The Cycle of Life- 9/11

We left William at 9:00 p.m. in front of his dorm. Once we were in the car, I wept as we drove away. I wondered if a mother bird feels this way when she pushes her baby out of the nest, hoping it will fly and not crash. She can only watch to see what happens. It is up to the bird to spread its wings and fly. The anxiety and questions crowd my mind, and even though I have done this twice before it feels as if it is the first time. I even feel a bit silly being so emotional again…but I do not beat myself up, I just let the tears come as the grief wells up inside me.
At 1:15 a.m. we are still on the road and William calls to say he has been to the park were Forrest Gump sat on the bench in the movie. He took his guitar and played. He thought it was great that people thought he was homeless. I asked him if he got any tips…told him to open the case so people could throw in money. (Hey it could help with expenses) He said, some people walked on by, some stopped to listen including a very interesting drunk man. He walked back to campus, in the dark, alone. I cringe, but say nothing. I do, however, up my prayers for protection for my small town son. Back on campus, he met a guy from Bolivia who is also a drummer. They are meeting some guitar guys in the courtyard today to jam. I could hear him smiling, and that made me smile as well. He is in his element. He is going to fly. I thank God for that phone call to ease my mind…kind of.
We arrive home at 2:00 a.m. to a house full of teenage boys. (Yes, I gave permission beforehand) They are up and playing video games after the homecoming dance. There is pizza cooking, and soda cans are everywhere. I realize that the cycle of life is still moving even though I am standing still. I have had about 5 hours to process the fact that my third child is no longer in my home. That seems way too short a time. It seems too soon for me to go back into regular life mode, yet it is here in front of me forcing me forward. Sometimes I just want to say, “STOP!” Just for a minute, can we stop and let me soak in the changes…process the pain of it, embrace the good of it and figure out how to do life now. But the life cycle doesn’t stop.
Around 2:30 a.m. it occurs to me that it is 9/11. I wonder how much more those who lost…truly lost…not just moved away…but forever LOST their loved ones must feel. Did they want time to stop for them too? How hard would it be to find life after such a tragedy? How many roles completely changed because of those events? It makes my life changes seem trivial. I am so blessed to have all four of my children alive, well, and happy. My own emptying nest grief gives me not even a tiny taste of the emptiness that must accompany a house suddenly vacated by someone that was a part of its fabric. Someone who will not be home in a few months for the holidays. Someone who will not walk through the door carrying laundry or books. My pain has turned to compassion on this day. My heartache turned to prayers for the families that must re-live the pain each September, knowing that life will never be quite the same again. There will be no new life phases to adjust to…only holes in the heart that will remain scars. We must help them bear the burden. Love on them. Hug them. Hold them in prayer before the Father. Allow them rest, even as the cycle of life keeps turning around them. God bless them.

One thought on “The Cycle of Life- 9/11

  1. Every human life involves an unfathomable mystery, for man is the riddle of the universe, and the riddle of man is his endowment with personal capacities.
    The stars are not so strange as the mind that studies them, analyzes their light and measures their distance.
    ( H.E.Fosdick)
    The riddle of William is his personal capacities.
    May God grsnt him success and happiness. RWG

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