Jul 10, 2013

The Empty Nest and Other Such Fables

I want to tell you that there is nothing more piercing than that which I’m about to tell you.

But I know that’s not true.

There are much more piercing things in life than what I have to relate.   But until one is pierced, one cannot know the piercing.  So this piercing is the worst I know at this time.

A mother who has invested her life and career in raising her children and making a home has to walk like an army sergeant through the battlefield at war’s end, tip-toeing over fallen soldiers, sifting through the debris – a cherished picture wrinkled and torn, a scuffed rabbits foot, a rusted key chain stained with blood.  

Look at them!  My babies!!

The Empty Nest.

It sounds so…. Charming. 

 A job well done.

In the town square, one wouldn’t refer to it as the battlefield.  But curled up on the bathroom floor, draped over the tub with tears running down her face, a mother wouldn’t call it an empty nest. 

Tip-toeing through the empty room, skirting the discarded stuffed animals, a mother gets little joy in a job well done.  Satisfaction, maybe.  Pride?  Oh yes.  But no, not joy. 

I know all the clichés......
  I KNOW it’s a good thing.  They’re healthy, successful, productive adults.  (and reproductive!!)  There’s so much I know.  But what about the emptiness?  Feeling so lost?  I just can’t seem to find my way.  I know nothing about that.  I miss them.

The pain of letting them go.  It’s like giving birth all over again.  But without the supporting characters, the best wishes and the community support. Without the joy of bringing them home with an eternity stretched before us.

And without an epidural to get me through all this -- I need something to numb it all down -- or at least...  an ostrich pillow.

“They never hear.  They wake up and see the pieces and wonder how they got there.  But they’re deaf to the breaking.  All they hear is silence. ~ from Little Night


Fern said...

So true! Feeling very empty lately! Be thankful that your kids all live near you, not that it makes it any easier! I just feel so disconnected especially with Tucker, since we don't talk as much as I would like!

Kristen Colicci said...

Well, now I'm in a puddle :). Seriously though, so beautifully written. A wonderful reminder to cherish every sticky handprint, for the years go ever so quickly.

Poof said...

Fern - I'm so glad someone can relate. I was afraid it was just me. On the other hand, I'm sorry you are dealing with it, too. :(
Kristen - So glad you are cherishing this time before yours grows up. He's such a cutie pie!