I dedicate this blog post to Cindee, Jillie, Gloria, Shana and Lori.*
When I told you that the empty nest was fun and exciting,
I did not know of what I spoke. Thinking of you today.
Last year I had a rough August. I had to move my mom out of the Thanksgiving Dinner-Easter Egg Hunt-Christmas Morning home of 30+ years. I was in Waco for 3 weeks sorting through all of her accumulated trash and treasures. I cried all three weeks.
Week 1: tears for all the memories made at 2709 Rockview
Week 2: tears for our 14 year old border collie, Pepper, who had to be put to sleep
Week 3: tears because my youngest son moved into the dorm at Baylor
Those 3 weeks became blizzard-y blurred memories because so much was happening in such a short time. We moved Reed from Lubbock to Waco on the 19th. The moving truck bearing Mom's treasures drove from Waco to Lubbock on the 23rd.
I didn't feel the full impact of the empty nest.
Our oldest son, Jonathan, was visiting home from Chicago for a couple of weeks. So, I didn't come home to a totally empty house.
Still didn't feel the full impact of the empty nest.
We spent the last days of August getting Mom's apartment set up at Raider Ranch. Jonathan flew back to Chi-Town on September 4. On September 5, Mom woke us up with a phone call at 4AM saying that her legs "weren't working." Later that day, she had brain surgery to clear out some bleeding that had been building up on her brain.
Nope. Not yet.
The month of September flew by as Mom recovered from surgery and finally got settled in back at "the Ranch."
Then came the flurry of Autumn leaves that brought us Parent's Weekend and Homecoming at Baylor. Then came the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
Zip. Zilch. Nada.
Last week, our family vacationed in Seaside Florida. We played croquet. We dozed in beach chairs while our books lay napping on our laps. We watched old episodes of Lost. We played in the surf. We rode bikes.
Saturday the vacation came to an end. We hugged Jonathan goodbye at the airport in Panama City. He flew back to Chicago as we flew to Dallas with Bryce and Reed. In Dallas, we hugged Bryce and Reed goodbye. They drove from Love Field to Waco while Alan and I flew back to Lubbock. Just the two of us. We joked about whether or not our cats would notice that we had been gone for a week.
Wait for it...wait for it...
We walked into our hot, musty house at 8:30 PM on Saturday night. We both felt kind of punky from the colds that we brought home with us. The cats ignored us. The refrigerator was empty. Nothing on TV. No jaunt to Bud and Alleys rooftop bar for a sunset mojito. Nothing particularly exciting on my calendar for the upcoming week. Hmm.
Then, BOO-AY! BOOM! YOWZA! It hit me. The full impact.
Mea culpa, dear friends.
* I know that I'm leaving some dear friends out. Those same dear friends know that I have the worst memory ever. Again, mea culpa.