Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Saying goodbye

The tough morning we've all been dreading as the weekend sped past is here. 

Two weeks ago on Monday Nick and Ali came pouring into the house and, as always, the time together was far too short, and never enough. Nick used his longer arms to snap a happy photo at his arrival.

There was my quick trip to Detroit overnight, then Ali's birthday, then a trip to Colorado Springs, Sam's award ceremony, Sam's graduation, trips to Victor, and the zoo, and Echo Lake, family dinners at home most nights, a few nights eating out, curled up on the couch watching movies, lots of photos, Scattergories, Scrabble, and multiple nights of fiercely competitive Taboo rounds, including one last night. It sped past.

Ali was even trying to get Nick to stay another day. But I knew, and so did he, another day would only prolong the sadness that their visit was over and that goodbyes had to be said. 

Part of the hardness is the unknown time table. When will I see my boy again and get to hug him and laugh with him? He's staying in Texas this summer -- the first summer I won't have him filling up the grocery cart and laundry baskets, stuff strewn all over the floor of his room, running out for workouts everyday, playing on the floor with Katy and Evan, running errands for me. We had only fourteen days of dinners and outings and playing games and watching movies in the evenings. This time, summer lasted just two weeks. 

On this final morning, I put on a brave face and tried not to let my voice crack as the last of their laundry gets done, and I look down at the giant shoes on the floor in front of me and know it's the last day I'll have to trip over them for a long time. 

I sweep the floor to keep busying during the packing, and make one last breakfast, and try in vain to slow down that last hour before I'm hugging and waving, taking a few last photos,  


 . . . and closing the door to a much emptier house, emptier than it felt before they even came.

And then I stand in the doorway of his empty bedroom, spotless again, bed made, and just let that sadness well up, because no one has to watch me struggle to make sense of how the comings and goings of my adult children is exactly the way things should be, and yet so terribly hard to stomach, visit after visit. That's when the tears really get going.

I keep thinking it will get easier over time, but so far, no luck. 

Just a heart sickness that times goes too fast and too slow all at the same time. 


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