Saying Yes

| by Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon |

My sister called me last week to tell me she said yes.
I exploded on the sidewalk with joy and my little dog shot back and forth, wagging at the excited debris.
I knew she would. I knew she’d already made up her mind. But the peace is gorgeous to feel.
Not peace as in relief. Peace as in just happy.

I said yes too, seven years ago. It’s funny now that there was ever a question for either of us – in the way you’re allowed to laugh a little at your previous self for trying so hard to be unhappy.
I can hear what you’re thinking now. Gross. She’s about to say they shouldn’t have questioned these special people would walk into their lives and make everything wonderful.
That’s not what I mean. And that is gross, though they are special people.
What I mean is this: I’m happy I stopped saying no. And I’m happy my sister did too.

I think a lot of us know it what it feels like to let no control. That shade of safety. That certain knowledge things can’t work out for you. That bearable weight of a history that’s not yours but you can live with and not repeat. You set your will, you jaw, your bones, whatever needs setting. You say, I will not. I will live with no because I’m strong enough to do that.
You call it strength.

When he asked, he didn’t ask me to marry him.
He asked, “Would you want to get married?”
I could see he had no idea what I’d say.
Knowing that, I knew like a punch to the face what it cost him to ask.
I’m not going to say everything changed in that moment. But in that moment things started to change.
I said yes. Or yeah. Or maybe. Or something like that.
We didn’t get engaged then, in that really awkward good moment. But there were possibilities visible that hadn’t been there before.

I did say a more definitive yes some months later. Or, actually, I think he might have said yes to me. I don’t remember who spoke first and it doesn’t matter.
What matters is I let go of no. Pushed, really.
This yes is mine. Fuck it up or make it beautiful, it’s mine.
It’s ours.
Now it’s my sister’s and my new brother’s too.
That makes me really happy.

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