I am forever connected to my children through invisible lines that stretch endless distances carrying various emotions to and fro. I feel what they feel. I hurt when they hurt. I sigh when they are placid and happy. I cheer when they are excited. I itch with nervous energy when they are on edge.
We are like E.T. and Elliot; our lifeblood runs as one.
And so it is that I am a ball of nerves and stress lately. I am frustrated and let down and irritated with the public education system in general. I am done with this school year; I am tired; I have a single focus.
These feelings are siphoned from my son and fed into my veins. I hate that he feels these things, but I am without a plan to change these circumstances of the last four weeks of school.
In a Land Far, Far Away
It's silly really. It's not as if I got to see her terribly often and it's not as if this should change how often I talk to her, but still, I feel the added distance and it makes me miss her. My best friend from college; the one I have seen the most and talked to the most over the years just moved from Texas to Idaho.
In Texas, I had the chance to see her, stay with her, get to know her boys as I traveled there for work and family visits. I have reason to travel to Texas. I know the route well. It's all familiar.
Idaho is far, far away from me. It's all unfamiliar. I don't know the way there. I can't picture where she is or know anything about the place. I feel sad for me; I don't know when I will see her again.
But I feel happy for her and her family as they begin a new adventure in this far away corner of the country. And I envision a long road trip with my boys, along new terrain, on our way to visit my friend. And then, once again, I will know the way to her and what her house looks like and where she has settled and she won't feel so far away when I talk to her and think of her.
In the meantime, we'll make a point to call each other more often.
Life After Loss
Life from day to day has no certainty for any of us. And yet, we keep going without thinking much about our own mortality or that of our loved ones until we are forced to. It's best this way. For if we dwell on such matters for long we'll be consumed by the questions for which we cannot know the answers.
But when there is a sudden loss; loss without reason, with preparation, without last sentiments exchanged, without time to think through, it's hard to know where to begin again. It's hard not to think on those dark questions of which we cannot know the answers. And yet, we must not.
We must go on living and doing and laughing and loving and working through all the lovely and momentous and unpleasant and insignificant and bright and dark moments of life. And that realization is both terrifying and reassuring all at the same time.
It's terrifying to think that life must simply go on with this gaping hole in life's cast. And it's reassuring, that eventually, this will be the new normal and life will resume again, altered and not so shiny, but still full of hope.
Starting up again is never easy, whether it's losing a spouse or child or parent or grandparent or sibling or beloved pet. It's just isn't. And that's OK, but know that one day the tears won't come so easily and the sun will seem a little brighter and your smile will feel a bit more familiar and then you'll know it's all going to be alright.
Over and out…