Out of the blue, yesterday afternoon around 4p.m., I suddenly thought of John. More specifically, I thought of the way he’d call me when he’s excited about something. That eager note in his voice. That impatient gleam in his eye. And the affectionate way he’d drag me by the shoulders to wherever it was he wanted me to go to show me whatever it was he wanted to show me. And all of a sudden, I really, really missed him. I sent him an sms telling him I missed him. His reply? “99 days to ORD!!!” *wry*
That same night, Wanting and I fell into a conversation about our respective brothers. About how we fought with them. Argued. Drove each other up the wall. But also about how we came to understand them better and became closer to them after spending 4 years in Toronto with them.
Often when I write about John it’s about tender memories and happy incidents, of which there are many. :) But I have never mentioned before that the 4 years we were in Toronto was also the time in which we fought the most. There were times we were so angry and frustrated with each other it was unbearable. Tensions reached boiling point sometimes at 217-222 Elm St. It’s to be expected of course. Spending so much time together, sharing such a small space. With no buffer at all between us.
During those 4 years of living together, John and I were enrolled in a non-UofT program. We majored in Conflict Resolution and Communication. I certainly learned a lot about patience, about trust (especially how it’s not an entitlement but must be earned), about swallowing pride and taking the lower place, and about respecting another person’s (even a sibling 4 years younger than myself) decisions even when I disagreed.
Those were very uncomfortable lessons, but vital ones for both of us. I’m glad neither of us dodged the bullet although we were both sorely tempted at times.
I really dislike confrontations. And usually, I’m able to avoid them. But together with John, I learned how to work through real confrontations. How to really listen (without thinking that I know better). But above all, I learned humility and that reconciliation was more important than resolution.
So hey, Johnny Boy! Thanks for loving me enough to fight with me! :P *hug*