I wrote a post two days ago, with the title "Catharsis," then went back later and deleted it, because I felt too raw and vulnerable. I'm not sure why, perhaps because what's happening is so precious to me that I want to guard and protect it? A moment of superstition? No matter.
This week, I've reconnected with my adoptive brother. We'd had a blowout (my fault) and didn't speak for a while (my pride and stubbornness - this preceded my joining Al-Anon) then later, he'd moved to another country, and I'd lost touch with him completely. After some time in program, I'd tried to reconnect, but my adoptive parents wouldn't give me his contact info, or him mine. Later, I tried to find him online, with no luck. I've tried many times since then to search online, with no result. My first sponsor suggested since I couldn't make the amend to him directly, I do it by writing a letter and reading it to her, and I did that, but I just could not lay it to rest. I've had no peace on that one thing for many years. I've tried to forgive myself, I've prayed and meditated, but I couldn't get there. I've tried and tried to let it go, but it's always been there, underneath. We were very close as children, and I've grieved the loss of that relationship a hundred thousand times.
For some reason, this week, a few days ago, when I did an online search, I included his middle initial, which I'd never thought to do before, and up it came - he's a member of faculty on a university in that country. I clicked on the link, and there was his picture, and an email address.
I prayed for guidance, wrote an amends letter and sent it off, heart in mouth. He responded within about 3 hours, warmly, thanking me, "surely accepting" my amend, and signed his response with "Love."
That undid me completely.
I cried so hard for about the next day or so, off and on, that, as I wrote to a dear program friend, "my eyes looked like little boiled cherry tomatoes."
I've carried the desire to make that amend for about 24 years. I've been afraid that he would die before I could find him, and make that amend to him.
I believe that this has happened at last, because I've moved forward in my spiritual growth of late. I've been doing what one AA speaker calls "seeking more" - making a concerted effort to work Step 11, and improve my conscious contact with my Higher Power. I've learned some painful lessons about myself and the way I still think and behave. I've grown in humility, and I've wanted that humility with all my heart and soul.
I think it was finally time for the reconnection with this wonderful man, my brother. My joy is like a heat in my chest, and the tears are washing out 24 years of close-held pain and regret.
"Gratitude" seems like such a small word to describe what I am feeling.