By Mary Cucarola – 5/1/21
“If it feels right, go for it. If it feels wrong, let it go. Don’t miss out on a life full of passion and purpose because you are waiting for your mind to catch up with your heart.” ~Aashi Gupta
It is sunny and warm outside today – the first day of May. I went outside this morning, with my golden retriever tagging along behind me, to pick the numerous bright yellow dandelions sprouting up in my front yard. As I bent down to pick them, a memory of my son popped up – him blowing dandelions for wishes.
He would always blow as hard as he could to blow off all of the seeds with one breath. He never did anything halfway, even as a child, and he thought the dandelion magic was at its best then. I agreed it was the only way to do it. I would tell him dandelions spread their seeds quickly from the wind and from kids blowing as hard as they could, and that’s why we had so many dandelions to choose from. Most of the time he couldn’t stand still long enough to pay attention.
Mother’s Day is coming up next week, and my connection to my son intensifies when I think about our good times together. I want to feel his presence, and I do. I want him to know things finally feel like they are going right, and he does.
I think the passage of time has helped – it’s been 7½ years since he passed away from an overdose. I am in a good place this Mother’s Day, unlike the first few years without him. I’ve done a lot of work around my trauma and grief and rebuilt my life around the loss. It seems to be showing up as things “feeling right”.
When I see someone wearing a Cody’s Fresh Start wristband or t-shirt, it feels right.
When I witness a light bulb moment from a family member during our group family session, it feels right.
When I receive a kind email from a newly sober scholarship recipient, it feels right.
When I make gnocchi with my granddaughter, it feels right.
When I am in my office at home working or writing, it feels right.
When I let the truth set me free (his tattoo), it feels right.
When I can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning, it feels right.
I have a sense of purpose I have never experienced before. I heard someone say that the Universe lets your heart expand as a function of all the pain and heartache that you go through, and you have to go through it to come out to a better place. I think it was from a movie I watched a long time ago, and the line stuck with me. I feel myself expanding; quite literally with Covid pounds (I’m working on it), but my heart feels full.
If dandelion wishes had more power, I would wish Cody right back to me.
I miss playing golf with him on Mother’s Day. I miss his sly smile. As it is, I am left with thousands of memories over 26 years of life with him and gratitude for each one of them. He has made my life better – before, during, and after his presence in it. I am proud to be his mother. I have accepted what happened to him. Acceptance has turned me into the person I want to be and has empowered my circumstances for the better.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers who know the struggle. I am with you and offer you hope.
Mary Cucarola – 5/1/21