I guess it is called “Empty Nest’ for a reason. We have felt blessed to be feeling quite full since the boyz left – enjoying some calmer evenings after work, early bedtimes and getting a few things done around the house that normally would not have happened, (ie cleaning out a drawer or two) while still being busy with visits to the boyz on the weekends. The boyz all seemed to be doing well so far and I just felt blessed more than empty.
But this weekend it finally hit…the feeling we had been anticipating…the empty. This is my only weekend home during the month of September….we were looking forward to being with friends Friday night and then having 2 days to clean out Steve’s shop, relax a bit and pack up for my trip to Dublin (leaving Wednesday :)). I was not prepared to wake up Saturday morning with that dull ache in my heart, the heaviness in my chest that is sadness and the sense of clouds overhead when it was actually a sunny bright day. I think the beautiful day made it harder in some ways – I missed the boyz being home….long slow breakfasts outside, mowing the lawns, playing croquet before dinner and barbequing with or without friends over.
Breakfast and later lunch on the patio
Yard work in action 🙂
Chillin at 13th Lake after a hard days work
Steve ended up going up to Long Lake to meet up with some friends for the evening. It hit me even harder then…I was in the house alone (something I usually treasure) and did not even have any pups to keep me company. WOW – this is strange…this is sad…this is lonely…this is empty.
I did the things that I usually enjoy …went for a walk and talked with my mom and my friend Laura who were validating and empathetic, texted some friends, ate dinner without having to feed anyone else. But there was not joy in it, there was not relief in only having to think about myself. I looked at old pictures and wrote to Seamus, and Casey. I went through some things that I am bringing over to Ireland for Brendan. I read. I had some ice cream. I meditated and wrote in my journal.
Meditation spot/puja table
So I got through, though I do not feel a whole lot better yet. It is part of the journey. Everyone asked ‘what are you guys going to do when the boyz leave?”. My response was always the same ‘we have lots of things we want to do. We are looking forward to having some time together, but nothing can prepare us for the feeling that will come with the total shift of energy in our house’. So that shift of energy is what I am feeling. No hungry mouths to feed, no big piles of laundry to do, no bickering to listen to, no ‘time to get up’, no ‘what homework do you guys have this weekend?’….and no laughter, stories, teen energy, hugs, and just family connection with the 3 boyz I love most in this world.
I remind myself that they are where they need to be right now. We have had a blessed, full life with them at home. It was messy at times but it was our mess. And always it was filled with love….as is this next phase…filled with love but in a different way. That love travels through the miles to Annapolis, Dublin and Boston. Love knows no distance, it is eternal and it is ever present.
Even in this distance we can feed the love to each one of them.