Memorial Day weekend was a rarity for us. Both girls, along with Hannah’s fiancé and Emily’s boyfriend, were home. I relish those moments. I loved hearing the stories, though I know I’m guilty of retelling some of my favorite ones. I love the laughter. It’s fun watching how they interact with each other. Emily and Hannah are as close as can be, perhaps more so friends than sisters. Alex and Q fit right in, and Kim and I love them all.
Towards the end of the visit, before Emily and Q left for Greensboro, Emily, Kim and I went up to her room where she sorted out what she wants to take with her, what she wants to keep, but not with her at the moment, and what she wants to give or throw away. I watched. I might have questioned this or that, but in the end, I watched.
Mostly, I took the time to look at all the trinkets and keepsakes that brought back so many memories. Not so much sad, I think. Mostly poignant. Okay, it was sad, too.
All lined up on her dresser were snow globes from her trips to different cities and different countries she traveled to as part of her travel soccer team. On one corner of the dresser were the trophies and medals from soccer and swimming she earned. On the floor was an ancient swim cap from her summer swim team. A red swim bag sat in a corner in her room.
On the other corner of the dresser were seashell ornaments and jewelry. Some I had proudly given her. Some she received from others. Some she purchased herself. A jewelry box. Nothing fancy, just cute. There were earrings galore, bracelets, necklaces. Name it, it was there.
On her nightstand was her dolphin “thingy”. Not sure what to call it, but I remember her getting it. I remember the day, the time, and the fun we had. In her closet was the Donald Duck stuffed animal from our trip to Disney. Clothes no longer worn. Shoes and soccer cleats too small.
On her wall were pictures of friends, some dating back to elementary school, others from high school. All there. All smiling or clowning. I have my favorites.
Her bookshelf. Books in a series, all in order from first to last. Just of a few of the many she’s read over the years. Others given away or borrowed by her sister.
I remember going through this with Hannah. The same sorting of keepsakes and treasures. Some still in her bedroom. The same sad, poignant feelings. The same.
I admit that every now and then, I wander into Hannah’s room and sit and think and remember. I hold on to this memory, that memory. Moments we shared, moments kept only in my heart, not spoken about to anyone. I wander into Emily’s room and do the same. Mostly at night before bedtime. The stuff of dreams, perhaps.
In the coming weeks, there will be thousands, maybe millions of parents and kids doing the same thing we did with Emily, and once upon a time with Hannah. A cover closing on a chapter of life. A new book about to begin. Each bringing with it a bit of sorrow and wistfulness as a life about to begin ends a life once had. It’s exciting for the kids. Perhaps they are a bit frightened and anxious. And as exciting as it is for the kids, it is poignant for the parents, for mom and dad, who release their child into a new life. Helping them to fly off on their own.
Knowing and hoping that their son or daughter knows the door is always open. Hoping that every now and then they will walk through the door once again. Time and time again. To tell their stories. To share in their laughter, and perhaps in their frustration and their tears.
We grow. They grow. And as proud as we are of our kids as they pack up and move out and on, we are saddened at the passing of time, the passing of their years. The passing of our time and our years. Yes, both proud and sad. Something to think about . . .
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To My Readers:
I have an author's website, in addition to my Facebook Author’s Page. On it, I talk about writing. I introduce characters from my books, and I introduce readers to other authors. I also release snippets from those books. Mostly, it is my way of reaching out to you so that you get to know my author side of life. You can find it at: https://jrlewisauthor.blog/
The Lives Trilogy and Prequel are now available in both paperback, kindle and nook through both Amazon and Barnes & Noble! The links are below! I appreciate all the texts, requests, and messages I have been receiving. Thanks for your support and interest. I edited and revised each book. I am pleased with the results. I am thankful to BRW for their continued belief in me and in my writing. I hope you will rediscover or perhaps discover the Lives Trilogy and Prequel.
Outnumbered and outgunned, George will make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his adoptive father and his adoptive brothers- but can he? Without knowing who these men are? Or where they are? Without knowing whom to trust? Is he prepared for betrayal that leads to his heartbreak and possible death? http://bit.ly/SplinteredLives
Photo courtesy of Joseph Lewis