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The Student Art & Literary Site of Community College of Allegheny County

The Phoenix

The Student Art & Literary Site of Community College of Allegheny County

The Phoenix

The Student Art & Literary Site of Community College of Allegheny County

The Phoenix

Growing Around the Hole

My mom always wanted a bumper sticker that said “My other car is a broom”. She never got it. She saw it once and always talked about wanting one to put on her car, whether that was the woodgrain Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Chrysler 300, or any of the numerous cars in-between. I don’t remember how many times I heard her bring it up, but it was enough that it sticks in even my burnt-out brain.

She enjoyed playing the role of the “villain”. One time when my sister and I were very young, she channeled Ursula from Little Mermaid at the park by our house. Countless other children joined in with us to run away from and also try to defeat my “evil” mom. Getting worn out, my mom went to sit off to the side and take a little break, but kids, we don’t need breaks like that. One of the other children went over to their mother and said “Mommy, make that mean old lady play with us!”

Looking back, I don’t know why I never got that fucking bumper sticker for my mom. I just looked on google, and they sell for less than two dollars. I couldn’t even fork out two bucks for the person who brought me into this world.


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See, the thing is, time is just hard to grasp. You think you have a handle on it, but you never really do. Life happens; it gets in the way, vision gets cloudy, and you forget or just can’t see what’s important. And then you move away, and life keeps happening. You make some mistakes, and just don’t like talking on the phone so you don’t call to check in as often as you should. You always say you’ll call more, but you don’t. Because phones work both ways, she could also be calling you.

But then you get a call. And it’s not good.

And sure, you were a good son. You gave your mom plenty to be proud about, gave her so much love, beautiful cards, gifts, jewelry. You even got her pot when she needed a couple “pokes”. But it’s the lack of calls. It’s the fucking bumper sticker you never bought. It’s never the stuff ya did, it’s the things ya didn’t do that eat at your soul, and make you think that you are a bad person.



I recently heard an ol proverb that really stuck with me. A man asked his mother how she dealt with all the loss she has endured, asked if the hole ever gets smaller. She said it does not, but that the key is to grow bigger around the hole. Take all those good things the person gave you and implement those parts of them into you that you want to make immortal. Not only do you give them more time here on earth, but you grow bigger and better as a person. So, while that hole will never shrink, proportionally to you, it will get a little smaller and easier to manage.


So, do the thing. Take the walk. Make the call. Be the best parts of those you’ve lost.


Buy the fucking bumper sticker.

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