Thursday, January 17, 2013

How I Feel in This Empty Nest

The first word that came to mind as I typed this post's title is blessed.  I feel blessed.

But I have to back up.

After days of sorting, donating items to Goodwill, listing things on eBay, packing and being celebrated and then sent off by friends, Mac left for Baton Rouge on Saturday morning.

It was a tearful good-bye for both of us.  We had a good hug before he climbed in the cab of that ramshackle (truth, it broke down three times and he was stranded in Arkansas for nearly 48 hours...) truck and drove off.

It was definitely time for Mac to move out. To be fair to him, he'd only been back "in" for six months while he looked for a job locally then decided to move back south.  He's 26, and needs to be independent.  So now he is, but it's just farther away than I like.

I don't think that will ever change.

However, I carry with me this ridiculously awful perspective stick, and I smack myself with it from time to time.  On Saturday, as I cried (and laughed) while helping him with some last minute tasks, the sting of that stick made me aware:  he was meant to stop to stay at Brandon's parents' home in Tennessee that night, I needed to take my vitamin that morning, and of my blue ribbon friend Jack.

You see, Brandon was Mac's "like the older brother he never had" friend who died in 2007.  While he's with Jesus--no doubt about that--I'm certain all who love him, especially his mom, would like Brandon only a few states away.

The vitamin, well it's laced with iron because I'm scheduled to give blood soon at a memorial blood drive for my friend Helen's daughter Vicki who died in 2010.  Vicki accepted Christ only hours before her death, and while that was an amazing comfort, those close to her feel a great ache.  Helen would treasure a text message or an instagram post from Vicki.

Jack.  It's "his" blue bow magnet I adorn my car with, his youthful wisdom that reminds me and any who drive behind me, "Nothing is impossible with God."  I had been instant messaging with his mom Anna earlier that week. She had "liked" some of more weepy facebook posts about this move.  What grace she showed me while still greatly mourning her son.

So I find these moments in my life to be a walk of a blessed balance.  I must allow myself to feel my pain.  Mac is my only child and he is far away.  I miss him.  My pain is real.  But he is a text, a facebook message, a phone call, a 2.5 hour flight, and/or a 15 hour car ride away.  What great choices I have to still show love and be shown love by my son.

I have typed this entry without a tear, and those that threatened didn't pool while I wrote about the distance between here and LA, but did collect when I consider the distance between here and Heaven. 

I am blessed.


  1. Well said. I am thankful you have a healthy, loving relationship with Mac. While proximity would be nice, I know many moms who live in the same city as their kids and never see them… 
    Here's hoping you are closer than ever despite the miles that separate you. Hugs to you, friend!

  2. And then there is me.....I don't want my oldest even a state closer to me. I know that sounds terrible, but when you have a child who is a drug addict, it's easier when it's not "in your face all the time." Thankfully, we have three other sons who have left the nest, but we love to have visit! And of course, I'm always praying that my oldest will be healed of this terrible, life stealing problem!

    You'll miss your son, but I'll bet you'll hear from him often!

    1. It sounds terrible to have to live such a thing, and it sounds sad to hear such a thing, but your pain is real too. What a blessing your other sons are to you!

  3. Replies
    1. It's a horrible perspective from the standpoint that it hurts hearts deeply. But it makes me acutely aware of all I have.


I'd like to be humble and say I only blog to record the doings of my life, but really, I blog for conversation, and I would love to hear from you. It's okay if you don't agree with me, that's what makes life interesting.