45. Burning the Right Bridge
The next morning Gerry stopped by my office. “Things moved faster than I expected,” he said. “I moved in with my sister.”
“What happened?” I asked.
“Ken, it was predictable, the way things played out, but not how I felt in the end. My dad got drunk. Told me to choose between him and my grandfather. I said I loved him, wanted to stay home, but had to take Grandpa’s job offer. We all cried. Then he got really angry and started throwing my stuff down the stairs. My mom took a couple of pills, saying I made her do it. I could almost see the heat of their anger coming off them.”
“Then,” Gerry added, “I saw. I love them, but I finally saw them for the little kids they are. And that’s when it got weird.” He struggled for words. “I was relieved, and sad for them, but happy for myself.”
“Like you were warmed by the fire of a burning bridge,” I said.
He nodded his head and said, “I’m sad, but I burned the right bridge and I feel the warmth of a new day.”
Today I’ll remember burning the right bridge can produce an angry heat, but also light and warmth.