Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The gift of letting go.

I went out on my porch this evening, it's been a long few weeks and I decided to sit out in the dark air. I've felt a great deal of ambivalence lately. Almost as if I have been waiting for something to happen, movement of sorts. I feel like life has been in a holding pattern, that some things needed to be sorted out.

I turned on the light, and sitting on the stone was a package. It was my birthday a few weeks ago, a time of end of summer celebration, and life has been quiet since then. But, now, in my solitude, was a gift within the brown box, bringing a sense of my own private celebration.

I recognized the envelope. My father's love before he passed away. A woman I admired deeply and have reconnected with after twenty two years. I knew the handwriting, I stared at it over and over. The same handwriting I had seen so many years ago. Notes I had seen her write, loving my father, me so intensely. Handwriting that was slightly flawed, like us. I ran my fingers, tracing the past. And, at that point I knew this gift was much much larger than a 6 x9 container.

My father believed, in some culmination of religious and/or philosophical beliefs, that he was going to be a hawk when he died. I have heard more versions of why, how and when he wanted to be a hawk post-life than I am able to count, including my own biased version. More important was this belief when he was alive. He was adamant about his passage. He wore a gold hawk around his neck. It symbolized his very passion for life and where his place was after. I have pictures. I have vivid memories of this very embodiment of him.

And when I opened the envelope, I knew what was in there. My hand instinctively reached in and fumbled for it. A card came, but I didn't need to open it at all. I knew that wrapped neatly inside white tissue was the sign I've been waiting for. The gift I had been hoping for the better portion of my life.

So, there I sat. Totally unprepared for what came next. I cried. Sitting on my farm with my unwrapped past in my hand. I bawled. Tears pouring down, as they do right now. Total and utter watershed. I missed my life as a child, my father, his loved one, my family. The time before I lost him. The time before we all lost him.

That's just it. We had all lost him. And here, I had suddenly found a piece of him in my hand. And that piece was given to me. She was letting go. And in that, she has given back a piece of me. A piece of my father. The very piece I had been waiting for. Her relationship with her past moves on. My life moves on. I have been giving the most amazing gift. She let go and knew that I needed this piece, this remembrance of passion and love and time where life was strong and good. And I knew it would come. I've waited. And around my neck was the missing piece to my past.

I cannot tell you the love that I feel in my heart right now. Overwhelming and beautiful. Sad and truly awe-inspiring at the same time. I swear, the wind kicked up as I sat there. I cried, but I smiled at the same time. I knew that this day would come. And I thank you so much for giving me the gift of letting go.


Justin Randolph said...

So beautiful...words cannot express...these are those amazing moments in life....

Princess Powerless said...

What a beautiful gift.

And I'm sure your father is soaring above, looking down on his lovely sobriety girl, right now.

Happy Belated Birthday.


Janeiro said...

I have goosebumps...what a beautiful account of this special moment. Your father must have been amazing.

Sobermojo said...

I lost my father at the age of 3, started drinking at 13 and here I am 36 and sober for 24 days. Your post is very moving. Isn't it wonderful what sobriety can bring? It sounds like you have a little more freedom from pain than you did the day before you wrote that. Thank you for sharing.


Sobermojo said...

I lost my father when I was 3 and spent two decades of my adult life dealing with that loss mainly with drinking. It is a very moving experience to be sober and have some closure on the issues that we drank for in the 1st place. Very well written post I will keep on reading and thanks.

Anonymous said...

sober mojo...I wonder how many stories I will read as I embark on this scary journey...but yours is mine...I turn 36 tomorrow and I hope that will be the last day I allow myself to douse my problems with beer.

Tim said...

I cried today, for the first time in ages, over losing my own father in 1995. Amazing what kind of feelings that stumbling across a 4 month old blog can stir up.

I'm in the beginning stages of my own sobriety. And whether you're in NYC or a small town in West Texas like me, we can all benefit from people like you. Thanks for sharing an incredible moment. Tim