It’s Hard Letting Go

I want to write something that flows, something that rhymes, a new song to sing myself through this week. I found out last Friday that my favorite aunt is in kidney failure and is not expected to live long. This woman played a huge part in my childhood, and even though she’s been in a nursing home for several years, suffering from Alzheimer’s as my mother did, she was doing well. The medications helped her dementia, and she, more often than not, greeted us still with a smile. They’ve stopped those meds. I’m going to visit her today with no idea whether she’ll recognize me anymore. I’m not ready.

Lately, it feels as though pieces of my childhood are dropping away too quickly. Connections that I didn’t fully appreciate are disintegrating, and I’m feeling lost. I don’t recognize myself these days, standing here as an adult. I haven’t much to show for the years I’ve put into this life. And I’m not confident I have the skills needed to survive this new world. I simply don’t know who I am.

So I wish I had a new song to hum today, a prayer to chant, a rhyme to recite—something to anchor me to that part of myself that is soothed by rhythm and rhyme and verse. That’s where magic lives for me, in the lilt and the lyrics. I could use some magic today.

But I have no poems in my head this morning, no verses, not the smallest snippet of the silliest song. I just feel tired and sad and resigned. More deaths are coming. More endings. More pruning of the family tree. I rake up the fallen memories and bag them, leaving them curbside to be collected and composted, hauled away like trash. Look at my clean and empty yard! This is my life now. Me and a bare tree.

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