Someone else's bridge

There is a guy who used to work here that we let go several months ago. He was quite an enigma to me in that he had a tremendous amount of talent in our field. Some days was able to bring jobs in under budget, get letters of reference from his customers, and seemed to be doing well. On bad days, he was cocky, arrogant, entitled and a diva. We thought he could be on the fast track to leadership with the organization, with a little coaching. And we put that ball in his court. He promptly kicked it back in our face. We tried to mentor him asked him to take steps in his development. He failed at every turn. He was slowly burning the bridge, and eventually he had alienated himself from the rest of the team and we had to let him go. It was a shame, but you can only show a horse the watering hole so many times before you have to think he is never going to drink from it.

Of course the stories of people burning their own bridges is nothing new. I could tell countless stories of people I know who have blown up the past, damning the consequences. I have a brother who regularly dangles lighter fluid on his bridges, only to pull it back in most instances. I have a friend who prefers to take her bridges and fold them up in a box, never to open them again. And I myself nearly torched the bridges to my own family a couple of years ago when I was so caught up in being right I couldn't see how wrong I was. I was fortunate to have a sister who not only pulled me off the inferno, but helped me rebuild the infrastructure one nail and board at a time.

Everyone has a past. Everyone has their story. And everyone has some bridges to their past that they have set ablaze and ripped the rear view mirror off. After all, they say you cannot move to the next chapter of your life while you are still re-reading the last one. But one person's broken past and severed ties are harder for me to understand than most. And while I may not know the details, they are none of my business to begin with. My role is to support my sweetheart no matter what, even on days like this. And I do.

I cannot fathom what my life would have been like without the mother I had. She was my best friend and my biggest fan. She always looked after our interests first and there were times it seemed she worked 24 hours a day to keep us afloat. I am sure if you asked my siblings they would tell you the same. Our mother raised us that way. And the three of us (my brother, sister, and I) all know that, no matter how the bridges have been laid out in the past, that we can always, in a time of need, cross them back. Because of that understanding and upbringing, I am very sad for Tiffany today, because she does not have the same type of relationship with her family.

She was brought up in a strong family, don't get me wrong. Her father was a self made successful businessman and her mother, brothers, and herself enjoyed the fruits of that success. Though her parents divorced when she was twelve, they still remained a close family unit, even when she and her mother moved across the country. But when she was 18 her father passed suddenly . And everyone went their own direction. For Tiffany's part, she became somewhat of a gypsy, moving around the country and never staying in one place very long as she was always ready for her next adventure. And over the years things soured between her and her family. One of her brothers, who will be mentioned again in a moment, and herself have had no relationship with their mother at all for years. Now, in her late 30's, she understands that the one thing they have done as a family over the last few years is burn the bridges that once held them so close together. She tells me that she does not really have regrets, only that she is now paying a penance for the path she chose. And while I support her in whatever she chooses to do now that she has found this place where she belongs, it is difficult for me to understand how no one in her immediate family wants to even tip toe back onto that bridge. Especially now.

As we speak her brother is in a coma and on life support at a local hospital. He suffered a massive heart attack a few days ago, and, from the information she is getting from her cousins, the prognosis is not good. I offered to take her and see him, but she declined. Her mother still is next of kin and is there with him, making decisions. She does not want to cause tension or create drama at a time when her brother should be the focus rather than a family feud. That part I can see to some extent. But I have asked her if she will regret not going to see him or paying respects if the worst case scenario comes to fruition. She told me no, explaining that its part of the penance and a result of her own bad judgement. We had a long discussion and I gave my opinion, though she did not ask for it. After that, I simply told her she going to be my wife, and I support her no matter what. She has her past, as do I. And neither are as important as the future we are building together.

I find it rather ironic that the person who has taught me that it is not my responsibility to rebuild other people's bridges or save them from themselves is in this position today. So as I may never understand the broken relationships that she has in her past, I am grateful that I get to be a part of the path she is on today. And as we continue down that road, I pray every bridge we encounter will still be fully intact after we cross it.

Day # 597 and, while my sweetheart is not having the best of weeks, it is still good to be me.

Have a great day everyone!

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