My youngest child, born when I was 41, is leaving the “nest.” She & her partner will be moving to California in February. My older daughter moved there in June 2011 and my son moved there about 20 years ago. So now all my children will be far away. While Nora Ephron noted in her recent book that the empty nest has been overrated, the fact is, they left the nest long ago, but now they are all thousands of miles from it. Feels different. This is a new bridge to cross.
My first reaction to the youngest child’s decision was like the book title First, You Cry. Since then, I have had a good conversation with a friend who is a counselor and I am working through my sadness/gladness. I wrote this poem (first in my head) right after I heard the news, actually, while doing yoga. I usually write to express my feelings and the words and rhyming do help. So this poem is dedicated to all you parents whose children are also far away.
I am working on a happier follow up poem to this one. Fall photos are representative of a change in the weather, a metaphor for a change in my life, bigger than the change of menopause!
So Far Away
The empty nest has come too late.
I’m too old for this: I cannot wait
months & months to see their faces.
My heart now has three empty spaces.
Divorce had left my heart with scars.
I thought I’d sent them all to Mars,
but now I know the scars still burn,
for loss is loss & yearn is yearn.
This loss is timely, yet makes me sad.
I pray my heart will soon be glad.
And rhyming does help to ease the pain,
So soon my heart can sing again.