What If Today…You Just Let It Go?

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”
~Steve Maraboli

I breathed in deeply with my eyes closed. Nothing. I don’t know when I started to cry, but the tears had made it to my cheeks by the time I realized that my dad’s clothes didn’t smell like him anymore. He’s only been gone for 48 days.

On the morning that he’d passed, my best friend Lisa and I went to his room and filled bags and boxes of his things from the closet, window sill, and bedside table. I don’t know what possessed me to go through my front hall closet yesterday morning. But it was time to address the clothes that I’d hastily hung there before I left the house for the meeting at the funeral home that day.

I used to be a collector of things. Anything. Not anymore. So many moves, packing boxes, loading moving trucks, and storing things that weren’t ever used has broken me of that habit. I get rid of things very easily. I have no emotional attachment to stuff anymore.

Or so I thought.

It’s hard to let go of physical memories of my dad. But I need to. It makes my memories of him more real, if that makes sense.

After the closet was done I felt lighter, somehow energized. I spent the next few hours rearranging my living room, office space, and dining room, making a space to work on my artwork. I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for years and am finally ready to get back to drawing and painting.

Funny how the simple act of letting go of my father’s unusable clothes (by us) was the trigger to create that special place for me. It was as if my heart needed permission to keep living and growing. I don’t know how the two are tied together really, but I know that they are. I felt it. One would not have happened without the other.

One last thing to do…

Every day I look at the beautiful blue box of his remains. I have to send it to my brother Michael who lives in Washington State soon. He’ll spread the ashes on the Spokane River because that’s what my dad wanted. I know how to mail a package. And I know that my dad isn’t really in that box. But sending him off is so hard.

But it’s time to let go.

All except the red flannel shirt of his that now hangs in my closet. 🙂

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10 thoughts on “What If Today…You Just Let It Go?

  1. Don’t know why ,but I just started thinking about dad and now I’m crying.Being out here, it’s still not real to me.Last time I saw him was when Kathy died.Things are hard for me right now.No work,no prospects,no real direction.Lost again at 50.I love you Bets and I miss you.Take care.

    • Mike, I love you so much. I miss you terribly. I wish you could have seen Dad’s face when he got off the phone with you…and Christopher.He wanted forgiveness for putting Kathy first- for “favoring” her. He said that he knew it was wrong. But he said he felt strongly that it was an important thing to do. He had his reasons.
      But he asked about “his boys” in the wee hours of the morning before he passed.He felt like he had failed you two. It was really hard for him to grasp that everyone makes mistakes.
      But what you’ve done with your family is phenomenal. You have sacrificed so much, and done it with a pure love.There’s no success that compares to that.
      You may feel like you could do more with your life. We all do. But you have a strong foundation of a loving family that so many people don’t have, and that makes every other “success” empty when it is lacking.
      Sorry to go on.
      You made me cry.
      Thanks, Mike!
      I will always be here for you. Whatever I have is yours.
      P.S. I haven’t disposed of al of the clothes (shirts) yet. I’ll find a few for you to enjoy. Okay?

  2. I still have some Bob’s white handkerchiefs…I keep a clean one in my purse for when I’m moved to tears for some reason…so it’s kinda like he’s drying my tears…the 21st is 1 yr. since my dad went to serve elsewhere…this is a tough week.

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