Going to be 32 degrees tonight.
Going to be 32 degrees tonight.
I dream that I am Cinderella and I am running and running and I have lost my glass slippers and I have lost my dresses. I have lost everything because the man I loved has taken it all away.
The next morning, I start walking back to the castle to reclaim my dresses, my glass slippers and my books.
I will tell him, “I want everything but the castle, the crown and you, my Prince.”
One day later…and there is a new Princess in my place. She is beautiful and she is young and she has my slippers, she has my books, she has my dresses, she has my castle, she has my crown and she has my Prince.
I tell her that she can keep it all except my slippers, my dresses and my books.
Wait! I am Cinderella and I will clean his dirty ashes no more.
Yes, I am Cinderella and I am beautiful and I will flee from this dark castle.
I don’t need the damn slippers. No, I don’t need anything that I left behind when I ran away.
Now I understand, I have everything that I need in my heart and he can keep the castle, the crown, the slippers, the dresses and my books.
I turn and I walk away. I am no longer naked. I have found my old dresses and my old shoes in a shack behind the castle.
I see my grown son walking toward me and I say, “I’m sorry. I can’t stay. I feel as if I won a million dollars last night.”
He says, “Then you have to go and do what you do and be wonderful, use your wonderful, Mom.”
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” I tell him as he hugs me.
“That’s okay, it doesn’t matter if you did. It’s fine, as long as you’re happy.”
I don’t want to leave him and as I walk away, I’m glad I told him I was as happy as if I had found a million dollars, because he understands money, but my freedom is worth so much more than a million dollars.
At last. Freedom. I have found my wings. I can fly.
I have my old dresses and I have my old shoes and I am still Cinderella.
The Prince can keep the castle and all the belongings.
I have my freedom and I can feel my glitter returning.
I cried in the castle because I was sad, but now I am happy and I am free.
My heart is torn to shreds, lying in pieces on the ground, but my soul, oh thank you God, my soul is healing.
The castle is behind me, the Prince and all of my belongings are in the hands of another woman, my shoes are old, but who needs new?
I sigh as I slip the last reminder off my finger, the gold wedding band that once upon a time, made me feel proud when it shone in the sun.
For just a moment…I hold it in my hand.
Then, I fling it over the water fall, watching it disappear.
Let the Prince buy her a new ring.
I run and I run and I am me, I am Cinderella.
She changed after he died and God knows, she was strange enough before his death, but then he died and she melted into nothing, shuffling down the hallways clothed in someone else’s skin and we all realized that we were losing her and there was nothing to be done because we could see that her soul had fled with him into the death tunnel, even as her lungs continued to breathe and her blood continued to pump, even as she slept, as she walked, as she drew breath; yes, this woman in our mother’s body was now a stranger and even though we had all suspected that she still loved him as much as she hated him, we really didn’t know and we couldn’t have imagined the depth or the width of her self-imposed restraint and we never saw the chains that she had wrapped around her feelings, no, not until we saw how the grief broke her, watched the sorrow loosen her clenched pain, saw the anguish strip away her self-control, screaming silently as her imprisoned mind flung itself free, breaking like a child as she mourned his passing, regretting what could have, should have and never would be because now, all hope was annihilated as they lowered his body into the ground and we cried for him not knowing we should also be crying for her because he was dead and she was alive and he was gone so it was over, nothing could ever be fixed, repaired, restored or renewed and death, his death, the death of her first love, our father’s death, had written the final chapter of their insane love story, a fatal romance that had self-imploded thirty-five years ago, but did not die until the day he passed, dead and done and so this, his death, this was the tragic end of a waltz that should have been sat out because the band had played the wrong song, composing a doomed allegiance from the very first chord and we should have known, but how could we have known that his death would drain the spirit from her, crush her so totally and now, now we have to decide…shock treatment or lobotomy?
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