Today is Sunday. I cannot believe it has been an entire week since Mother’s Day, the day I left my house in Phoenix. It was perhaps one of the most difficult things I have ever done! In fact, it was gut wrenching. This caught me off guard quite frankly. We had relocated many times throughout our life together, but there was something different about this move. Although my husband and I had planned to eventually sell the place, I didn’t fathom I would be selling it myself – without him, because of him. Like in other moves, I cried to leave friends and family members. Unlike other moves, I would be leaving alone. My children and grandchildren were helpful and supportive beyond measure, but they would not be going on this journey with me. No nuclear family with crying children, Mom’s taxi service or scraped knees to contend with. No husband to pick up after. This journey would be solely mine. It would be a time to discover my personal path to happiness.
I took one last look at the house; it was show ready. Although my husband had a desk job, he was a great handyman, and right now I was thankful for all the hard work he had put into upgrading and making changes to the place. I sorrowed to leave the essence of “him” which permeated everywhere throughout the house and suburban lot. I found a moment and sobbed in the back yard. My grandson had given me a beautiful yellow rose (tipped in red) for Mother’s Day. Yellow roses were a symbol of “us”, the kind my husband gave me for every special occasion. I gently pulled the petals off that yellow Mother’s Day rose and sprinkled them symbolically over the area where I had last seen my husband. I breathed in the air where he had taken his last breath. The ritual was healing. It brought closure and finality to the previous chapter and bestowed courage for the next.
I gained some unexpected insight even before I stepped out the door. A moment of understanding swept through me as I comprehended why it had been so difficult to pry my parents out of their home of fifty years. It wasn’t about leaving acquired belongings or family or friends. It was about fear of leaving the past and entering into the unknown of the future. I had felt this way once before when, as a college sophomore, I flew West all alone to conquer my world. I had cried on the plane realizing things would never be the same again, and now on Mother’s Day 38 years later I was crying for the same reason. I wasn’t emotionally attached to that house. I was attached to the memories made there – and I grieved the future memories that would never be made. I shuddered to know that I was, in fact, entering a new stage of life, and I feared the road ahead.
© 2015 to Present Patricia J. Angus