I haven’t been here in awhile – the blog, that is. Life kind of took precedence. Right before Christmas I got sick and stayed that way for over a week, including Christmas Day. Then New Year’s Eve came with out-of-town family visiting and before I knew it, January 4th was upon us.
Friday, January 4th at approximately 7:00a.m. we got into two loaded-up vehicles and headed for Georgia where my husband and I would deposit our oldest son for at least five months worth of schooling. It would be a good and fast trip. Very little lallygagging. We spent Friday night in Meridian, Mississippi and were in Atlanta by about 1:30 Saturday afternoon. We attended a short orientation at our son’s new school, helped him move into his place, and said good-bye. My husband and I found a cool place for lunch in Decatur and after enjoying a fairly leisurely lunch, headed back to Meridian for the night. We left Meridian around 7:00 Sunday morning and were back home in Central Texas by about 7:30 Sunday Night. Four states in two days – we were pretty exhausted!
Then came Monday morning. My husband went to work and I came face to face with that empty nest I’ve been expecting for so long that I wasn’t sure it would ever actually arrive. You see, I have had children in my home for almost 38-years. My children. Four of them by birth and one by adoption. Our oldest boy, the one we just took to Georgia, is 24-years old. He’s lived with us his whole life except for his freshman year in college when he lived in the dorms. Even then, he was only ten minutes away and his little brother and sister were still at home. My oldest child is turning 38 tomorrow and the nest is finally empty.
I did okay Monday morning. I went about my usual routine and felt okay. Then, when my husband went back to work after lunch, I started busying myself almost without thinking about it. I kind of felt like I was trying to avoid something. Then the smallest of things happened and created a big thing. I opened the living room blinds to the backyard and almost immediately flashed on a memory of my boys playing back there. Wham! It was all over. I started bawling and the tears didn’t stop for probably a couple of hours. And when I say “bawling”, I don’t mean delicate little sobs. I mean gut-wrenching bawling. I’m not sure I’ve ever cried so hard in my life. It took me quite by surprise. I expected I would probably cry at some point, most likely at more than one point, but not this. The pain came from deep inside. I was afraid that my insides were going to become my outsides. I can probably attribute some of that to my melancholy personality and natural drama queen tendencies, nonetheless, the heartache was real. That was one week ago today.
None of my children live with me anymore. Not one of them will I get to see and talk to every day – actively participating in their lives. It’s over and there’s no going back. I think the finiteness of that hits me hard. I like having choices, options, and an undo button. There really are no “do-overs” in real life though, are there? There are second chances, for sure, but the situation is still not exactly the same as the original one. Some things are just definite and my kids are definitely not living here anymore.
After Monday, things actually got a little better. My husband is so sweet and such a positive person! He can see the silver lining on anything. He encouraged me to do things; have lunch with a friend, go to the movies, whatever would make me feel better. So, that’s what I did. I got out of the house for at least part of the day every day. I deliver for Grub-Hub part time and I did some of that. I went on an outing with my daughter and five grandchildren. I had coffee with a friend. I got my hair done. Friday night we finished out our first week as empty-nesters with dinner and a movie – a date night. Very appropriate, I think. I am learning quickly that the key is to keep busy. Make plans and set goals. Pour into other people’s lives. Call and text your kids and let them know you love them and are thinking of them. And when the tears come, let them come. They will pass.
I’m beginning to look more at the positives and enjoy more time to write, crochet, re-decorate the house, be with my husband, get up and go somewhere if I feel like it. It’s a new season for making new memories and I’m actually starting to get a little excited about that. To quote a special friend, “I eagerly anticipate what the Lord has for me.” Bring on the Mondays!