winter repression


A woman attempts to overcome her fear for her only child’s wedding.

The spring wind passed through Tracy’s hair as she swayed back and forth in her rocking chair, overlooking the sunset. The temperateness of spring reminded her of one her dearest of old friends.

A smile, bigger than her countryside yard, placed itself on her face. Then an urge stronger than wind cast through applauding her to get up and dance. Tracy jumped from her rocker onto the soft soil below. The ground was smooth and cool between her toes.  Sprawling her arms like angel wings, she pirouetted.

“I feel you,” Tracy said. “You’re coming back to me. I’m so excited for your arrival.” On her last twirl, Tracy caught a glimpse of her husband standing in the doorway of their screened porch. S

he rushed over to him elated and reinvigorated. “Dear, it’s almost here. The wind whispers once again that my days will be filled by its warmth and glow,” Tracy said, clinging to her husband with excitement.

“Of course, my love. Every year it brings on the same happiness only it can fill.” He kissed his wife on the forehead softly. “I have to finish this call.”

“Certainly, but you must come and celebrate this last spring breeze before my dearest friend comes by.”

“It will be my pleasure. Make sure you write a warm welcome”

“I will get started on it right away.” Tracy smiled then frolicked inside.

She wrote:

Dear, dearest friend, Summer. I am looking forward to your visit. It’s always pleasant to feel your warmth. At forty-one you know these bones can’t hold like they used to but you always seem to lift me and carry me over the coldest of times.

Melting them in your blessing. You’re my ray of light and I am eternally grateful. Remember when you spoke to me last, especially when Eliza left home and stayed in the city. You comforted me.

Wrapped me in your warmth while whispering soft hello’s in my ear. You said, ‘Everything will be okay.’ You were right.

Thank you, for everything. For thawing away the block of ice retained around my heart. For setting me free and giving me the opportunity to live out my days in peace.

Tracy’s writing hand shook with joy when the last words spilled onto the page. Exhilaration coursed through her veins as she proofread then held the letter over her heart. She turned to a knock on the door. “Dave.” She said frazzled.

“I see you finished the letter,” her husband said.

“Yes, and this one may be the last. I feel stronger. Alive. I’m ready to let go. It’s been nice but I believe, I owe someone a proper relationship.” Tracy placed a soft hand on her husband’s heart.

“I’ve been waiting three years for those words,” he said followed by a soft smile. He then handed her the phone. “It’s for you,” he said then left the room.

Tracy placed the phone to her ear. The person on the other end voice reminded her so much of herself; sweet and calm. She smiled, welcoming the person as if they could see her expression vividly.

“Hey mom.”

“Hello E honey. How are you?”

“I’m fine and you?”

“I’m overjoyed. It is almost time.”

“Yes, I know,” her daughter voice went quiet.

“Is something the matter, dear?”

“Um… you remember Frank, right mom?”

“Yes, the tall handsome man who swept my only daughter. Taking her away from her only mother to stay in a city as cold as his heart,” Tracy joked.

“Mom, you promise.”

“Of course, dear. I was but teasing. What about him? Did he have you call me on this fine spring day? He’s planning to get on my good my side.” Tracy let out a small chuckle.

“Mom, that’s not it.”

“Eliza, then tell me.”

There was a brief pause then a sudden interruption. In the background, Tracy heard the voice of a deep young man. It was faint but she could tell by the tone of his voice the gravity of their conversation.

“Is everything alright dear?”

“Um…mom… didn’t I tell you me and Frank are getting married?”

“You mentioned it, once or twice. What’s this about?”

“Mom,” Eliza’s voice trailed almost as if she wanted to cry. “You promised. You know it’s the first week of summer. I know it’s when you get your visit but—”

Tracy’s heart dropped to the pit of her stomach. A sudden wave made its way up past her throat and over the end of the receiver. She made it just in time over the sink to unleash the uneasiness of her daughter’s decision. The phone dropped to the floor and the sound of her daughter scream echoed through her ears.

Her husband rushed to his wife’s side. “Honey, what in the world happened here?”

Composing herself, Tracy managed to lift her head and pointed to the phone, frantically. Settled, she said, “No.”

“Calm down, dear.” Her husband assured. Holding the phone to his ear, “Hello? Eliza how are you, darling? Yes, unfortunately you said something that startled her. Oh, baby girl, you know how your mother is about the summer. It’s the only thing that’s keeping her sane. Sure thing, baby girl. I’ll call you later.”

Tracy still trembling over the sink awaited the results from her husband conversation with their daughter. “So, did you tell her that I will not leave the countryside.”

“Dear, it’s our only daughter. You know this time was coming. You promised. Remember what doctor Hagen said, ‘This step is necessary for a successful recovery.’”

Tracy’s throat dried the moment her husband words slithered in her ear. “I know. I’ll get started tonight, Dave.” Dave walked to his wife and kissed her gently on the forehead, leaving her numbed broken hearted. Tears trickled her cheeks, splatting on the preclean bowel where her heart plugged the drain.

On the calendar June eight was circled red and written inside was E’s wedding. Tracy traced the small ring with a finger. She knew the day would come, but kept pushing it back. Forgetting day by day, hoping her daughter would forget as well.

Later that night, while her husband laid fast asleep, Tracy started what she promised. Scuffling into the nightstand by her side, she found a letter. Wrinkled and torn of age.  It was addressed to her and signed with an unusual but familiar signature.

Her face flushed with tears, as she emulated the emotions she locked away long ago; along with the painful remembrance of the city’s constant harsh weather. After several episodes, she mustered the courage to finally write:

Dear White Diamond or Winter as I heard you like to be called.

It’s taking me three years to finally write you back. Three bitter, harsh winters of this pain to finally look at this letter that stay hidden from even the most formidable gaze. How I pondered this day over and over like a ticking clock. Hoping it would not rise. But here it is.

In two weeks my only daughter, my flesh and blood will be marrying in the most tremendous seasons of all. You know the one. Summer, which blanketed me with its warmth. Caressed me with its freshen breeze. Casting away all the pain that you, White Diamond, had brought upon me.

Before I ramble on with the hatred I have for you. I will end it here with a nice goodbye. No more will I be afraid to skate across frozen lakes. Or build snowmen with my grandchildren.

The pain, the blood, that I see flash in my head every season the harsh wind blew will finally fade and I will no longer suffer. You cannot hurt my family or me anymore.

Farewell Winter.

As the last word scribbled onto the page, Tracy felt her heart lifted. The burden of soldering past regrets crept onto her like a clutching monkey. Dave, who was awaking by the light, snuggled up against his wife letting her know of his support.

“You did well, my beloved.” He groaned.

“You think? It took a lot of me. Writing this dreadful letter.” She sighed a huge relief.

“Yes, but it was needed.  Now, bed. We have to get your prepared for the last step…” He yawned turning on his side.

Tracy kissed her husband lightly then slide under the silkiness of her bed sheets.

The day of Eliza’s wedding.

“Honey, you must get into the car. You promised.”

“I know dear, but she will come for me and possess me. Did you not read her hateful letter? She wants to murder me.”

“Honey, if you wrote as the doctor instructed she will not come.” His eyes were like the spirit of nature: dark greens and brown. It reminded her of the ending summer when fall swoops in to pick up its leftovers. “Are you sure, Dave? I don’t feel confident it worked.”

“I give you my word. She will not come.”  Her consoled, gesturing his wife to sit in the passenger’s seat.

Tracy looked at the seat then to her husband. The crinkled his forehead made when he was worried reminded her of the reason she moved states away from her daughter. “I can’t go back to that dreadful place. Our son died there and she was there and did nothing. She used my body. I was there… but I couldn’t then the… the… icy current sweep him under.”

“Honey. That wasn’t you and there was nothing you could do. If I would have caught the symptoms early only, I could’ve helped you. It was an unbearable accident for the both of us. I’m here now.  I promise, I won’t let her hurt anyone else.”

“You do too much for me.” Tracy slide in the passenger seat and buckled herself in.

The plane ride was torture but the drive was insufferable watching the season change from luscious greens to smothering whites. Every inch of her broke to tiny pieces. The strength she mustered in step one dissolved within the snow. Like the frozen landscape, her heart hardened.

Dave drove pulled around to the neighborhood where their daughter lived.

“Are you okay, honey?” Dave asked.

Tracy pulled down the visor. A golden face smiled back at her reminding her of the summer days. She scoffed. “When did I put this atrocious massacre on? Is this a prank, Dave?”

“Tracy, honey?”

“Tracy? You still talk of that woman. I thought I disposed of her years ago. Why must I keep fighting with such low filth?”

“You listen here.” Dave pulled the car into his daughter drive way. The car engines roared in the winter glaze. “Don’t lay a finger on anyone.”

She laughed just as their daughter came up to the car, smiling from ear to ear. “Dad? Mom?”

“Hello, Dearie.”

“Mom?” Eliza turned to her dad who was half way out the car. “Is this?”

“Diamond,” he said.

“Where’s mom?”

“She couldn’t take the change. I’m sorry, honey. She really did try.”

“I’m still your mother.”

“No,” Eliza said, “You’re the past she couldn’t bury.”