Finding What You Thought You’ve Lost
For several months, my friend and his daughter had been telling me that they were going crabbing in my back yard. When I first heard this, I laughed and did what I would have done when I was a kid. I bought the wolf ticket.
Now, in case you were deprived of an inner-city cultural experience; a wolf ticket is what one sells when they are bragging about something. “You keep selling them wolf tickets,” my mother used to say.
I dared them to try to find one crab in the tidal creek that feeds right into the Ogeechee River, right in my back yard. I had seen lots of fish, all kinds of birds, thousands of little fiddler crabs, but he had been planning on catching dinner, so I told them to go right ahead and try.
A few days ago, I had to take back my own doubt when they dropped a basket and pulled it out 15 minutes later with 15 blue crabs. We all squealed with delight at the sight of the haul.
As we sat on the dock and later inside the gazebo that I had designed and then watched being constructed, I wondered when I stopped spending time there. True, I still take the occasional walk out to bird watch or to just think, but at one time, the gazebo had been my favorite room in the house.
It’s screened in and even in the hottest weather yields cool breezes and bug-less contemplation.
We all have spaces, objects and memories that were once cherished but are now almost forgotten. Sometimes, others have to come along to appreciate what we have forgotten to love and care for.
As I sat on that dock, my mind went to the most beautiful and painful memory of my life; I recalled the fact that this was where my children had sat to release my mother’s ashes and suddenly I knew why I had stopped coming. I had somehow equated the loss of my mother with the place where her ashes had been scattered.
I wept openly and loudly and I knew that I was seeing things all wrong. This place that I had abandoned was a place of joy, a place of remembrance and connections.
My mother had told me stories of how she’d gone crabbing when she was a girl and I knew that she would have loved that experience and then it hit me; she was loving it.
Love never leaves.
My mother’s life and legacy lives on with me and my children and with everyone whose life she ever touched.
We all have places of loss and pain. Go to them; inside and out; and when you do, allow the pain to evolve into the joy of knowing that everything that was, IS.
Be you, be well, be revealed
Bertice Berry, PhD.
|Cameron, who looks too much like my daughter---|
a story for another time