Sometimes letting go is just as hard is dealing with the pain
|The weather was gloomy, which was much too perfect for the day. We made our way down the road, laughter and music filling the car. But the tension seemed thick. On my sister's lap sat the box, the reason we three younger siblings were squeezed in the backseat. Though, as we got closer, things seemed to feel a lot gloomier. After a momentary scare with rocks and a muffler, we made our way to the opening. Niki opened the floral box handing parts of it to me as she removed the black box from within. My heart began to race and the tears were getting harder and harder to hold back. Finally, Niki opened said box, and opened the clear bag within. Even Dad couldn't seem to fight the tears much more. My sister, the oldest of us all grabbed the first bit of the ashes letting them go into the wind. She shook with tears, handing the box to me. At this point, I couldn't control the sobs and I didn't want to take the box. I backed away, sobbing begging for someone else to do it. I was panicking. I was pretty sure I couldn't do this. Niki took my hands and reassured me that I could. So I took the box, and into the wind I released a bit more of the ashes. I then handed off the box to Lee, my younger brother, who released some of the ashes too. Then on to our baby brother, Ryan. Who did exactly as the rest of us had done. Finally, the box was handed to Dad, who at this point was just a step away from sobbing. This was painful for me to see, as he doesn't often show how he felt about her for a long time. After he released his bit of ashes, he handed the box back to us kids, and he turned his back, crying like I had never seen before. I grabbed a bit in my hand, making my way to be alone only for a moment. Within my hand was what was left of my mother. They continued to release her, but me I wanted to be alone for just a moment longer. I just wanted to hold onto her, to talk to her for real, since this would be the only way.
You see I had never really had anything good with her. She wasn't the easiest person in the world to handle, and being an adult now, I do understand I wasn't the easiest child in the world to deal with. My mom had her demons, and I don't mean like Linda Blair style. She was dealing with a life time of pain, hurt, anger to deal with and mental illness drove my mother to times of intolerable and my worst enemy. And she inflicted pain, and lots of it. She let the monster in the dark take hold of us, let that monster do things that should never be done to a child. And all the while I hated her for it, because that monster had done those same things to her as a child. But as I sat out in the gloomy weather, the rain droplets slowly falling all around us, I began to think about how much I wished she was in my life right now. I had always sought my mother's love and acceptance, but as most anyone who knew my mom knows, that wasn't something you came by easily. You could sacrifice every hope dream or desire you ever had, and it still never seemed to be enough. Yet, some part of me loves her so deeply and I guess still seeks the same things from her. I had endured her bruises, the stinging of her skin brutalizing mine. I had endured the name calling and the tearing down of my soul. I had hidden the truth about her monster of a father, well for most my life anyway. And I had been there when she was down, out, in the dark with no one else to hold onto but me. My mom has been gone for 4 years at this point, and I still couldn't let her go. There I sat, kneeling on the wet ground, holding god only knows what part of my mom it was, though I like to think it was maybe her heart, so that I could open my heart to hers, and I still didn't want to let her go. I silently asked her to forgive me for the final conversation I had with her, just three months before she died, when I finally freed myself from her abusive ways. I asked her to forgive me for not calling her sooner, because I had really wanted to. To this day, my own words still haunt me. I gave her my forgiveness for all the pain, hurt and anger she gave to me for my whole life. And I told her how much I loved her before letting her go, into the wind. Goodbye hurts, and it hurts like hell.
As we readied for this moment all day, I felt nothing but coldness. For four years I had gone through an emotional roller-coaster, never sure what emotion to feel. But lately, all I have wanted to do was close my heart off, to not feel anything. I was pretty sure I was getting pretty good at that. But lo and behold, my cold barrier was melted at letting her go. The only thing I do take solace in is no matter how hurtful the last conversation with my mom was, the very last thing I told her was, "Mom, I love you." And as she blew away from me in the wind, that cold April morning, the very last thing to her I said was, "Mom, I love you!"