Keep On Keepin On

angel-night

I want so badly to be alone, for my roommates to leave the house. The sound of the television is unbearable, being inside the house is unbearable. Nothing appeals to me right now. Maybe if I could sit outside on a beach or by a river listening to someone strum a guitar or beat on some drums, or birds sing, or crickets chirp, maybe then I would feel somewhat content, as content as someone can feel, knowing that the one who gave birth to them is no longer in this world.

Tonight I sat outside on the back porch in what I considered a haven until Mom died, with the tall bamboo obscuring the neighbor’s yard, and while I still appreciate this space, and am grateful to have it, it’s a far cry from the woods of Appalachia where my mother spent her last 10 years. I did what I’ve been doing every night since I got home and lit some incense, one for love and one for peace, and a citronella candle for the mosquitoes, and just sat there listening to the sound of the crickets chirping. In the distance sirens wailed and then I heard what sounded like the pop of a gunshot and I just thought, What am I doing here?

It feels like the apocalypse, like the beginning of the end, and it started with Mom’s last words:  “Something’s not right,” and then collapsing in the doorway of her home and into my stepfather’s arms. Really it started before that, with 9/11, tsunamis, Afghanistan, Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, school shootings, gun violence, and now the possibility of Trump being elected President. I’ve never been that political of a person, but I’m channeling my mother because she believed that if you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem. I keep thinking of how I should’ve bought a plot of land to grow some vegetables and keep some goats and chickens, and I should’ve learned how to survive on my own in my own solar-powered tiny house with a water catchment system. Now it’s too late, because I can’t afford to buy that now, so instead I’ll be scrounging for what I can get in a post-apocalyptic world, squatting in some abandoned house eating crickets because that’s all that will be left, and I won’t know how to hunt deer or grow anything or milk cows, because I stupidly gave away my book on survivalism to an ex-boyfriend who doesn’t know how to change a flat tire.

That is a bleak ending, so I’ll end with some hope. It will all be worth it, because even though I’ll have lost so much, I’ll have loved, and that will make it all worth it. And I’ll be closer to God through it all. And one day I will be one with God. Because no matter what, you persevere. In the words of my mother, you just keep on keepin’ on.

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