Monday, May 28, 2012


It's quiet this morning, the kind of quiet that allows for peaceful thinking and hushed conversation via the telephone with my youngest. She moved out yesterday to a place I have never seen. She wanted to go on her own terms, in her own way, driving her own car. She slipped out of the house with a few of her belongings and a mindset for new beginnings. Last night she called to let me know she got there and she was O.K. I felt the tug on my heart, but smiled as she got off the phone to unload her stuff. Later last night she sent a picture via text of her new home. Again, I smiled knowing she was happy in her new space and ready for the adventures ahead. I texted back, "Yay!" This morning she called to talk. She told me how everything looked, what she had to do to settle in and in her sleepy voice recalled her night's activities with her friends who had been living in Austin, and missing her. I know the feeling. When I got up this morning I felt odd not to see her or hear her in the kitchen doing her usual routine before she had to go to work. This morning there were no cheerful Betty noises, no coffee cup left on the kitchen table, no ipod playing loud music as she roamed the house. It was just really quiet. Mike is sleeping, sick and back from night shift. The others are sleeping as well from their respective night out. Christy and I had coffee last night talking to the wee hours about life stuff, job stuff and just stuff. We laughed and sipped until we each decided we had had enough. Dan kissed the top of my head as went off in his car driving off into the night. Tom had been out with friends. So this morning as they all sleep, it is quiet. The dogs are snoring, the cats are resting in their bathroom cabinet, Jim the rabbit is laying o his side totally relaxed and our sugar glider, Jeepers is sleeping in his sack. All is peaceful here at our home. I am the only awake enough to accomplish much of anything, but am choosing to enjoy the quiet of the day instead. At the risk of waking those fast asleep, I am choosing to putter around the house with minimal noise. When Betty was little, she had gotten up really early one morning and had found me sitting on our front porch, sipping coffee, being quiet. She opened the large front door, peeking her head out she asked, "Mama, what are you doing all by yourself?" I beckoned her to the bench and sat her down next to me. "I am enjoying the peace and quiet," I said in a soft voice. Thinking she too had to keep her voice down, she whispered, "Aren't you lonely?" I remember smiling at my tiny child who had no understanding of the grownup need for quiet. "Yes, I am always lonely without you," and with that I hugged and kissed my waif, in her colorful pajamas. Funny, how true that is fifteen years later. I am always lonely without her, even as I take in the quiet, peacefully drifting in and out of my own thoughts. This week will be another week of change. More moving, more quiet, more things that will feel very foreign to me. Even with Mike home, since he is on night shift, I barely see him. I just sighed. I seem to do that a lot lately, this deep sighing thing. It seems as though it is the physical manifestation of my mental state of acceptance. It is my way of reaching a point of surrender. Just like my Betty, I have unseen adventures ahead. There is the long road ahead to destinations unknown. It is almost perfect that I am in this space at the exact time my youngest child is in it also. The universe in it's infinite wisdom has placed me where I may very well have the most understanding of what she is going through. It is the first time since this all began for us that I see any reason to it at all. I just sighed again. This time it was more of a "Oh, so that's what that is all about" sigh. My three day weekend is coming to a close. There were no family picnics, no barbecues, no gatherings of any kind. We have no other family here so there is no where else for us to be, except together, like we are on our holidays. This morning as I watched the sun rise, the birds and butterflies awaken in the garden, I prayed for those who gave everything so I could enjoy this quiet. It is quite perfect, really, the solace of the morning, the sound of my deep sighs, the silent prayer for those who died in honor for the freedom my youngest child is taking full advantage of in order to become another great American. It's a good day to remember how lucky we all are, and how many brave people from every corner of this nation, gave so much.

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