This I Believe

Marybeth - Concord, New Hampshire
Entered on November 16, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family

My name is Marybeth and I believe in letting go. When my mom took ill last fall and consequently died this past January no one was more surprised or devastated than me. She was the paragon of not only my, but also my children’s’, existence. She survived the divorce of my father, who had cheated on her, in the 1960’s, when divorce was still a dirty word. With four children in tow she let go of a man who didn’t want her anymore. In fact, she let go also of a church that told her she was no longer a part of them because of the divorce and a sister who told her she could only stay part of the family as long as she never mentioned that she was divorced as that would be harmful to the children. Her children. She never asked about my mom’s children, meaning my brothers and me. That was the 1960’s. As time went by she must have had to let go of so many dreams just to take care of our family but you never heard her complain or gripe that she had been dealt a bad hand. Never heard that we were somehow a burden even though my father rarely paid child support or showed any interest in helping to raise us. Looking back the only thing I can now imagine is that she somehow knew how to let go. Now, it is the new millennium and it has been my turn to learn how to let go. Her dying and death from cancer taught me that I don’t own anything, let alone another person or that elusive concept called time. And more importantly I don’t need to. I just need to experience every moment that I am in. I can honestly say if I care, if this world means anything to me, if my children mean anything to me, then the best thing that I can do, the most peaceful and kind thing that I can do, is to love them with everything my heart can give, and let them go. I did not always feel this way. I have for most of my life been like so many other tortured human souls living in fear, believing that ownership might somehow keep the abyss of death at bay. Ownership of ideas, thoughts, beliefs, people, things, places. My mother’s death changed all that. Death is not the abyss. Not living while you are here is. She lived, she moved on. She let go. And she let me let go. This I believe.