For years the drive back to see my mom in my hometown always filled me with trepidation. It’s only 45 minutes north. It might as well be 4 hours. I would feel a knot in my stomach long before I ever got in the car much less down the road. It wasn’t her….It was him. I was always uneasy, never knowing what kind of mood my father might be in and what snippy comment he might have in stored for me. He had an uncanny knack for sniffing out a persons weakest spot and zeroing in on it. He would nip at it over and over like a little yappie dog. The only way to get away from the noise was to leave. I had an internal alarm clock set to two hours – that was about my max. Then on the road and back home where I knew I could finally breath again.
In the last year the drive was made more complicated and uneasy by having to drive right past the road that led to my ex’s. Many a time I would find myself on the feeder road having exited without realizing it. It was just second nature. I never traveled past it without thinking about the home, the kids and even the dog that lay just down the road. It just became part of the ordeal in going to my parents house.
Today, the tides changed. I was singing along to classic rock… Freddie Mercury and Queen…bad Company, Jefferson Airplane….I was ROCK’IN! And suddenly, I found myself across the river bridge and approaching downtown Conroe. I giggled to myself because honestly, I was a little taken aback. I had made it from my house to Conroe and NOT thought about ….ANYTHING. WOW!…and then I realized the knot in my stomach that had been there every time I crossed that river bridge for years wasn’t there either. In Fact…I was looking forward to getting out to the house and seeing my mother and the progress she has made on cleaning out the house since my fathers passing 30 days ago.
I picked her up and we went to town for some light shopping and lunch. She shared with me that the lady she walked with every morning asked her how she was “really” feeling. She told me she just didn’t feel anything. She wondered out loud if that made her a bad person. I assured her it did not. Because I feel the same.
I don’t feel sad. Some things I used to feel sad about. Like taking the wrong exit when my life no longer lies down the end of a particular road. But I don’t feel sad anymore. About that or my dad. Both were just unfortunate circumstances with unfortunate endings.
My heart is healing and I could actually feel that today. It felt just like “coming home” should feel.
I love each and every one of you
Copyright 2011 Juliana Wathen