Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

AJ Wood
10 min readFeb 1, 2024

Warning: This is Not your typical mushy Hallmark card

Photo by Freddy Mishiki on Unsplash

My mother died on the fourth of July last year, and I honestly don’t know why it’s taken so long to publish this article about it. Over the months I’ve sat down to the computer every few days, fully intending to write the whole thing, but I just end up plunking out a line or two. Then I add a word here and edit a sentence there. I rewrote the whole intro. Twice.

Before I knew it, I was putting up my Christmas tree and decided it was tacky to publish an article like this during the holidays. After all, a huge part of celebrating the season is family get-togethers. You know, like they show on those turkey commercials.

Though I have absolutely no experience of that happy family routine, and my therapist tells me it’s largely fictional anyway, I still miss it and long for it.

For me, the holidays were always the time when my hyper-vigilance kicked into high gear. Lesson learned the hard way: as certainly as night follows day, somebody is going to get hurt.

Whenever I remember that my mother is really, finally dead I start to giggle and dance around. I hum a chorus of Ding Dong the Witch is Dead. You know, that song with Dorothy and the munchkins in the Wizard of Oz movie.

Maybe I’ve procrastinated writing because I don’t feel like crying over the loss of a mother I never really had. Maybe I’m enjoying the peace that has come, knowing I don’t have worry about getting broad-sided by one of her stupid games, ever again. Maybe I know the war is really over, I’m tired, and just want to rest.

Though I haven’t written anything since I got the news, I have been busy. I’ve spent every spare moment working on the cross-stitch project I plan to hang in my living room. Just so you know, counted cross-stitching is not a hobby that provides instant gratification. A “quickie” project is one of those Christmas ornaments about the size of a jar lid. They take anywhere from a week to a month to finish, depending on the time you have to spend on it.

This one is an 18-page, full-coverage piece. Meaning, I’ll be working on it for a minimum of two years. In July, I started the third page. I’ll be ready to move on to the fourth sometime this winter.

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AJ Wood

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