Last night I decided to tackle one of the tubs full of old papers I brought home from Dad’s after he passed away. There were a handful of pictures in the lot, not many. But the ones there were from a time (high school) when Dad would let 10 of my friends pile in the back of the old Ford Ranger (had a topper) and we would travel to football and basketball games near and far. There we were, the Carlisle crunch bunch all piled into the back of the truck, so happy, so young…(so skinny). I eagerly tore into the rest of the paperwork, not knowing what to expect but hoping for just as much happiness. What I found in the tub was paperwork from when I went to college (Xavier) and when my son went to college (Concord) and some random paperwork from the era of Ma. I found in it baptismal records for she and my aunt. My aunt, who Ma had a relationship with and who she never gave these precious papers to (and who they belonged to in their own right). Those will go in the mail today to their rightful owner, who will love and cherish them (as makes sense). My aunt expressed frustration when I told her of the find. We exchanged messages of “why was she like she was” and “we loved her anyway”. There were a few more finds in the box that unsettled the dust of hurt. There were a number of years that she and I did not speak. My daughter did not meet her until she was two. And, in thinking about it, I know that it came down (in part or close to in whole) to a struggle for control. We both wanted it, we both fought for it, we both lost out in the struggle. I cried a little and then I started throwing away things that need not be kept. Those things should not be here on this planet to conjure up the sad/angry past. Ma is gone. Seven years this day. She is gone and nothing can be gained by having these things other than sorrow. It took my moving ten hours away from her to be able to sustain a healthy and viable relationship (that still had tinges of control issues). I see echoes of her in myself, the good and the bad. And because I know how the bad characteristics make (made) me feel, I continue to work on those toward my own personal growth.
Sunflower misses you Ma, today and all days, no matter what.