Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Life is change, but I am not a big fan of change.
The last couple of years have been filled with nothing but change, and I think I'm ready for things to stabilize a little. I feel like a broken glass sometimes, shards of me scattered in too many directions to count.
Grad school proved to be too much for me right now, plus the school I chose didn't work out. I need face-to-face classes if I ever hope to get my graduate degree. The online courses would have me working an additional 20 or so hours a week on top of a full-time job. I just can't do it right now.
This past weekend I got to visit with my son, a visit that was far too short, but I'll be seeing him again in a few weeks when we travel up to DC for a reunion with (most of) my siblings. It was so good to be wrapped up in his big bear hugs, to receive the cards he got me for my birthday and Mother's Day (in person) and to get the present he brought me: his own cremains pendant that contained his sister's ashes.
You see, a few weeks ago, when Denise and I went to Pigeon Forge, TN, I was wearing my necklace and suddenly realized the pendant portion was gone. No one found it in any of the places I called. It became a lesson from Sean: "Stef ran off again, Mom. She said, 'I'm outta here!'" It's true. She was always leaving me or we were always falling apart and coming back together again. So when he brought me his own pendant of her and told me how his chain had broken and she had bounced across the floor, trying to escape him, too, I got choked up. I plan to keep this pendant safely put away or on a chain that is strong and fastened with a more reliable clasp. It touched me so much that he would give me his pendant.
"But what about you?" I asked. "Will you get another pendant?"
He pointed to his memorial tattoo and said, "Nope. Got her right here where she can't escape."
He is such an intuitive, intelligent, soft-hearted boy. He is going to make someone an incredible husband and father. I know he makes an incredible son.
When I was waiting at the airport for him after the longest, most stressful day I've had in a while (because of delays and cancellations in his travel plans kept us at the airport for 9 hours), I imagined his sister coming up the escalator with him into the arrivals lobby at ATL. I saw her in a black sweater and a flowy skirt she loved, wearing black sandals or (if she was feeling really rebellious and artsy) her black snow boots in the hundred degree heat. I saw her long black hair, her pale skin, her perfect make-up. I saw her nonchalantly walking toward me with her loaded-down purse. I saw Sean coming up the escalator behind her, both of them coming to Mom for a group hug. I could almost smell her Charlie perfume.
In that moment, it was all I could do to keep my composure in the lobby full of tired, frustrated people waiting for the passengers (most of whom were stuck on planes due to lightning storms shutting down ground ops). My hands shook, but I refused to cry at that moment. Instead I let the thought of her rush over me, and when Sean finally arrived, I hugged him and hugged him. I held his hand as we left the airport, and he was not embarrassed to be holding hands with his mother. He just enjoyed the moments of togetherness after our time apart. He is my heart.
Yes, my life has changed. Some days I handle it better than others. Today is rough, but I know it will pass. Today I just want to sit in the porch swing and write, but I have to work now. I have to adhere to the rigors and routine of my life. Those things comfort me.
In three weeks, I'll get to see my son again, as well as my younger sister, my nephew, and my brothers. It will be good to sit around and laugh and talk and reminisce. Though life is change, those touchstones of our lives, the things that really matter, bring solace while we escape our cocoon.
Peace - D