I’ve had an unopened, unwritten “Happy Birthday to a wonderful daughter” card sat in my kitchen for over a year now. It was one of the things I found when clearing out my dads house after he passed away, and I found an overwhelming urge to keep it.
Why didn’t he send the card? – I knew that one, because we’d fallen out – again. What would he have written? Would it have been a nice message or a nasty one? I asked myself too many questions about this single card over the months that followed. I haven’t touched that card, it had been sat on the windowsill next to our wine rack. I’d often glance at it as I grabbed a drink but hadn’t picked it up in such a long time until today.
Today as I pottered around the kitchen, I couldn’t tell you why, but today I walked over and picked the card up. A pretty floral card with pinks and purples, I laughed to myself as unwrapped the cellophane and read the verse on the inside. “Wishing my wonderful daughter a very happy birthday” – he must have liked me when he picked out that card, it must have been a good day I thought. I could feel a burning sensation in my eyes as they tear’d up. I glanced over at Charlie playing in his bouncer and said to myself – I will make sure you never are made to feel like I was by my father, never in a million years.
I took the scissors out of the drawer and placed them on the counter. I ripped the card in two, and again, and again. I picked the scissors up and began to cut what was left into smaller pieces as silent tears streamed down my cheeks. Why the bloody hell had I kept a shitty card which he didn’t even write, yet alone give to me for so long? What was the point? Once I’d finished I scooped the little pieces into my hands and launched them into the bin. I walked over picked Charlie up, gave him the biggest cuddles and kiss and we sat and watched tv under our big mustard blanket.
It’s funny how I didn’t realise what hold such a small item had over me until I got rid of it. That’s part of letting go, may it be big or small. It’s been 15 months since my father died. I’ve gone through a mixture of emotions over those months. What I can now say is that I no longer feel guilt. I don’t feel sadness nor anger. I am at peace with what’s happened, it’s taken a long time but I’ve learnt how to deal with the different emotions which pop up now and again. Something as small as a card was still holding that bit of negative emotion, and now it’s gone I feel like it’s one less emotional baggage that I was carrying. I’ve finally let it all go.