Hey, Mom. Two years ago, almost to the hour as I scribble these words in my notebook, you quietly took your last breath.

Dad was busy trying to fix a pump.

I was dressing and packing for a business trip.

Your sitter and the nurse’s aide were settling you back into your bed after administering a soothing bath and rubbing you down with lotion, the lotion I designed and made for you.

Every sitter and aide asked if I would give them some of that lotion. I crafted a special formula for thin skin. I made it because your skin was thin, and you bruised easily. How extraordinarily contrary to your emotional dermis.

I need some of that special thin-skin lotion for my heart these days. I never imagined the pivots, turmoil, and heartache that would unfold after we packed away your hospital bed, redistributed your personal effects, and carried on with fixing well pumps and taking care of business.

You were my first big lesson in letting go of what I thought I needed to cling to at all costs. Your leaving helped me understand that I held my own obstacles in place. Your physical absence helps me know that what I clutch with fear is never mine to begin with. It is just a door handle. Releasing my grip, the old door that held fear at my feet swings open to possibilities I couldn’t see before.

Happy leaving anniversary, Mom. And thanks for teaching me to release and slam that door of promise open. Thanks for always being with me.

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2024.