There are many chapters in the Book of O.G., but for me, this one is the final and most important. Every person in the world has, or eventually will, suffer a heart-tearing loss.
Yesterday it was my turn.
Yet, despite the loss of my hilariously goofy, completing loving, sometimes bossy and demanding, but almost always right, Mamma, I feel tremendous peace and joy.
A few weeks ago, Mamma and I were sitting in the kitchen visiting. I was sideways about something going on in my life, and Mamma said: “I know your feeling some hurt right now, but do yourself a favor and let it go.”
I grumbled a bit more and said to her: “You really do amaze me Mamma. I know you’ve went through many terrible times in your life, but somehow you never let the bitterness get to you.”
She laughed and replied: “I learned a long time ago, when you take out the trash, don’t go digging through the dumpster.”
We didn’t talk any more about what she said. I got busy with my morning routine and she snuggled up in her chair next to the fireplace and dozed.
This morning, her simple statement from a few weeks ago, hit me like a freight train at full throttle. I realized my Mamma had just given me the single most important piece of advice I will ever receive… and I almost missed it.
I spent some time in reflection and quickly realized there is a lot of trash in my life that I needed to take to the dumpster.
I am going to start my clean-up plan by scouring every shred of bitterness out of my life. I know that will take some serious elbow grease, but I can do it.
Then I plan to take a bucket of bleach and scrub my sharp and spiteful tongue. It always seemed like a pithy platitude when Mamma would tell me: “It’s just as easy to say something kind, as it is to say something hateful.”
It isn’t pithy anymore.
Once those two chores are done, I am going to find me a shovel and dig up all of my resentments, seal them in a tight drum, and toss them in the biggest dumpster I can find.
I know those three chores are going to take a herculean effort on my part, but I have no doubt I can achieve my goals.
And here is why…while my heart will ache every remaining day for my Mamma, I now realize I just spent 55 years as the student of a woman who was a well of wisdom, and a true fountain of love.
It’s time I put that excellent education of mine to good use.