This happened earlier tonight:
“The time has come to change Mama’s shower curtain. Tried to find something Daddy would like. As I was looking, I started telling the señoras working there what I was doing and, like true Latinas, they do that “aaay” thing, hug me and tell me their stories of throwing things out/saving things that their parents left behind and we were all almost crying. It did feel nice to be completely understood tonight.”
It’s a kinship borne of sadness, bittersweet memories, of feeling like there’s a hole in you – some days, it feels all-consuming, others it’s more of a dull ache. And then when you finally are able to laugh, feel happier, able to move forward from your loss, you still miss them. Once you lose a parent, you 100% understand what a person is going through when their mother or father passes. No words are necessary. And, yes, you really do feel that “aaay” in your heart when you know that someone has lost their parent!
It’s so hard for us to throw any of Mama’s things out sometimes. I had to text the Torres5 to gently let them know that we would be changing the shower curtain, I feel like, if I don’t tell them or “ask” their permission to make changes, that Mama won’t be right with it either. And knowing my mother, she would be all for my changing the shower curtain. Her shower curtain had circles of green, blue, and lavender so I chose more “guy” colors – black and gray with his own circles. Dad really liked it. Even though I feel like “aaay”, it really is time and Dad has really been working on beautifying our bathroom lately so he’s excited to change-up the look of the place.
Dad is so funny. Right away, he starts working on one of his “home-improvement” projects and typical me, “OMG Dad, que haces?”. Turns out he’s making me a little shelf for me to put my “jabon” on, a soap dish, that no one else can use. Big smiles that remind me how blessed I am to be able to enjoy the simplest things in my life with my father, that it’s sometimes OK to move forward and keep living life.
We all do change in different ways, at different levels, on different timelines. Sometimes, those “aaay” moments are a good way to track your progress (or not), the “aaays” certainly keep you honest and, if you’re lucky, you are able to feel your feelings instead of backing them up, holding them all in. What a relief to be able to feel sadness, joy, anger, uncertainty, pain, loss, blessings…isn’t it funny how a simple shower curtain or a soap dish can change your outlook on life?
To be able to share your “aaay” moments with people who understand is even better. Thank God for those women in Walmart who “got it” and helped me see that, sometimes, change is a positive thing for me, for Dad, for my siblings, and for Mama.
Mike Torres, my father, working on my soap dish for my “jabon”… aaay!