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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

I've been lugging around this bucket full of anger for a while now. Occasionally I'll plop it down hard enough for it slosh out all over everything, but despite all the sloshing, it still remains pretty full. I thought if I distanced myself from the source of the anger that the bucket of anger would eventually evaporate. I think this theory is working, but the bucket is still pretty heavy and I'm getting really tired of lugging it around. It's a pointless emotion particularly when there's nothing I can do or say to make that person understand that their words are hurtful. It's complicated to write about and easier to just remove myself from direct line of sight. 

The other night Michael was putting me to bed and he was asking me questions. "Are you tired?" "Yes." "Are you sad?" I hesitated wondering if I should speak the truth and thinking that it was good that these were all yes or no type questions. I can walk and chew gum at the same time, but I have never been able to talk and cry at the same time. That physical act closes up my throat so that nothing larger than a squeak can escape. I worried about this after I volunteered to give Dad's eulogy. I can still hear the break of my voice as I neared the end, no longer able to contain the bubble of a sob that had been resting just under the surface. I finally replied "yes". Yes, I am sad. 

There's that scene in the original Cheaper By the Dozen where one of the younger boys is sitting on the front porch crying. The two oldest girls come home and they ask him what's wrong and he just wails "Oh Andy, our Daddy's dead!". It get's me every time and it's just playing in a loop in my head. "Oh Andy, our Daddy's dead." And I am sad. My Dad's never going to call me up in the middle of a day and say "hey! I'm in the lobby. Let's go get something to eat". I'm never going to hear him tell me about driving a fancy new Cadillac across Texas or where ever.  I'm never going to be cleaning out my car and come across a bag of roasted peanuts that he'd stashed in there for me to find later.  

My sadness is a valid emotion. It's OK to be sad, but it's not OK for me to carry around this bucket of anger. It serves no purpose. It's heavy and those times it sloshes out, it makes a mess. Also, it's starting to smell bad. I'm ready to just leave the bucket in that corner of my basement I never go into because the spiders have taken over and well...the basement's just gross. Then I remember that the basements on my list of things to take care of this year. Eventually I will have to go into that corner of the basement. But I will go in prepared. Rubber gloves and pants tucked into my shoes prepared. 

I'll clean it up then.