My cousins Elli and Ana were staying with us for a week. They were very understanding, and did a lot to cheer me up. They didn’t blame me for my mistakes, something that it felt like everyone else did, especially me.
Elli was a few years older than me, but she didn’t treat me like I was an immature little kid.
I think she realized, that with all I’ve been through, I’m NOT an immature little kid. I’ve changed a lot during these past few years.
Elli would come hang out in my room sometimes, even if I wasn’t willing to talk, just to be there. We usually did talk though.
Elli and I had these long talks, about anything and everything. We talked about lamas, food, illness, the future, how crayons are made, everything.
I remember one day Elli put a tray of food in front of me, then sat down to talk.
After a few minutes Elli commented on the food that I hadn’t eaten. “Is anything, wrong, or are you just not hungry?”
“I’m just not hungry.”
We sat in silence for a few seconds, and then I said something I’d thought I would never say.
“What if I don’t get better Elli? What if I’m like this forever? I ruined everything. If only I’d taken care of myself? Would things be different now.”
Elli took so long to respond that I thought she wasn’t going to.
At last, she started to talk. “I think,” She said slowly, “That everyone makes mistakes. And some of them are bigger than others, some of them have more consequences than others, some of them are more life changing than others. And you can’t change what you have done, no matter how hard you try, you can only learn from it. I know it’s hard right now, but you will adjust, and, though it make take a long time, you will learn to forgive yourself. Don’t hate yourself for this Joy. Everyone makes mistakes.”
And then there was Ana. She was several years younger than me, but she loved to hang out with me.
I know she looked up to me, and though that was cool, I didn’t want her to look up to me, a person who had messed everything up with a few big mistakes.
One time I told her this, but she just said “I know that you did some mistakes. I like that you are so brave and cheerful through all of this.”
Sometimes Ana brought in her treasured colored pencils, and we would draw.
Ana had the most unique, innocent outlook on things, and she was a very cheerful little girl.
I was still stuck in bed, but having my cousins there helped a lot. They gave me something I hadn’t had in a long time.