Today when talking to my Mom, she commented that she’d been thinking about her late husband, my stepdad, all day. It bothered her, because what she was remembering were the tens of thousands of dollars he embezzled from the company he and a good friend had founded. She also mentioned tens of thousands of dollars she’d had herself that went missing. It all added up to one thing: she didn’t really know the man.
We all have secrets we take to the grave, and some will be revealed once we’re gone, whether we try to hide them or not. Some are amusing. My former roommate told me about a woman we both knew from church who’d tragically died in a bungled bungee jump. This woman was athletic, with a short, kind of manly haircut. We all thought she was gay, and perhaps she was. But under her bed and deep in her closet her roommate found dozens of romance novels of the bodice-ripping genre.
Other secrets are heart-wrenching. A good friend of mine found clues her brother left for her before he died of cancer, revealing that he was gay. This was a man who was conservative in his faith and his politics, which may have been why he stayed in the closet. He came out to a few gay colleagues, who comforted my friend after her loss. The thing that got to me when was she said she wondered if he’d loved someone and couldn’t–or wouldn’t–do anything about it. That broke my heart.
I have my secrets, but I don’t think any of them are bombshells that would shock friends and family after I’m gone. At least I hope not. I don’t want anybody close to me saying they didn’t really know me, at least, not in a negative way.
I think of secrets as something we keep hidden in the forest of our lives. Some are delightful, some are devious. Only we know the path to many of them. I have no words of wisdom here, only to say, your secrets are safe with me.
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