The heart is a wonderful hollow muscle that pumps blood…
and is also somehow capable of feeling emotional anguish and sorrow.
My heart has been heavy with Big One away at University. My family alternates between thinking I am funny, and believing I am nuts. Not in the ‘you gotta see someone’ kind of nuts, but more the ‘why are moms so emotional when you know she will come back home’ kind.
The day we dropped her off all I could think was – dropping your first kid off for first year at University is only fun until you realize you are going home, and they are not.
It has been hard for me and yet my heart still pumps blood, and lets me feel pleasure as well as the pain, and is strong and capable as I exercise it each day. The day we dropped her off I wasn’t sure that would be true. The anguish, the physical pain, and the sense of loss was completely overwhelming. I still tear up when people ask about her. I’ve seen her several times and I talk to her a few times every week. I know I am lucky because she takes my calls whenever I need to talk – early mornings, late evenings, and she is kind and smiles as she asks “are you okay, Little Mama?” Don’t get me wrong, we talk about many things – her days, my days, the family, whether she is studying hard, and all the great things she is experiencing in her school life. She also teases me that we are having fun and going out more on week-ends now that she is gone. Life is good – for her and for me – so there is nothing to complain about. She’s grown up as she should, she was prepared for this next step of her life. And yet, I still feel the pain.
This past week-end, I met a mom who shared her feelings about her first child leaving for school last year. Her story was my story. This woman I’d never met, with a kid I didn’t know. She described the pain, the anguish, the physical hole in her heart.
And I thought…it’s time for me to tell my story. Because as she helped me simply by letting me know someone else went through it and is doing okay this second year, maybe my heartache will make another mom feel better, and normal, too.
Thanks Debra. You’ll never know how much it helped. And thanks to my heart…you’re doing your job just fine.