Adele Elliott: Release

May 8, 2010 10:18:00 PM

Adele Elliott - adeleelliott@bellsouth.net

 

This is the time we think about mothers and their children. It will be a difficult day for my sister and brother and I. We lost our mother only a few months ago. I handle my grief with complete denial. 

 

My mother died in Oregon. So, in my mind, she is just in a distant state. (OK, a very distant state.) Her phone number is still in my speed dial. It gives me the sense that she is just the push of a button away. 

 

The loss of a parent makes the child, no matter what age, an adult. I feel that I have been dragged, kicking and screaming, into adulthood. 

 

I understand that her death is permanent. But, truthfully, she is still very much a part of my life. I hear her voice. I know exactly how she would respond in any situation. 

 

Mother left quite a legacy. My siblings and I know how to behave. We all have a bit of her refinement and sense of propriety. We appreciate her extremely high values, even if we sometimes don''t practice them. The list of the intangibles is lengthy. But, she left us a bit of money, as well. In my case, it was just enough to paint my house. 

 

Chris and I are transforming our once-grey craftsman-style home into a huge splash of purple, green and gold. Yes, our house is purple. 

 

The "Paint Police" have weighed in and do not approve. However, David Richardson, at The Paint Store, put it in perspective when he said, "Only those who pay the house note get a vote." Don''t you just love him? 

 

We were lucky to find Cliff Baswell to do the actual painting. He didn''t panic when I showed him the seven different paint colors. He just asked, "Are you an interior designer?" He did a wonderful job on a very complicated task. 

 

Painting, of course, is not a singular project. Our front porch had to be rebuilt, as well as closing a squirrel entrance high on one side of the house. We found Josh Avery. He dubbed our house "The Devil," but did extraordinary work. 

 

We will celebrate our "new" house with a Mother''s Day gathering and balloon release. I am painting the names of the guests'' mothers on pink mylar hearts and stars. We will say a prayer, or write a message tied to the ribbons. Then, we will let the balloons fly away to heaven. Afterward, we will drink champagne cocktails and eat cake. 

 

It is a simple sort of celebration. But, apt. Mary Elliott would surely approve. 

 

I know my mother is still with me. She was a sort of control freak on earth. I can''t imagine that she is much different in the next world. 

 

There are signs that she is pulling strings from above. I just got a job, after looking for years. The only stipulation to my employment is that I must get rid of the pink streaks in my hair. Mother hated the quirky color. Looks like she is getting her way. 

 

So, today, I am toning down my hair color and releasing glittering balloons into the sunlight. And, I hope, also, to let go of some sadness. 

 

I''m not going to pray for anything, just send a small "thank you" to my mother for my new-ish house, and tell her how grateful I am that she is still meddling in my life. 

 

Happy Mothers'' Day to mothers and children everywhere. Try to release your anger and resentment, even if you need a little help from a helium balloon.

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.