Before I’ve opened the door, but even still as my hand is turning the knob, I am holding all of this emotion–containing it. Remaining intact. Sure, I’d let out a couple of tears, but I sat on the lid of my feelings as they tried to overflow out of me. I vehemently became dead weight on the lid. I could feel all of its force still, despite the fact that I was walking away from it. My back was facing it, but I felt the heaviness of its energy–it’s behind me, I tell myself. Don’t look back.
It’s not that I felt the threat of becoming a pillar of salt. It’s not that I wanted to pretend it didn’t exist. It’s that I wanted to be strong and hold myself together. I didn’t want it to get the better of me.
But as soon as my foot stepped inside, as soon as the door was safely closed behind me, I embraced these feelings. Inside, there was a little voice in the room that sang sweetly (and with poignant timing) the theme song that is ever-applicable to every aspect of our lives, always playing, reminding us of what we continue to forget: detach, detach, detach. Courageously singing in the face of our egos: Let it Go; Let it Go!
And then Lolly saw me. Rosy-cheek goodness, skin taut over the fullest of facial features, delicate and inviting in her pink princess nightgown dragging her little white blanket with flowers, careful, precious and sweet….
“Why are you crying, Mommy?” her best Cindy Lou Who impression, though without realizing her tendency.
“I let my baby go,” I say, dropping to my knees to hold her. Every part of my being began to cave in on itself.
Little girls in the other room are still singing happily.
“It’s okay, Mommy,” she coos. “You’re going to be happy.”
I release her from my grip to see her face. She looks my face over and says, “You’re going to wake up.”
It does feel like a bad dream. This whole thing feels like a bad dream. Will I wake up? Will this all end? Is this all just a result of too many sad movies? Or unsolved mysteries? Is this going to be something I recover from by only opening my eyes?
“I’m going to wake up?” I beg.
She smiles and nods, brushing the hair out of my face, “Yes, you’re going to wake up.”
She smiles so convincingly. She’s two, but she’s not two. I remember Bubba when he is two. I hug her more tightly this time.
“And Bubba’s going to wake up.”
How does she know?
“Bubba’s going to wake up?” I release again.
“Yes,” she smiles reassuringly, falling into me.
She pulls away and says, “You’re going to be happy; right, Mommy? You’re going to be happy now?” She pulls off my glasses that are sprinkled in my tears. “You’re going to be happy now; right, Mommy?”
I smile through my tears: “Yes, baby. I’m going to be happy.”
She smiles, awkwardly placing my glasses back onto my face, nodding in reassurance, “You’re going to be happy. You’re going to wake up.”