Eyes followed as I walked across the diner. So did the trail of foul odor and foul whispers. The evidence of incontinence was there for all to see, the darkened path puddled about my body and spreading down my thighs. Thankfully my jeans were dark. Thankfully I had been forewarned that this would likely happen sooner or later. The walk of shame led me to my car, my vehicle to freedom. The diagnosis of cancer months ago seems to pale in comparison to the treatment. Sometimes I wonder if I would have prefered to die by diagnosis than to slowly lose my grip on life chasing the cure. Home I shall be soon where I will be safe from prying eyes, judging eyes; I will be safe from adults that whisper and children that laugh. Home I shall be soon where I will be able to clean up the mess and don fresh clothes.
Home I shall be soon where I will be reminded, as I drive by your new home, of the cancer of a different kind that invaded life. You left our home for a different one; you moved into a different home just doors away from ours. The relationship began with the head of that household in private for a long while before I became aware of it; I suppose our neighbors weren’t blind. Unfortunately I wasn’t forewarned. At any rate, now you are free to pursue the relationship and the household publicly. My path home takes me by yours and so for a while my walk of shame followed me all the way home.
For a while it was easy when seeing your car parked in her driveway to view it as a symbol of rejection, for it certainly evoked those feelings of not worth commitment or sacrifice, of not being good enough, of being not loveable. In fact, I carried that mantle about me for a long while. It acted much like a white jacket with extended sleeves, paralyzing me, immobilizing me.
That mantle that immobilized me kept me still just long enough so that healing could begin, for my vision to clear. The Truth set me free and I began to be thankful for a new perspective on reality. The truth of the matter is that you did not reject me although the reality appeared otherwise. The truth of the matter is that your character became clear for all to see, with me being among the last to see clearly. Your true character is now not hidden. Now you are living openly according to your character. In truth that mantle is not mine to bear but yours, a mantle of shame. Indeed, the trail of foul odor and foul whispers did follow me for a while but quickly I found my sanctuary where I could wash off the mess and don new clothes.
By the way, the Truth that set me free is a Person. Perhaps one day you will know Truth and you will know that you have been forgiven, that you have been redeemed, and that you have been made brand new. Perhaps one day you too will receive treatment for the cancer within you.