Today is Tuesday. My son’s wedding is on Saturday. I find myself with conflicting feelings tonight, after I had a quick dinner with Ben at Chili’s and then hugged good-bye ~ until the wedding week-end.
I’m not conflicted about anything of importance. I love Ben’s fiancee and think they make a wonderful couple. He has his degree and is training in a management position. She will soon fisnish her own studies, as well. I couldn’t be happier for them.
The conflict comes within me (those of you who know me say, “of course” at this point in the post). I realized this evening that Ben’s wedding date is on the 19th. My daughter’s (in the photo with Ben) was on the 19th (different month), and my own, back in 1983, was on the 19th (yet another different month). Wow. That is an odd coincidence. This upcoming ceremony throws me back into thoughts of the last wedding I attended, my daughter’s, in 2008. At that time, I was in the midst of a divorce and felt lost, afraid, and hopeless in finding direction in my new life. I only recall bits and pieces of Sarah’s wedding. I remember it all being very surreal for me.
Now, I hope to be more “present” in this child’s ceremony (my second and last child). I thank God for antidepressants or I might be a sobbing basket case right now. My children have always been (since 1984) my entire life. I can’t remember a day I didn’t savor being their mother and guide. I relished being the person to show them how to share, what table manners were, and what compassion meant. Now, many scraped knees, birthday parties, summer swims, and winter snowmen later, I am alone. I feel like my own parents likely did when I moved away and started my own family. My mother had her career, though. That was a saving grace.
I am moving to a different state and finishing my education soon. I’ll be in a new environment ~ like my kids find themselves. Yet, even with all of this time to myself, and the freedom to do whatever I want, I still long for those days when I helped load backpacks with crayons, Kleenex, and safety scissors on the first days of school. I miss sewing the kids’ Halloween costumes in my inept way (I still got’um done). Ben was a scary dinosaur. Sarah, a cuddly bear. They beamed with delight at those cut-out-and-sew, Wal-mart costumes.
My chest is heavy, and I think tears will eventually make their way to the surface. But not tonight. Not now. Presently, the fissure in my heart is a little wider. Both kids are gone. Both are no longer Mama’s munchkins. I do say that with great pride and with deep pain. With them, they take pieces of my heart, pieces I’ll never get back.
That’s okay, though. That’s what mom’s do, I’m learning. I’ll keep the rest, and when we are together, I’ll be whole again. Well, kind of. Not really. Things will never be the same. Always changing. Always different.
So, Saturday ~ I’ll be the lost-looking, middle-aged woman in the front row of the church. The one who did her job as mother well and thoroughly. The one who freely offered everything she had ~ to two people who were (and are) worth every second she gave to them.
I love you, Sarah. I love you, Ben.