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Making It To The Recovery
I sit daintily on my bed listening to the rain. I maneuver the nail polish brush over my nails, spilling a little here and there, making them black. The rain is melodic but the thunder sounds like my heart when I first got the news, screaming in agony and pain.
“Mary, time to go,” Robin taps on my door.
I sigh and slide my depressing black dress over my head and put on my too tall for me heels. I glance out the window and Robin is already in her car waiting for me. For the last time I stare at myself in the mirror and a few drops of goopy liquid come from my eyes. Tears. It’s the first time I cry since I’ve heard the news and I’m definitely sure it won’t be the last either. Somehow I know I can get through this thing people call “Life”. I just don’t know how well I can do it.
I don’t want to stall anymore so I run out the door nearly killing myself with my heels. When I get in the car Robin isn’t playing any music. But then again, this might not be a music time. I trace the random swirls on my dress. They start to make me dizzy after five minutes so I reach into my purse and pull out my Tylenol and get out an extra one.
“Now’s not the time to be doped up. I need you,” Robin takes it away from me.
We reach the church in little time but we have to park far away. Robin runs out of the car and into the church doors. I stagger back. The wind is ferocious and grabs my dress pulling it every which way. I tell the wind to just take my soul already. In response it just pulls at me more and pushes me toward the church.
Many people are already inside talking in hushed tones. When I come in people stop and look at me. I start to shiver; my hair is dripping water down my back. One of my best friends stays back and tries to speak to me through eye contact. I just shake my head no.
There are two closed caskets in the front of the room. Now I understand what my Aunt and Uncle were talking about last night. They look to awful and gruesome to have it be an open casket ceremony. I shudder as I imagine the crash for the thousandth time.
“Ms. Johnson?” some guy says from behind me.
I turn around and squint at him.
“I’m so sorry for our loss.”
“You hated them and you hate me,” I say with my eyes as cold as stone.
I watch our neighbor, Mr. Selton walk away.
More people come up to greet me but I just shrug them off. I fix the pictures and flowers until the ceremony starts. Robin, Aunt Sophia, and Uncle Carl sit in the very front row by themselves. I sit in the back, knowing I will throw up eventually.
I have only been to one ceremony in my fifteen years. That was for my grandma Albany. We were very close and I was only seven years old so I didn’t understand where she went. My parents never taught me the way of the life cycle by buying me a hamster or a goldfish. Mom tried to explain to me that Albany was happy now and didn’t want us to be sad for her. But I was sad and I cried through the whole funeral with loud heartfelt sobs. People gave my mom dirty looks but she couldn’t bear to leave her own mother’s ceremony so she just held me tighter.
“Why did Grandma throw this party if she didn’t want anybody to be sad?” I had asked at the hotel after the ceremony.
“Grandma didn’t choose to have the party. People threw it more for themselves than for her because they wanted to say their goodbyes one last time. All that these ceremonies are are acts of remembrances for loved ones. Don’t think of them as the “F” word or anything else relating to death. It’s just the beginning. She’s happy now and she’d like it if we gave it a shot too,” Mom explained to me.
That was the only time and the last that I saw my own mother cry.
Now I sit in my own pew wondering how she ever moved on. I already know something’s not right. I wonder what I will think of tomorrow’s yesterday. Will I tell myself that I should have put more flowers out? Or that I should have placed the pictures differently? That I should have given the other mourners more response when they asked how I was? I keep telling myself that it’s not too late to do any of those things. But, I want them back and for that I am too late to save them.
“Mary? You read your words after Robin, so why don’t you sit up here by us for now?” Aunt Sophia tells me and pulls me along after her.
“First of all, I would like to thank all of you for coming. I’m sure it would mean a lot for them. One day after school I came home singing and I’m sure many of you know that that is what I love to do. My mom told me to promise her to sing at her ceremony. I just didn’t think it would be this soon. I’ve written a song dedicated to my parents for today and I will follow through with my promise,” Robin states and beautiful words come out of her.
The song is perfect and now I have no idea what I’m going to say or do. Of course I planned stuff but it just wasn’t right.
“My name is Mary Blu Johnson. With all of the paper I wasted trying to come up with the perfect remembrance speech I probably killed a whole tree,” I try to smile.
The people laugh; even though it has a hollow sound to it I go on.
“The point is, is that my parents aren’t meant for any words in the dictionary. I feel honored to be named after my mother and to be the daughter of Josh. For those of you who knew them maybe you could understand just slightly the pain that I feel now,” I start laughing hysterically, “I don’t feel good. My heart hurts and last night I couldn’t breathe. I will never be able to recover from this. I will always hurt. For my own good I am sorry for the space I will give everyone now because I can never become close to anyone ever again,”
I take off my heels and run to the doors and out them.
They aren’t here now and they’ve left me a never-ending mess to attempt to clean up. I have to make my own choices now and that might be just a little hard with my heart torn to shreds. The world is and will be a dark place and I have to face that. My mom would be disappointed in me for doing this but it’s not like she can hear me or anything.
“Funeral,” I whisper.