counting them up

When I recited the exact date of when I met a friend she chided me, “…speaking of demons! You can’t let go of yours!” I had to laugh. I was ready to blurt out the old caught in the act, “it’s not what it looks like!” Because it is true. For all intents and purposes it doesn’t look like I have let go of anything.
But, as I explained to my friend, I have good demons. I keep them with me to remind me of how my life could have turned out; where I could have been. I think of her brother and know that I am not vain enough to think I would ever have any impact on his life. So, if our relationship had worked out I would be a puzzle piece in his very complicated life. Fate has run its course and everything would be as it is today. There is a demon and his name is Care, because I still do.
Then there is the demon Gabriel. He is the angel of hurt and pain. He exists to remind me of of troubles far deeper than anything I live with today. Liked a drowning survived I have surfaced.
I cannot forget the demon of Humility. I cannot forgive myself for the pains I have caused others. My selfish need to be the center of someone elses world at a loved one’s expense. I never, ever want to go down that road again so I cannot let myself forget.
So many demons to keep for so many reasons. I love them all, need them all, want them all.

And yet. My friend is right.

I was having dinner with someone the other night. We sat stabbing pasta and fiddling with drink straws while discussing family and the expectations bred within bloodlines. Something she said struck a nerve, rattled a belief, and disconnected an age old longing. Just because you are tied by genes doesn’t mean you have to be tethered. I thought I wanted that tell-all, close as shadows siblingry – the first to know, the last to let go kind of relationship. In all actuality I have never known it or needed it. Another demon to let go of.


7 Comments on “counting them up”

  1. becelisa says:

    they say blood is thicker than water but i disagree. the sisters i have are ones i’ve grown into not grown up with. those i cherish as aunts, uncles and cousins share no branch of my dysfunctional family tree. i have that tell-all, close as shadows siblingry … and i’m not sure what i’d do without you.

    i really love this concept of good demons. it’s likely not always easy determining which are the demons to keep and which need to be let go. but somehow knowing some can stay make it easier to part with the rest. xoxo

  2. Ruth says:

    Good and bad demons … makes me think of a line from a classic American film:

    “Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?”

  3. sarah says:

    i really liked this blog.

    my idea of family has changed as I got older (and wiser). the people you choose as family are just as important as the ones science binds you with…and i love them all 🙂

  4. sarah says:

    p.s. i am drooling over that dessert of chocolatey goodness!

  5. gr4c5 says:

    Bec~ After reading last week’s post secrets I almost called you. The coincidence of demon stories was almost uncanny!

    Ruth~ okay, call me an idiot. What movie is that from? 🙂

    Sarah~ Thanks. You are right. I love my family, too. I’m learning not to be so uptight, if that makes sense.

    ps~ the dessert is from a little place in Lee, MA and you wouldn’t have to bend my arm to make me go back! 😀

  6. Ruth says:

    The Wizard of Oz! The Munchkins ask Dorothy this when her house lands in Munchkinland. Dorothy’s reply was: “Why, I’m not a witch at all”

    Perhaps thosee good/bad demons are not demons at all 🙂

  7. gr4c5 says:

    OMG! I haven’t seen that movie in ages! My grandmother used to plunk us down in front of the tv to watch it every Thanksgiving. It was a veiled attempt at keeping us kiddies occupied…


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