Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Inevitable

I didn't want to do it, but I knew it was inevitable. It had to be done, would be done, eventually.

So I slowly ascended the stairs, in the dead-quiet, and as I knew it would happen, the emotions got the best of me, and I let them. I entered the bedroom, the room now devoid of their breathing, of their laughter, of their souls, of all the things that belonged to them and made them happy, those things that are them. I stood there, in the middle of the room, crying. Letting it go. Letting them go.

The closet...nothing remains of them. There are no clothes. No shoes. Nothing that smells of them. Nothing. Just the packing tape lying in the corner of the top shelf, reminding me of their leaving, yelling at me that there is nothing left. Stop looking for something!

And then I turn around. And on the wall are three posters. Posters that are them. Posters that were left behind. Japan, San Francisco, Chamonix-Martigny. Were they left behind on purpose? I don't know. I don't care. Right now, they make me happy. They remind me that no matter where my loved ones venture, something will always be left behind.

Memories. Grand memories. Memories of laughter, of sharing meals, of sharing thoughts and feelings, of the ever-present sarcastic remark made in pure fun.

I will remember this last year, once I finish mourning their leaving. I will remember the shared menu planning and dinner making. I will remember all of the times we sat at the kitchen table eating a gourmet meal made by them and talking until there was no more talking. And the many soups. Ah, the soups! I will remember the shared fire in the fireplace. I will remember their faces, the smiles, the comic looks, how his smile couldn't be any bigger. How beautiful she looks in the mornings. How she is never without something kind to say, something sweet.

Hopefully these memories will fill the void that is left by their leaving.

But I know what's going to happen. I know that when I make that first pot of soup my emotions will get the best of me. I know that when I go to chop something on the cutting board, it won't be there. I know that when I wake up tomorrow morning and they are not here to say "Good Morning," the tears will come. When 4:45pm rolls around on Monday, I will be waiting for her to come home from her job and then jump into the pool. And I know I will wait all week long for Friday to come around so that he'll drive in from working all week. I know full well that neither of them will be here. But I will still wait by the door, waiting for it to open, as long as it takes for that door to open again.

It's inevitable.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Letting Them Go

I'm not sure if it is harder to see one's child go off to Preschool or off to Life.

As next weekend approaches, and the time for my son to leave us for his life with his wife, my heart perches on the edge of tears constantly. I can't help it. It just comes, and at odd moments when you really are not expecting it. I am hoping that when Saturday arrives, I will have it together. I am hoping that there will be only smiles and good wishes and exhilaration at the thought of all the new and exciting things they will explore together.

But a child starts and grows inside of you. You care for it when it isn't even an "it" yet. You give it a name. And then it comes out from you and into the world, and it becomes a little girl or a little boy with your eyes or your hair or your smile or your temperament. The years pass and he grows into himself; still keeping some of what you are inside of him, but branching out into his own self. You know it is coming, the day when the proverbial umbilical must be cut, and he must live on his own as an adult, making his own family, keeping their own traditions.

You know you have a storehouse of memories to keep you. To fill the void that is made upon his last wave goodbye as he leaves your driveway. You know he is excited to make his own journey, his own stamp on the world. You are excited for him.

But the can you stop them from coming as your child is going?