Have A Great Day!

by Linda Hoagland

Have A Great Day! Spring came early this year. That was a real shame. I wasn’t ready to let the world in on my little secret, but spring came early this year.

“Ellen, what’s wrong with your grass in the backyard? Looks like it’s all dying off.”

I knew my neighbor would be the first one to notice.

“I don’t really know, Maggie. Maybe some gasoline or salt was spilled over that spot sometime during the winter. I don’t remember doing anything like that. But it could have happened you know.”

“Actually, it looks like it’s been dug up. Did you bury something back there?”

“No, what in the world would I have buried in my backyard?”

“Looks long enough to be a body. Is anyone in your family missing?”

“Sure, Maggie, remember that fellow I was dating last year? Well, I got tired of him. He got so upset when I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore that he keeled over dead. So, I buried him in the back yard.”

“Yeah, right. What really is buried back there?”

“Memories, that’s all it is. Memories. I thought it was time for me to let go of some things that were haunting me.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t want to get into that. Just accept the explanation of memories.”

“If you don’t want to tell me just say so.”

“Fine, I don’t want to tell you. You won’t accept anything I say. So, I’m not telling you anything else.”

Yes, my former male-type friend had died and it happened after I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore, but I seriously doubted that my words contributed in any way to his death.

He is buried in my backyard, at least, the photograph that I had of him is buried there. But, there were other things buried in that hole in my backyard.

I buried gifts from a married friend with whom I had been madly in love. I buried mementoes from a couple of bad marriages whose failures I had been blaming myself for years. I buried pictures of the person I had tried to become – that small, slim, petite female that was always just beyond my reach - choosing to be that plump, happy woman of the present.

In the dead of night during the early fall season when the ground had not yet frozen, I dug a hole big enough to bury all of those bad memories.

Then – I started over.

Maggie noticed the change in my outlook on life and remarked on it several different times since the burying. I couldn’t tell her why the spark appeared in my eyes overcoming my sad, depressed demeanor. I knew she wouldn’t understand how I could kill off all of my bad memories. Sometimes I don’t understand it myself, but it worked and the day looks a little brighter.

My new motto and greeting to the world in which I live is ‘Have a great day.’

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