do.

I was lucky. Don’t tempt fate! Forgive, seek forgiveness, love, and find peace whether it is a morning spat or long term disagreement. The clock is ticking.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

JL October 8, 2010 at 12:20 am

Nice story Mark!

Jo Clark October 8, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Mark – I am so glad you and Chris had those final good years together!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: