Monday, May 14, 2012
Yesterday we let go of pink balloons in a field at Atlantic Station that once held the blooming mill of Atlantic Steel Corporation where my father toiled to provide for our family. The balloons were a symbol of our victory over breast cancer, and as in every year that I participate in this ritual, I wonder if my father is watching my balloon drifting slowly toward him in heaven. Today in another blog I was advised that as a form of therapy on this day of remembering and missing my mother I should write a message on a balloon and send it skyward to her. Both balloon releases are supposed to be therapeutical, but I am beginning to believe that they are the good intent of uninformed people. Releasing pink balloons may show to people who see it the extent that breast cancer affects women when they see thousands of pink balloons floating in the sky, but it does little to heal me. All the baggage from my cancer didn't float off with that balloon. It still resides in my soul. Even my laughter now is more jaded. I see things that I don't reveal. Likewise is the idea of writing a message to my mom on a balloon and releasing it. The loneliness I feel without her presence won't float off with that balloon. It will never bring her presence back into my life and it won't make me okay living without it. Sending that balloon off is just a noble sounding platitude. It makes the speaker seem wise when they really have no idea what they are talking about.