RSS Feed

ONE MORE EMPTY SPACE

ONE MORE EMPTY SPACE

December 3, 1992 had been cold and rainy all day, and by 4:00 in the afternoon the streetlights and headlights were already glaring on damp darkened skies as we made our way, ninety miles north, to the hospital.

Hours later, three minutes before midnight, Andrew came into our lives. The Saints had been playing on tv and the rain was still coming down.

Arriving as number five, eighteen years after four older sisters, and the youngest one seven, of course he was my favorite. At least that’s what his sisters think. The truth is, the youngest is always the favorite until the barrel is empty and they’ve all left the nest. So they’ve each had a turn. Now it’s fair game. Who shall it be?

December, 2016 brought Andrews twenty-fourth birthday, college graduation, acceptance to grad school – too far away – and Christmas, all wrapped up in one big package. Throw in the removal of his four wisdom teeth on the twenty-third and him moving to Tennessee today, and that package was a hefty one.

It seems like only yesterday we dropped him off at Troy University, two hours away, with a few belongings and necessities. After all, it was an easy trip and there would be ball games, symphony concerts, and percussion ensembles for us to attend. We would see him often to take him whatever else he might need.

Moving out of the dorm and into an off-campus apartment, after his freshman Β year, he needed his bed. His chest of drawers, bedside table, bookcase, and filing cabinet soon followed.

It took a couple of trips during the months of November and December, and one more today, but we finally got all those articles of furniture and the many boxes of stuff he had accumulated – and couldn’t see parting with – moved back home. He wouldn’t be taking anything to Tennessee except his clothing and a zillion percussion instruments, mallets and mallet bags.

Yes, I said zillion,Β and I said bags. He collects percussion instruments and mallets like most people collect stamps. After shoving that djembe sideways on top of the already over-filled front passenger seat, I was hoping he would be able to use his side mirrors while driving through Atlanta, because the rear-view mirror only gave him a view of his full-to-the-brim back seat.

We filled his car up with gas and took him to lunch. With his silence I could tell he was sad about leaving Troy. After all, it had been his home-away-from-home for the past five years. I think we may have factored into that sadness somewhere.

With a full trunk, back seat, and front seat, would he have enough air to breath in those cramped quarters on the trip to Lee University? I guess he did because he let us know about five and a half hours later he had made it.

So now he’s really gone, and I’m sad, and there isn’t another one to take his place.

empty-spaces

~Elle

Advertisements

About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

15 responses »

  1. Great read of an experience I remember all too well. The difference, it was our daughter, and she was on her way to a boarding school in Florida (14 hours away) at the ripe old age of 14. Yeah, a real heart-wrencher for sure. She is now 36 yrs young and has a meaningful life. We’re proud of her. The point — your son will do well. You’ve done your job. You got him to this stage of life, which is no small achievement. Now, this next phase falls to learning how to be a Mom with a different goal. You can do it! Your Mom & Dad prepared you well! HUGS!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. You have yourself. You always told me you needed more time for you. Well, here it is. Embrace it. And he’ll be back.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. I can relate, Elle. I cried when my little percussionist took off for school as well, and have that sunken feeling when I look at the mallets and instruments he left behind. Last week, he met me in New York to spend New Year’s Eve together and it was wonderful. It is strange how that feeling of loss intermingles with the feeling of pride in all he has accomplished.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Jessie Legendre

    Don’t worry, he’ll need you to put money in his account b/c he snapchatted me that there’s a Starbuck’s in his town! 😁 …… And doing the math I was 8 not 7. πŸ˜‰ …… And yes you can come stay here and break the trip into two parts or he could even meet you here! Don’t look at it as seeing him less, look at it as seeing me and Kerri more. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Well don’t count on that. He’s not a visitor as you know! I’m old. My maths not so good. Sorry. Yeah, he said the town was bigger than Troy. I think they only had a Starbucks on campus and out of his way….

      Like

      Reply
  5. Don’t worry. He still needs you! You are only a phone call away! It will be just fine… And you can always make a longer trip to visit!

    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. It’s tough when they leave home. Ya done well Mom.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thank you Jerry. 7 hours is a lot farther away than 2 isn’t it? The plus side is, he’s called 4 times today just to talk and been gone a little over 24 hours! I’m sure he will get settled soon. 😞

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  7. The empty nest thing does take some getting used to . . . and there is definitely some grieving to be done. But I promise you, it has its upside. Be kind to yourself as you wait for that to appear πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

I only have one rule - Leave me your thoughts! ;)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: