Chapter 14: Moving Forward

I didn’t think we would ever recover from X’s death. Of course, we will never fully get over it, but it felt like our grief would never end. It was like a roller coaster. We would be better, and then we wouldn’t, and that cycle seemed to go on and on and on.

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I called the Sad Hotline, and it would help a little. Finally, I realized that having X’s remains in the house with us was causing more sorrow. I remember once I was writing a book of poetry, and I was crying the entire time with his ashes sitting right in front of my face!

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I decided that in order for us to move forward, we needed to release Xavier so we could heal. That actually helped. Besides, it wasn’t like we needed a reminder that he was no longer with us. In a matter of time, we were able to get on with our lives. Unfortunately, Joy’s birthday fell in the midst of our deepest despair. So, not only was she grieving the loss of her father, but also she was grieving the fact that we forgot her birthday. Thank God she got over that quickly.

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She was a spitting image of me! Because of her love for the outdoors, she decided that she wanted to be a freelance botanist! That was great news for me because I had my doubts that Donnie would actually take care of X’s flowers. She was also very smart–like me! She loved pursuits of the mind.

Naturally, when someone dies, you start going through photo albums. I caught Joy spending hours just staring at pictures of her father and I from long ago. I thought she was doing it in remembrance of her father, but her reason surprised me.

“Mom…you were way skinnier than I was when you were younger.”

“Well, sure I was. I didn’t have any children or a husband, and I lived at home.”

“Hmmm.”

“What are you thinking about, baby?”

“Nothing.”

She said it was nothing, but I knew that nothing meant something.

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Before, she never thought twice about having leftover dessert for breakfast. But, out of the blue, she was very cautious about what she ate. Teenagers! I probably went through a body conscious phase myself, but I wish I could let her know that it didn’t matter what size she was. She wouldn’t hear me though, so I just let her go through whatever she had to go through. She even started jogging and going to the gym, bless her heart.

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“Mom! Guess who I met at the gym!”

“Who’s that?”

“The lady that watched daddy die.”

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“Oh my. I don’t really know how to respond to that.”

“It’s ok, mom. She’s really nice.”

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