Loss always carries with it gifts packaged and parceled out in unexpected places. Some of the greatest gifts I have received have come through the backdoor. They weren’t delivered with the spongy sweetness of cake or the sparkling enticement of frosting, but rather crept in when I least expected them, disguised by the darkness of night.
Loss is a natural catalyst, like lighter fluid applied to charcoal briquettes before the flame is ignited. Loss has away of being the accelerator to the kindling about to catch fire. And so now I find that my mother has left behind some of those precious accelerator gifts that weren’t readily available when she was here.
It’s only now that I am free to catch fire, for previously the tussled sea threatened to capsize my attempts at steadying our wobbly craft, dousing my flame with every breaking wave. It’s only now that I can ride the waves of color, become a torch upon the bow, free to stand without fear that the pirates have taken over the ship.
It’s the ebb and flow of releasing the struggle to button down the hatches. It’s finding a package of freedom ready to be opened, so I can release every do-good-adulting, because suddenly painting in my nightgown is liberating. When before it meant a two year old was left in charge.
Now I open every fuchsia and lime green present, rent to the rafters with see through connection, no separation or confusion about who’s the mom, and who’s the child. I reclaim those forgot years and now I get to paint whenever I want in my nightgown. Apparently you can paint your way into freedom if your mom was an artist that gifted you untold colorful backdoor gifts. Thanks mom for all of your color.