She watches in the dead of night, like an owl, her eyes sharp with intent. She watches so she can learn, the truth, the ugliness of it. She is freeing herself while keeping watch, she is freeing herself of the burden, of the lies, of the fear. She dares not to blink, while her eyes adjust, to the painful truth, she dares not to breath, as her breath hangs heavy in the night air. She whispers goodbye, to deaf ears, to empty hearts, she whispers goodbye and finally, lets go. Tonight she holds no regrets, no fears, only hope for now she must tread lightly towards dawn’s breaking light, again alone.
So they say change is inevitable, but that doesn’t make it any easier. This year my life has turned upside down. I’ve been through many life altering changes, a pregnancy when I was only 21, marriage at 21, a new business at 24, another baby that same year. Then a brutal divorce which opened the door to a new relationship. Enter two step kids and two more babies born, and then the decision to leave my business after 11 years and pursue my art from home. But this year, I’ve had to face the biggest change yet. My oldest son has moved out, not just moved out but joined the Canadian Military and moved across the country. It is exactly 34 hours by car to visit him or a $1600.00 return flight for my husband and I.
The day we put him on the train and the whistle blew, he turned to hug me and I pictured the baby that he was. The way at two he would wake up every single night and hit the floor running until I met him halfway and he sobbed in my arms. How at four he entered kindergarten and didn’t speak a single word to anyone until into the second term. When he was six and I had to tell him his dad wouldn’t be living with us anymore, the heartbreaking silent tears that ran down his cheeks. At 13 when he bullied someone on the bus to impress a girl and I made him write a letter of apology to the boy he bullied, the boy’s mother and the principal. How he cried at the thought of how much he had hurt this boys feelings. At 17 when he got his heart broken for the first time. All these moments in his childhood when I felt helpless and didn’t know if my hug was comfort enough. I watched him walk up the steps to the train, the same way I watched him walk up the school bus steps for the first time and I just wanted to reach out and pull him back. To hide him away with me, safe from the world; but I couldn’t, so I said goodbye, and through tear stained cheeks I smiled at him one last time. In that moment I knew I was saying goodbye to the child I had raised and welcoming the man he would become. It has been heartbreaking and bittersweet; but I am so proud of him.