gratitude-a-thon day 224: the slow process of remembering you don’t have little kids

Yup, here’s what Jake’s room looked like for the past year. (Photo credits to the fabulous Rania Matar

It’s been 9 days since Jake left. Aside from the day he left, when I thought I was dying of a rare and incurable brain disease, I have been fine. What with the texts and FaceTime, I’ve been feeling connected to him and really surpisingly ok. But then yesterday, out of the gosh darn blue, I got a pang and then a pain, and then the beginnings of another life threatening case of sad. I missed my guy. It was like it suddenly felt a little too real for me. He wasn’t here anymore and I didn’t just feel his absence, I felt the passage of time. Tick, tick, tick. How long until Ally goes to college and Peter, Riley and moi are here to live our lives sans kids?

Yesterday our town unveiled the new Teen Center. There was a big open house party, and everybody was invited. This place is a few blocks from my house and it is absolutely phenomenal. From the totally hip design, focusing on this old garage’s interior metal beams and brick, this place has everything, from a bowling alley, basketball court, cafe, recording studio, workout room, computer room and pool table. It made me wish Jake had the chance to use it. Also yesterday, our old grammar school, also a few blocks from my house, had an event that honestly, we never went to, even when the kids were young, but reminded me that we were no longer part of a community that once took up so much of my time and love

When your kids leave, a certain part of your life ends. A new KIndle chapter begins. I guess I haven’t adjusted to that yet. I’m not used to the new format. I haven’t rebooted yet. But I will. It isn’t as easy as it felt last week, when I was filled with the daily experiences of my kid in Spain, and feeling a sense that I too was there.  Maybe it will be slow, and it’ll force me to plod through the feelings of loss and change more carefully.  I hope the feelings of gain will rise up and win out before too long. And I will adjust to having  Jake’s room clean. Because at least that’s one thing that’s changed for the better.

And here’s Jake’s room now. AFTER I CLEANED IT. I don’t remember the last time you could see the floor. That’s a good thing, right?

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