Bittersweet Good-byes

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Some good-byes are unexpected

Seeming to come out of thin air

A sudden, tragic death with no chance for a proper farewell

 

Still others we wait for in agony and tortuous anticipation

A diagnosis with a termination date

Time to prepare, yes

But is there really enough time?

Each minute is precious

Each day a gift

Time for truths to be told

At last- the final moment- permission to leave and be released from pain

 

And there’s the relationship existing long past its expiration date

You take a step towards tossing it out

But the grip of fear holds you back

Starting over, being alone are the vises that lock you in

Then the hammer comes down and you are at once relieved and reveling

A warped dance of grieving a false love

and the  idealized version created for appearances

Mourning the idea and plowing the depths of sadness

Tending to it and then letting it go

 

Then they are the Someday good-byes

Ones you know will happen in life’s ebbs and flows

Children leaving the nest

Ready to tend their own gardens

You’ve given them the seeds and the soil and the rakes and the hoes

Their minds and hearts will continue to be sown

They are seedlings with strong roots

 

Each farewell challenging on its own

Each wrought with the messiness of change

Each allowing for transformation

And the the beginnings of a new day

 

Day 26. Can you sense a theme this week?  Preparing to leave this place is an exercise in quiet intensity and healthy sentimentality. The corners of the house have been poked and prodded. Old items-keepsakes from way back-have been rediscovered. The attic-though sparse- had its own treasure trove. The kitchen table has old photos scattered about. They haven’t moved for days. I’ll revisit them before I reorganize them and put them away.  Others are well-packed in albums and stored in a bin. Thanks for staying tuned in!

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Recollections and Reflections

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We’re taking a journey to the past

Deliberately digging

Rediscovering ourselves

Who we were back then

The cache of moments revealing treasures hidden away

Tiny Instances and minor flashpoints of lives in one place 

School times

Christmas times

Easter tides

Carnival rides

and Halloween’s candy treats

Snow days bundled up- oh  those rosy cheeks! 

Summer days, freedom days, no shirts and bare running feet

The world looked greener then, full of promise

The present is a place of demarcation

The time when the bond of bygone times bears fruit for the future

We stand together at the precipice, hearts pulsing

All systems go for the epic Act III

 

Day 24.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt so conscious of time as I have this week. Shortly, this house will be a part of our past. The boys will go together to their own place and I with my beloved. Honestly, it is very exciting, despite the work of packing up and getting rid of things. 

Hometown Blues

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Where once was my children’s childhood 

Interlopers arrived, knocking down forests

Cutting up well-worn dirt paths

  and paper roads

Replacing them with asphalt for new houses

Knocking down solid dwellings

Constructing cookie cutter outsized McMansions

that clog up the curve in the narrow road

Their children have no yards

Only swamps and useless driveways

 for their many cars and perfect perennial plantings 

This old house sticks out

An eyesore to others, maybe

A tired elder who shakes her head at the soaring towers the new neighbors call “home”

She will miss her inhabitants

The rowdy boys sledding down her hill in the big winters when they were little

Those 2 man baseball games in her drive

where second base was the bed of flowers by the bulk head

There’s still a worn patch of green that was the pitcher’s mound

One man catch and the throws that missed the net breaking windows in the garage

Shattered glass happily dancing to pieces on the ground

The swing set and fort

A place to hide

Games of “lion and zebra”

zooming and zigzagging on endless grass

The homemade sand pit on the side of the garage

Tonka trucks and shovels and pails

 A little boy’s excavation site that never did grow grass

The back forty a favorite spot for the first garden

and those pesky woodchucks!

Summers spent swimming in the kiddie pools

After you were too big, you made the  bonfire pit

A grown boy’s excavation dug with man-sized metal shovels and lots of muscle

Cold nights keeping warm by its roaring heat

Old enough now for hops and barley and other spirits that moved you

Summer nights of fireflies’ halos and cricket sounds and skunk smells

 and deer at dusk and coyote howls

They will visit you in your dreams

 

Day 23.  Happy memories amidst the changes all around us.

Times Before

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Leafing through old photographs

Images of times before the times before

Young ones captured and captivated

in moments of absolute innocence

Times before the times before

Blond curls and waves crown wide open smile

Big brown eyes and chubby cheeks bursting with laughter

Times before the times before

Pure and unconditional love between father and sons

in the Times before the times before

the times before you lost them both

 

 

Day 22.  My oldest and I set about organizing old family albums for the move.  It’s astounding how many photos of the boys I took. Mostly simple moments in the big back yard.  This one came easily for some reason

Roots and Routes

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Roads, paths, byways and highways

Places I have seen

People I have met

Those whom I have loved

They are beginning to exist in my memory

Dwelling in a happy space of a life well-lived

The long flat road of childhood

Pathways of the campus

The bustling avenue of a young woman

The winding lane of a small town

and the rolling hills that I have run upon

Streets pushing the strollers that carried my babies

The muddy country road in the mountains

and the long highway to John’s Island

Road trips, day trips, field trips and side trips

Mystery trips to the notches and beaches

I see them in my dreams

I have not yet reached the mountain top

and gladly so

Now I hold hands with my beloved

We stand at the gateway

Our eyes fixed on a new direction

Our hearts following their own path

 

Day 9. A dream scape poem that needed to be written.

 

Days Like This

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The house is quiet. The kind of hush that comes from the end of the holiday season and the bitter cold of winter’s kiss. The tree came down today and along with it all the decorations which filled this small space called home. I am at once sad and relieved. My last Christmas under one roof with my sons. No matter that a new life, a new start awaits us all-change is difficult. I don’t need to say good-bye to the warm memories of all the shared holidays; they are in our hearts and minds forever. Even though my boys are in the twenties (oldest turned 24 yesterday!), the little child in them still exists during this time of year. This despite their responsibilities as young adults at work in the wide and wacky world!

Last night as we sipped champagne, my youngest son’s best friend remarked as to how rich we are. We are indeed awash in abundance.  This wealth does not come from living an overly large home that is pristine in its vapid sterility. At best it is cozy with photos of family gracing shelves and tables. Moments of warmth and love captured and held still in time. Places experienced. The refrigerator door is covered and cluttered with quotes of the famous and not so famous ( that would be us!) and more photos-especially of the boys through the years. Our bedrooms reflect who we are and serve as a haven after long days when the outside world causes chaos.

Our wealth comes from a multitude of sources. We’ve grown into our present life through the fits and starts.  The rocky adolescence made worse by their father’s shenanigans and ultimate abandonment was tempered by the saving graces of therapy, our awesome faith community and the determination to always make joy and positive memories amidst the pain.  We mined loving nuggets of gold from these times.  We grew a new and better life.

So here I sit on this chilly January night, holding fast to all that is good. Preparing once again for a new phase. Glad to keep one another close as we walk the path together for a short while longer until the road diverges.

 

 

Buried Truth

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I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now…

What it means to be born from deceit

The lies they told themselves to protect you

I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now…

Unconsciously rejected by the one who bore you

Lovingly accepted by the one who was betrayed

I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now…

The secret kept from you until you were of age

You convinced yourself  that it didn’t matter anyway

I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now…

Their union at last came undone, the past too much to bear

A slight shift in your world, one you could not even hear

I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now…

You left them then, never to return again

 An anchorless  journey that continues today

I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now…

Falsely sure of yourself and never whole

Flitting from place to place and woman to woman

I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now…

Never quite trusting but always controlling

Hoarding your feelings, a collector of sins

I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now…

The stain of  your beginnings remains with you still

A jagged edge, a dizzying precipice and a perilous fall

I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now…

 Kellie gave us this one line today:

I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now…

And this is what I created!

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#FWF Free Write Friday: Ponder this…

by Kellie Elmore