Hope Solo, star goalkeeper for the US women’s soccer team, has a half brother she was estranged from.
David had avoided her for the 17 years since he was a teenager, bitter and angry that their father had abandoned him, but stayed for a while with Hope and her mother.
But then he saw interviews she gave in the lead-up to the 2011 soccer world cup and was touched by similarities between them. He broke his long silence and sent her a text congratulating her and wishing her luck in the championship game, ending by saying, “I will be a better brother.””
Although he wasn’t really expecting a response, she texted him back quickly, saying, “And I will be a better sister. I love you.”
It would have been easy for her to hold on to bitterness about all the years he had cut himself off from her, but she didn’t.
It would have been equally easy for him to stay mired in resentment about his childhood or, overwhelmed by regret about their estrangement, let it continue.
Instead, he found the courage to reach out, and she responded to his overture. They were both willing to forgive and make a fresh start, not letting the past limit the possibility of future closeness.
The new beginning between Hope and her brother David is an inspiring example of what can happen in difficult or broken relationships. With willingness, clarity, and support many people can follow their path and heal ruptured connections .
Some information for this post from Press Democrat “Hope Solo: ‘I will be a better sister’”–Bob Padecky July 20, 2011
Lorraine Segal and Conflict Remedy, are based in Santa Rosa, California. Lorraine provides communication coaching, training, and mediation by telephone and face to face. She also teaches in the conflict resolution program at Sonoma State University.
Contact Lorraine to schedule a free initial telephone session. You can reach her at (707) 236-8079, firstname.lastname@example.org or through this blog.
© Lorraine Segal www.ConflictRemedy.com