I just took my old artificial tree down to the curb for the trash truck to carry it away. You remember the one you bought for me at Wacamaw? Oh, we used to love that store... we'd walk all over that place just looking at the most insignificant things. Plates, cups, candles, whatever caught our eye. We never bought much, but that didn't matter. Anyway, the tree... you bought it for me the Christmas I was pregnant with David. And I used it until a couple years ago when it started to unravel in places and little pieces of the branches kept falling off. So I finally pulled it down this year when putting all my other stuff away in the attic and hauled it down to the street. Hate to let go of it, but it's not like you're hiding in that box waiting on the right time to pop out and walk back into my life.
That's where I am now. Realizing I can't hold on to things just because you are connected to them. That's hard, though. Getting rid of items that came from you or that you purchased feels, in a way, like I am giving away bits and pieces of you. But that's not true, and logically I know that. I have to remind myself of the logical side of many things these days. Emotionally, I feel a certain way, but I have to force myself to think things through with logic, hard facts. And that's a difficult place to be, one in which I recognize my emotional pull or feeling but also embrace the logical side. I am trying.
There's so much going on right now that I would love to talk to you about. So much. I find myself talking to myself in my head a lot these days. I have to mull things over, to think about what you would say and how those words would make me feel. I have to think about that. I miss it so much, there are no words to describe it. In a way, the issues I am dealing with are ironically forcing me to accept you're not here. But the thing about being forced is that it's not your idea or desire. Cause that's the truth; I don't really want to accept that you're gone. I am still waiting on you to pop out of that fake Christmas tree box or a dark corner somewhere or out from behind the shelf where all your old Willow Trees are displayed in my home as say, "I'm back!" Tell me it was all just a cruel joke. That you were never really gone. I just keep waiting.
Emotionally, it all makes sense. I am holding on to you, your things, your voice in my mind, your laughter, to the very way you made me feel safe and secure and loved all at once without even trying. I am holding on for dear life, hoping and wanting to pick up the phone one day and it be you, to walk inside the home where you used to live and find you lying on the couch with that blanket over your legs and a glass of water on the table beside you. But logic is slapping me in the face these days. Reality, ugly and unbending, is simply what it is. And I am aware that it's this time in my life you prepared me for, the time in which you knew I would have to stand tall and move on, a time in which I would walk without the safety net of you. All those times you said to me, "You already know what you need to do..." echo in my mind. And now I understand. I know what to do because you taught me what to do.
So funny... I can remember when David and Madalyn first started walking and playing outside and riding their bikes. I was so scared they would fall, afraid of them getting hurt. Telling them don't do this and don't do that. When they're little, we're so afraid they will make a bad choice and hurt themselves. And now I am seeing that what we're really afraid of as mothers is not that they will make a bad choice and be hurt but that they won't know how to make the right decision. But that's one thing you taught me, how to make the right one, how to listen to the small voice inside of me directing me. And I am so thankful for that. So very thankful.
I have said it before, and I will say it again... I had more in 35 years from my mother than what most people have in an entire lifetime.
Love you always...