So, October is fast approaching and with it will inevitably come the 29th. That day will be the 93rd anniversary of my mother, Jewel’s, birth. On the 30th, I will probably feel somewhat better. You see, my mother died on October 1, 2004…she was 82. I think she got screwed over; her mother and her mother’s mother lived to be 93. I know that sounds weird, but Jewel would agree with me. We always counted on her living till 93. The fates didn’t allow it and I have been angry for 10 years. I am vowing right here and now to let it go on October 29th. You might argue that Jewel would not have wanted the anger and sadness to be in me for 10 years…and that would prove you didn’t know Jewel. She would be kind of happy I have been tormented and pissed on her behalf. Okay Jewel…I carried the anger for you, but I enveloped it in a cloud of love. I am letting it go this next month. It will take its leave and what remains will be pure love, wrapped warmly for years in our genetic code that yields seething temperament, but pure love.
The truth is that most Americans don’t live to the age of 93. Jewel would love that I carried the torch for her, but would have been the first to point out that thousands of her peers never made it out of the war theatres in the Pacific and Europe alive. Never making it out of their twenties, let alone living to comb grey hair. “The Greatest Generation” had a bunch of self-indulged people we call the Baby Boomers. I don’t think we are dealing with our parents’ deaths too well. I am not a 52 year-old orphan, I am a middle-aged woman whose parents are dead.
I have been going through a life-changing event the last several months. I was accused of being a different person since Jewel died. The accuser meant that I had changed to my detriment, I would have to agree. Just as births change the patterns of our lives, death leaves its carbon print all over our psyche. I have toughed it out…I have made it, probably in error, without the help of drugs or counseling. I cannot believe I am typing these words, but I choose to be happy. I vow to work on it with the same due diligence I gave to the resentment these past years. If you see me you might not see it on my face, as I have a frown wrinkle between my eyes, of which Jewel once remarked, “That big crease makes you look bitchier to people.”
So this is it Jewel. I’m letting it go. I am releasing myself of the anger. It is exiting the weathered door with its collaborator, grief. I would have loved to have had you in my life for another decade, for sure. But you had me at the age of 40 and that ensured that your exit would leave me with years of my life without you. It’s okay. You did a good job and I thank you. Can I tell you though that I am mildly irritated that my target year is now 82? Well, hell.
Well, hell…I now have a giant lump in my throat!
Warms my heart to know how much you loved your mother.
You write so well. My mother died when she was 61 and her parents were still alive and lived to be 93 and 95. When my 61st birthday approached, I really felt how young she was when she left us!!!