A patient was telling me how her brother had been estranged from her family.  Words had been spoken.  Hearts had been hurt.  Lines had been drawn.  Nine years went by while each side nursed their wounds and replenished their ammunition just in case an opportunity arose to fire a few more salvos at the other side.

Then there was a family wedding.  An invitation was sent to the brother not expecting that anything would come of it.  But the brother and his family came.  There was much laughter and warmth.  Cousins that had never met each other got to talk to each other.  Family history and family stories were shared.  A good time was had by all.

Every time I hear stories like this I am encouraged to believe that truces can be declared.  Trenches can be abandoned and former enemies can meet in the no man’s land between the trenches.  Energy can now be expended in reclaiming what had been lost.  Love can be allowed to flow and flower again.  And I wonder why did it take so long?  Why did this go on for years and years?  Why did it take a wedding to end the war?  Why were hearts subjected to so much grief and pain so needlessly?

While you might be pondering such questions in your family and grieving over a child who is estranged from you the question on your mind might be what is going to change this situation?  Will it take a wedding?  A graduation?  A funeral?  I don’t know if there is any particular family situation that is required to break the deadlock that might exist in your family.  I think someone has to make a move.  Someone has to try something.  Someone has to believe if I don’t say something now when will I say it?  If I don’t say something now how will I live with the regret of the opportunity passing by and the other person never knows how much I really loved him?

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