When I woke up this morning, I was sure I had something to say today…certain there was a post in here somewhere. But the day was filled with things like a big grocery shop, and stripping beds, washing windows and clearing away dust bunnies.
You see, my son is coming home for a visit tomorrow, so there was lots to do.
Now it’s dark, and I’m curled in the armchair underneath the window in his room. It smells wonderfully fresh and clean in here, the combination of bed linens dried in the late summer sun and the Murphy’s Oil Soap we used on the baseboards and mini-blinds. I’ve cleared off the desk top, stowed away the various bookstacks (which grow even faster than the boy who used to inhabit this space once did), made some room in the closet.
He only comes home about once a year now, and so I’m thinking about the things that change in that length of time. And because I tend to be just a tiny bit melancholy, my thoughts turn to loss. Last fall when he was home, we had just lost my mother in law. This year, my uncle is gone.
Our lifestyles have changed too, for Dad no longer has a job to occupy his time, is home all day everyday, and has started doing things like laundry and shopping and taking the dogs for their walk. And now Mom goes to work everyday, and stumbles in the door at 6:00, frazzled and tired from dealing with the demands of the world, in need of a place to put up her feet and sit quietly for a while.
So, my son steps back into this life that was once his, even as it recedes farther and farther from him with each passing year. I wonder if it’s not so much like coming home anymore, but more like taking a trip down memory lane. For our conversations now often begin with “Remember when?” rather than “Guess what’s new?” He’s been gone from here 11 years this month. Before long, he will cross that invisible line that marks more of his life lived away from home than the meager 18 years he spent here in it.
In the past few years, I have become filled with a deep and abiding love for this life, right here. Perhaps because I’m starting to see it slip away…as people and places disappear in equal measure with the gray hairs appearing on my head. I want to grab hold of all that this house means to me – all the days that were so perfect and I didn’t even know it. I want to reach back and hang on to them for dear life, not let them get away this time.
But I can’t.
So I hope to be more conscientious about the moments to come, to cherish each and every one, no matter how small and ordinary it might seem. For those moments are the stuff of real life, and it’s real life that is so very precious.
Perhaps that’s what I wanted to say all along.
How about you? What are you remembering right now? What moments are you cherishing?