TW: - brief mention of suicide-
I’m in my room, trying my best to be an independent adult by finishing some things around the house when a heavy sound starts to fall around the outside walls of my small-town home in the middle of Boston. Surprised by the sudden shift, I go over to the only window in my room and peek out of the curtains in curiosity.
It’s raining. And not just any type of rain, but a rare kind.
Rain can have such a negative connotation to people sometimes, just the word alone can make a person reconsider their plans of going out in the city to staying inside at home instead. However, the small, yet beautiful phenomenon that I’m witnessing outside my window before my eyes is nothing to be feared but marveled at. Appreciated.
The sky is completely blue, and not a cloud, not one, can be seen across the stretch of the heavens above. Yet a peaceful rain continues to cascade across the horizon, covering the earth and the autumn-stricken trees in a layer of water. They call it a sun shower.
Lately, I've been feeling a complex mix of emotions that I can’t seem to understand, yet this weather seems to sum it up perfectly. Just as it’s possible to have sunshine and rain at the same time, my life feels like a confusing mixture of bliss and despair. Of radiance and darkness. A bittersweet moment that has yet to pass. And as I stated before, moments like these are truly incredibly rare, yet it all brings me back to how I felt the last time that I witnessed this complex rarity of emotions.
Fourteen years ago.
I was around the tender age of eight, still naive and innocent to the world and all its horrors. Back when my mother was real and alive, and not just a feeling created by my brain to disguise the trauma of the loss or to fill in the void.
Georgia Mae Rose was her name. She was the only parent that I had growing up, and despite how good of a mother she was to me, she had her own mental struggles that took over her soul and happiness from time to time. A mental illness that left her bed ridden for days or even on the side of a highway once. A mental illness that robbed me of half of my childhood and the memories that were supposed to come with it. However, when she wasn’t being tortured by her own mind, she was a sweet woman. One that always smelled of lavender and was sure to carry extra dollar bills in her purse to give out to the homeless that she crossed paths with.
Before I found her dead in the bathtub from drowning herself after school one day, she used to take me, amid fall, to a small local pumpkin patch to collect different pumpkins and squashes for her homemade desserts. Baking helped her to control the obsessive and constant thoughts that came with her Bipolar.
On one of the specific days that she took me, a sun shower occurred out of nowhere while we were in the middle of the patch, just as it’s happening outside of my window right now. I recall grabbing the basket of our small collection and heading back towards the direction of the parking lot in which the safety of my mother's old jeep was awaiting us. However, I never heard the thumping of her footsteps behind me through the light rain and through the footsteps of others nearby, so I turned around, and when I did, I found her just standing there. Her head was turned towards the sky and her arms were open as her clothes absorbed the rain. I remember the fear of her having one of her episodes striking through me, and as scary as that was, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful she looked as the sunshine glistened the raindrops on her skin. She looked like an angel.
I vividly remember calling out to her. “Mom, let’s go, it’s raining.”
For a few brief moments she didn’t respond, and the fear that was already in my heart only grew until she finally turned around to me, her light blue eyes matching perfectly with the sky above.
“It’s just the rain, Sage. It won’t hurt us! Come here.” Looking back towards the others who were running back to their cars, I nervously walked up to her as she grabbed me by the hands and began spinning me around. The rain quickly soaked through everything that we had on, yet the loud and joyous bellows of her laughter echoing across the small field is something that I will never forget. Something that I would never trade in for dryness had we ran back to the car.
And the sound of her laughs was not only angelic to the ears but contagious as well, which had me laughing until the both of us couldn’t stop. I recall her picking me up too, and as I threw my arms around her, I could smell the moisture of the rain mixing with her lavender scent which radiated off her long, dark hair.
“Sage,’ she said as she whispered in my ear, ‘just like the sun is out while it’s raining, there's always a beauty, a light to even the darkest situations. Never forget that.”
Shortly after this core memory of mine, she committed suicide. I think she knew she was going to do it and wanted to give me something that would help me to push through when the grief was all too much to bear. In a way it did help, the memory I mean. The thought of the crazy looks that people gave us as we played and spun around in the rain, as if we were psychopaths, still brings a smile to my face to this day.
As I finish reminiscing and as the memory slowly begins to fade, I’m no longer standing in the middle of the field, but instead I'm back in my bedroom. I laugh to myself, tears pricking my eyes at the thought of her. I miss her so much, more than words could possibly begin to describe. And every time that I lose myself into that specific memory, an overwhelming feeling of sensory overload takes over my body because it all comes back to me at once. I can, in essence, feel her presence with me now.
Taking one last glance to the world outside my window, I conclude that the only right thing left to do would be to go out in the rain. It would bring it all to a full circle.
Without changing or even putting shoes on, I walk downstairs and out the door into the tears that fall from the heavens above, my feet absorbing the cold water on the ground below. I close my eyes as I allow the drops to consume me whole. They trickle down my body, covering every inch of my hair and my skin.
Stretching my arms outward, I emanate my mother. She was right, you know. Where there is bliss there will be despair, and where there is darkness there will be light, even if it seems hard to find at first. It’s just life.
Sage Madeline Rose, I love you…
I hear her voice illuminate through the air as if she was standing right behind me.
I love you too Mom...