We stood at the cemetery, just my baby sister and myself. It was odd being there again. My last visit had been at about 16 or 17 when my dad took me there to learn how to drive. His comment when I asked why? "They're all dead, you won't kill anyone." And we laughed. Actually, it was a good place to learn. Tight turns, backing up and turning around and narrow lanes. And, as I look back, I realize I have probably gotten some of my odd sense of humor from him.
After over 40 years, things looked very different. It took us a couple of tries to find the family plot. Eventually we did and both remarked that there used to be a tree. I will assume it had been taken down about a year ago. Grass was still filling in and there was an obvious void in the neatly lined rows of graves. We chuckled when I said it looked like they had room for a couple more now.
Now I'm not one for visiting family burial places. My belief is it is just their old vessels that are there, their spirits have moved on. If I choose, I can talk with them any time I like. The place doesn't matter. I went to support my sister. She wanted to check that they installed the marker for my mom correctly. Which, they had not. All we found was a little white flag on a metal stick. And, I thought to myself, a good wind will take that away and there will be no trace of her at all.
To some, that might be a horrible thought, but to me, it seemed fitting. How my baby sis and I turned out to be the family optimists is a miracle in itself. All I can say is we CHOSE to break the chain. We CHOSE to not hold grudges, we CHOSE to hug our kids and love them no matter what they chose to be or live like, we CHOSE to be happy. For that I am grateful, very grateful.
When my mom passed, neither my sis or myself grieved or really felt sadness. The ideal of a mom had died years and years before, there really was nothing to grieve. When my sis had called to tell me of her passing, I said we could take comfort in one thing. Our mom did her job as a parent, she taught us how NEVER to be.
And so, at my mom's grave, I exhaled. I let go of any remaining resentment of her failings. I let go of remaining resentments of choices she made. And I was happy for choices I've made on how to NEVER be. I just let it all go in one big exhale. I was thankful for the person I am and the beautiful woman my baby sis grew to be. I realized we inherit a lot from our families, but ultimately, we get to choose what we want to pass on. For myself, I pass on unconditional love and the CHOICE to always live a good and happy life.
Copyright © Howl at the Moon Gems & Susan Sullivan all rights reserved