It Was Only Stuff

My Mom’s suicide still haunts me.
It seems to hit me harder since the Flood.

That flood carried away every single memory we had together…. pictures of her, things she had given to the girls and I… But what hurts the deepest are the letters I had saved. I had been saving this huge stack of letters from her in a pretty fairy file my Step-Dad had given to me. And I had put off reading them until I felt “ready”. And that dreadful night before the evacuation when we knew we were going to have to leave, but were too in shock to process it, or think clearly….all that time I had before the morning came and the city officials showed up to tell us it was time…. I remember vividly staring into a duffle bag saying over and over, ” I don’t know what to bring. What should we bring?”

And i sit here now and the list is so clear- my moms letters that I am finally ready to read, my daughters baby books, and for the Love of God grab the damn pictures! And it makes me think of all the humans who said words like, “it was only stuff” and how much i want to shake the sense into them- it was stuff, but it was all I had left of her, and that makes it matter more than the word “stuff” can ever imply.

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