Friday, December 3, 2010

Pinky Promises

Did you ever make a pinky promise with your best friend when you were little? Do you remember how seriously we took them? A pinky promise was a sacred vow.  Breaking one was an intense breech of trust that could never be recovered from, at least until we forgot whatever it was we promised about in the first place. We'd break-up at recess and were usually we were friends again by lunch time.

Maybe I'm too old now, but I can't remember one single pinky promise I ever made as a kid. For most people, pinky promises are a remanent of childhood, packed away with dolls and dinky cars, until the day a daughter, nephew or other kid asks you to make one as an adult.  Not so for me.

When Steve and I got married, the Minister asked us to make a pinky promise to each other. As we stood in front of our intimate circle of loved ones, in the forest behind my parent’s house, she asked us to raise our right hands, intertwine our pinky fingers and promise to always support and never give up on each other. Everyone laughed. They thought it was cute. We were optimistic, and excited about starting our future together, and it was a fun, quirky highlight to our wedding.

None of us could have known that that promise was one of the most important vows we have ever made to each other. We couldn't have known then what difficulties lay ahead, or how much we would come to rely on that promise to get through the hard times. Having a husband and step-daughter who battle chronic depression, a son that has speech difficulties and ADHD, a son that died at birth, being a lupus patient myself - none of that was part of the plan. None of that was in the manual. (I never got my copy but I suspect it's out there somewhere, in the safekeeping of those self-proclaimed experts.) 

Life pulls us in a thousand directions sometimes. Sometimes we feel incapable of dealing with it all without snapping. Every once in a while, for a split second, despite our best intentions. we might even forget that we're in it together. Thankfully, we both have a little reminder right on the end of our hand. That pinky promise is always there. So is the evidence. :)


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