Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Journey To The Starting Gate - A Revelation

August 19? 2008, right? Wow, it has been a year, a whole year since it first struck me that I no longer had any body to look out for to care for - to be a mother to.

My baby kid moved out in June of 2007, got his own apartment and went on his merry way, all grown up and moving out into the world to become his own man. It didn't sink in right away as he made frequent trips back to pick up more of his things. Throughout June and most of July his ritual was to come by one or two evenings after work and he'd always come on the weekend. By the end of the second week in August he had moved all of his things.

He didn't come by that weekend, he needed to unpack and organize the apartment. He didn't come by the following week either. That was okay though. He was busy and I was busy, sorting rearranging and filling-in the gaps where his belongings used to be.

Somewhere around the third week of August on a bright sunny humid Wednesday morning I brought a load of towels from the laundry room to my bedroom. As I passed his bedroom, it struck me like a ton of bricks - unh . . .

my baby is gone. He's not coming back.

Flaming hot tears streamed down my face quicker than water through a busted pipe. I stood there in the middle of my bedroom, alone, gasping for the kind of breath you need to stop yourself from being overtaken by grief. As I choked back tears and gasped harder and harder for air one simple thought jabbed sharply in my head, "My baby is gone. I don't have any body to take care of now. I don't have any one to look after. What am I going to do now?"

"What in the world do I do now?"

3 comments:

Lin said...

somehow we as women define ourselves as caretakers. taking care of hubby and children but we also need to take care of our selves and develop our interests. now is the time to do that and you are...writing and publishing...

mom/caryn said...

I've often said that the most important words to a woman aren't, "I love you" but. "I need you". We have it so ingrained in our psyche to be nurturers and to be needed.

I think it's great that you took this giant step. And it's even better that you share your experiences and the lessons you've learned on your path with us.

Kay said...

Oh Leona, I'm so sorry. I remember when we became empty nesters, too. It's such a painful challenge to get through on Life's road. My son left for Mali with the Peace Corps and then he was off to the ends of the world. I couldn't bear to think of him being gone. However, as time has passed I've been looking forward to hearing about the challenges he's overcome and the life he's made for himself. I can see that you've gone on to enjoy so many other things also. You're such a giving, caring person. I know your children love you and will always be coming "home" to see you.