Sunday, August 7, 2016

An Empty Nest

Growing up out in the country, we had birds everywhere. Of course, it helped that we had a big yard with cherry, pear, and apple trees, along with assorted maple, and elm trees. We had willow trees along the edge of the yard separating us from the river, and a treehouse nestled in amongst three willows at the river’s edge.

Birds? Robins, sparrows, blackbirds, and some starlings. Every now and then, we might see a jay or cardinal, but not often. Rarely, actually.

We had this favorite climbing tree, a big green apple tree. We’d pretend it was a fort or a B-52, whatever we needed it to be. It sat towards the patio, just beyond the cherry tree.

One spring, actually many springs, we’d find a nest. Blue eggs meant robins. Mom and dad would caution us to leave the nest and the eggs alone because if we touched them, sometimes even if we got too close to the nest, the mom and dad birds might not come back to care for the eggs. Most times we would heed the caution, but other times, curiosity got to us. Like most kids, I guess.

I enjoyed watching the feeding of the young birds. Peeps and chirps would announce their hunger, and their beaks would open to receive whatever their parents brought them.

And then, they would eventually develop the size and strength to fly. They would leave their nest, find their own mate, and begin their own families. Maybe in our yard, maybe in someone else’s yard. They would build their nest, lay eggs, feed their young, and the cycle would begin again. Over and over and . . .

This is the time of year when many of us see our kids off to college. Next week, we drive Emily to Greensboro, North Carolina where she’ll compete on the soccer team and begin her studies. The week after, Hannah begins her final stretch with graduation in December and the beginning of grad school in the spring.

Their departure will leave Kim and me with An Empty Nest. (You can picture the frown and you can hear the sigh, I’m sure. It probably mirrors and echoes your own.)

I have to admit that it is a rite of passage, a necessary part of life. But that said, I don’t have to like it. And I don’t. Not at all. Not one bit. Period.

There is pleasure in watching my girls grow into the young, beautiful women they are and will be. I’m more than a little curious as to what will become of them. I hope and pray they will find success and happiness, knowing that there will be bumps and bruises along the way. I hope and pray that each will find someone with whom they might share their life with, knowing that there will likely be heartache before they find “that one guy.”

But . . .

I will miss the laughter around the dinner table. I will miss their stories from the day. I will miss . . . them!

I love Kim. I love being with her. She is my wife and best friend. It’s just that I will miss Emily and Hannah. I like it when we’re all together, especially after losing our son, Wil.

I know that isn’t the way of it, the way of life. I know that life moves forward and onward and that it doesn’t stand still. I want Em and Hannah to grow up and get out on their own, but does it have to happen now? Right now?

It seems like yesterday that I was changing diapers. It seems like last week when they first went to school, played their first soccer game or swam in their first meet. I can remember their homecoming dances, their proms, and their sleepovers. I can remember sitting in the stands cheering them on. And, I remember both of them walking across the stage and receiving their high school diplomas from me.

I remember it all. I accept that it is a part of life. I just don’t have to like it, right? Good, because I don’t. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:
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Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

If you like to read thriller/mystery, check out:
Book One of the Lives Trilogy, Stolen Lives:
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved.     

Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.     

Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
The FBI knows a 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t. With no leads and with nothing to go on, the FBI gambles and sets up the boy and his family as bait in order to catch three dangerous and desperate men with absolutely nothing to lose.

The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11 year old Brett McGovern, and 11 year old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out. 


  1. Hi there! I found you through the Top Shelf adverts.
    I have to say that I too am an empty nester, have been awhile. It takes time but eventually you sometimes come to enjoy it. Besides, they always come home at some point...maybe even with dirty laundry. LOL

    I am now following you.

    M.M. aka Naila Moon

  2. Thank you for your comment. Yes, I'm sure dirty laundry will happen, along with a couple of home-cooked meals. Thanks again, JL


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