The most prevalent flavor of life is bittersweet. ~Anonymous~

I finished writing the memoir about my parents on Sunday.  I can hardly believe it.  I am stunned.  I am at the place I have longed for, after working on this project for over eleven years.  Shouldn’t I be jumping up and down and shouting hooray?  But I’m not.

As long as I was writing about their lives, I was recreating them as living creatures once again.  Then all last week I was rewriting every moment of their fading away, including their deaths and scattering their ashes.  Now I am numb.

Where do I turn next?  When I finish a large project that I have been pouring so much of my conscious and unconscious energy into, how do I turn it off?  Is it good enough?  What else can be tweaked?  My husband advises me:  at some point you have to let it go.  You have to decide that it is done.

The irony is I have wanted to be done for such a long time.  I have abandoned this work two or three times, but it has nibbled at me, then yelled at me, then discouraged me.  I have rolled my chair around the office, sorted paper clips, cruised eBay and Facebook, even balanced the checkbook, rather than work on the book.

Now I am finally done, and I can’t let it go.  My brain is clicking, waking me up in the middle of the night.  What do I work on next,  now  that I can do all those things I’ve been longing to do, everything that I’ve been putting off until the book is done?

I know I feel this urgency because I’m at the fast end of the hour glass.  There is so much less sand now and it moves so much quicker.  I don’t want to waste a minute, even though I remember all those moments I have wasted when I thought I had so much.

One thought on “Bittersweet

  1. Beautiful, Mary. Not only are you finishing a big project, but you are also trying to “put away” your parents–something you will never be able to do, as you know. The trick is in finding the balance between remembering them and accepting their absence, something that, on most days, is a bit beyond our human natures.

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