Friday, August 20, 2010

Lesson Learned, Agata

Essay #11 by Agata Mancini. This is our last essay before the voting begins, so start reviewing your favorites! 

It was January 2006 and my boyfriend of four years and I had traveled to Australia for six months with a couple of friends. We wanted to work, travel, experience the country - just have an amazing time.

About two weeks into our trip, my boyfriend's father was diagnosed with cancer. Stage four. We couldn't believe it and, I guess because we weren't exposed firsthand to what was happening, were perpetually hopeful that he was strong enough and that "everything's going to be fine." We spoke to him on the phone, shared our positive insights and did our best to cheer him up.

In the beginning of May, my boyfriend decided to go back. His mom had asked him to come home; his dad wasn't doing well.

I couldn't leave. I mean, my little sister had purchased a ticket for Australia and was going to be there in just a few weeks.

I couldn't leave. I knew I needed to support him, but I couldn't leave my family either... My sister was young and my mom was terrified of her being in the country on her own.

I couldn't leave. And what about the rent? We were renting with two friends and I couldn't just leave them hanging like that. They wouldn't be able to afford rent.

So he left May 9 and I stayed.

It was hard.

We broke up a month or so later because he simply couldn't really handle everything that was happening. He needed more support than I could give him over the phone. His father passed away on July 14. On July 16, my birthday, I was on a plane headed for Canada, desperate to make it to the funeral on the 17th.

I made it.

But he didn't want me there.

It was hard to accept. I had been there for the family for four years... but I wasn't there for them when they needed it most - I couldn't just show up when it was all over and offer support. I had let the entire family down, not just him. Worst of all, I never said goodbye to his dad and the last memory he would have had of me was that I had forsaken his son and his family. It was awful.

I still hurts now.
It still brings tears to my eyes to write this
Even though we got back together
Even though he forgave me
Even though we are now married and in love and happy.

In the end, the rent wasn't important. I could have kept paying my share even though I was gone. My sister would have been okay on her own - my friends would have made sure of that. I made the decision I did, because I was worried about disappointing other people. I was thinking with my head, about the logical thing to do, about everything that needed to be taken care of by me. I should have thought with my heart. If I had, I would have been on that plane with him.

1 comment:

Rachel M. Slough said...

This was very moving. Thank you for sharing your story!