The newly inked sunrise on my arm stings a bit. I got it on a whim a couple of days ago as a tribute to my mom not fully knowing all that it would come to mean. She always said “the sun will come out tomorrow.” She must have told me that at least once a week for 28 years. It was one of her favorite things to tell me when I was feeling down.
As I sit by her grave, with the sun beaming low in the evening sky, I realize that saying is more than a cliche. Instead, it has proven, in fact, to be true in my life. That tomorrow she so often spoke of has come.
That tomorrow she so often spoke of has come.
The barren ground is cold beneath me, while the sun warmly kisses my cheek. I’m sitting here as I often do ever since my counselor told me finding a place where I feel close to my mom would be good for the healing process. I come and sit here and I talk as if I am talking to my mom. I talk out loud. And sometimes I can hear her respond. I know what she would say, I know the look she’d have on her face, and I know the feeling I would have in my heart. Sometimes there are tears. Other times laughter.
Today something different happened. A thought, or I guess you could say an insight, came to me: the sun has risen in my life.
It seems like a contradiction to say that four months after my mom died, I am at my best mental health that I’ve ever been. But it is true. I feel that the depression that had weighed heavily on me for 12 years has finally been lifted. There has been a shift in my thinking and feeling and way of doing life. I am free from the cycle of self-doubt and self-loathing. I am confident in the person that I am and eager to live life as the person I was created to be. I think that my mom’s death — the sorrow it brought, the pain it brought, the downpour it brought — made something inside of me bloom.
I think that my mom‘s death — the sorrow it brought, the pain it brought, the downpour it brought — made something inside of me bloom.
God says that those who sow in tears will reap in shouts of joy. I have sowed many years in tears, bookended by my mom’s death. And I believe when she died, I had two choices: I could let it destroy me, break me, and be the thing that takes me out. Or the adversity could somehow prune me. Well, I’ve been pruned, the rain has cleared, and the sun has risen within me. In turn, I can now see it beaming from others and the world around me.
And my mom would not want me to waste the sunshine. She would want me to live in this sunshine, and bask, dance, laugh, dream, love and be loved in this sunshine. She would want me to travel in this sunshine, get married in this sunshine, have kids in this sunshine, have first days and last days in this sunshine, and good days and even bad days in the sunshine. She would want me to fully live in the sunshine. She would not want me to waste it.
The sun has risen. My mom always said it. I didn’t believe her. It was just another one of her cliché sayings. But now, in her death I see that sunlight she spoke of.
Ma, I’m going to live it up in the sun.
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