Passports and Plane Tickets

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We have our passports and our plane tickets. We have shuttle buses and and Airbnbs and we’re nearly ready for our boarding passes. In two weeks I will fly to Mexico, my first trip out of the country in 23 years. There are so many reasons I haven't traveled before and so many reasons I'm ready to now.

I drank, hitchhiked, ran out on bar tabs, and did reckless things with strange men all the way across Europe. When I got sober at 23 I didn’t think I could leave the USA without becoming that same girl again. It's taken a long period of healing to make me think otherwise. Watching one parent die and taking over the affairs of another has shown me there are lots of things I can do that I never thought I could. We are preparing to put our house on the market. I am studying energy work and collaborating with a fabulous artist to lead a retreat in Mexico: the stuff of dreams.

Meanwhile, new letters and forms and subscriptions to be canceled appear in the mail every day. Yesterday I canceled a dentist appointment Mary had coming up next week. The day before that I finished her life insurance claim and sent it off in the mail. My step brothers and husband and I have been trying to generate a comprehensive plan for moving the rest of their stuff out. Filing cabinets, work histories, boxes of photo albums and scrapbooks and old letters and sculptures and plants and walls and walls of art. It's not the furniture or the lamps or rugs or china sets that get me, it’s the intimate collections of family lore, the stuff we couldn't sell but I don't know if I can possibly keep. Dismantling a home you somehow thought would exist forever is unsettling.

Dad though, is settling into his new surroundings but he still doesn't fully understand why he can't get up and drive away or live completely on his own. This is one of the parts that hurts most. But my therapist told me I am responsible for keeping him safe, not for taking away his grief or protecting him from his pain. Taking that in is one of the hardest journeys of all.

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