Monday, September 9, 2013

Broken record and other distractions

I like this photo. Sometimes, I feel
i could just dissolve into water. . . 

I keep going to write the post about my son leaving for college, about how that leaves me completely changed and lost and melancholy and heartbroken. How life is the same, while completely different. How people liken it to losing an arm, but to me, it feels like I've lost a lung, and I'm here struggling to learn to breathe this new way.

In fact, I've been having breathing trouble lately. Related? Maybe it is.

Anyway, I've been meaning to write the post, but the truth is I feel like it's all been said before. Those of us who live and breathe through it know how it feels, and those of us who won't and don't, well, there's no way to describe how disconcerting it is to drive away without a child, to walk past his room and know he (or she) is gone. To wonder where the years went. To wonder if you'll wake up, and they'll still be little. Still be there.

And, yes, I know, they return with laundry on vacations, but we know inherently this is not the same.

Brothers on the car ride up to school. . .
pictures do speak louder than words.

It's the lament that makes me feel like a broken record: Time is fleeting. Blink of an eye. Cruel how fast it flies. . . 

Blah, blah, blah. Shut up, Gae. 

What more is there to do but move forward?

So, we do. We move forward. We write. We swim. We distract ourselves. We get on with things.

And try to make the most of each day with the ones who are still here in front of us. Even knowing, yes, knowing, they, too, will way-too-soon head out on their way.

the heartbreaking truth: this one will be skipping off soon, too.

In the meantime, we delight in their successes, their moving forward, the happy reports from a college kid off and running! And take steps (oh, the things we do...) to soothe the ones remaining here.

Substitute brother? Not exactly. But well worth
the nearly 9 hr drive that brought him home to him.

- gae


  1. I'm sitting here trying to write an essay and somehow, I come across this. I swear it's been half a year since I left for college and still, it hasn't fully sunk in. I feel like there's something so secure about home and the people who will always be there for you that makes college such a terrifying place. At college you try to make friends that will fill that hole in your heart and somehow you know that friends come and go and as much as you can make this place feel like home, it will never be filled with people who will always accept you for who you are no matter what. I am so excited to go home for break but there's still that feeling that it's only a week and is only a temporary home. The reality of the situation is that I am not fully at home in either place and for four years or more, I will be homeless. Its scary but I think as the year as progressed, I've realized that home is where the people you love are and as long as you have friends and people who care about you, you are home. I guess I'm just writing this from the opposite perspective, as someone on the other side being away for the first time. Also p.s. I can tell you that Sam does miss you, and says that he loves you all the time. He really is growing up here and its exciting to see the changes in his thinking and decisions.

  2. Kelly,

    was so moved to wake up and find a comment from you here this morning... such a poignant, lovely, eloquent one with the generous added bonus of sharing with me that my son is vocal about his love. Life is such a weird, unfathomable, ever-shifting ride. We change so much, and we stay the same. And, yes, home is where the people you love are even though they -- and we -- come and go, come and go. I know your friendship has been very important to Sam this year. Hope you close out the school year (so fast!) strong. Love to you,