Fall, what a beautiful time of year. Beautiful weather, nature looking picturesque and holidays for everyone to enjoy. For me, this fall has been different. My baby went off to college and I became an empty nester. Well, I do have one more at home, but he’s 20 and lives his own life. I don’t see him much.
I look at Facebook and get to see all the great things people are enjoying in life. Kids are growing up and moving on. Going to prom, graduating, and heading off to college or out on their own in the working world. At that point we as parents are also starting our new life. Couples are getting to know each other all over again. Single parents start to enjoy the next chapter of life and all the freedoms of being single without being tied down.
Empty nester has a whole new meaning for me. It’s the beginning of the next stage of my life. My husband died 19 years ago and over the last 6 years I’ve lost a large part of my family. I’ve taken time to grieve but with my youngest going off to college it really started to sink in that I’m starting a whole new life.
When Halloween came along, I sat here for the first time in years by myself. I just didn’t realize it would hit me how much my life is changing. The next day was my grandmother’s birthday. She’s been gone for 2 years now and I miss her every day.
I started reminiscing about my family and how much I miss them. I was raking leaves and remembered the time that my grandmother was here and sat in a chair putting leaves in a back. Mind you, she was blind but she really wanted to help. I smile whenever I think about it. She was sick for a few years before she died. When it was time for her to go into hospice I knew I had to try to go see her one last time. I got online and found a round trip ticket for around $100. It was to go Friday and come back Saturday or the flight went up to $400. I was supposed to go see her and I’m so I got to go and say good bye. It was hard to see her like that, but I’m so glad I did. She looked peaceful laying there with her beautiful smile.
Or my stepfather who used to come and try to find things to do around my house. So many stories there. Towards the end of his life, when he couldn’t do much, I used to junk up my junk drawer so he’d have something he could do to help me. We both loved it in our own way. He used to tape all my pens together so if I needed one I’d have to pull the tape off. It always made me laugh. The last time I saw him my kids and I were visiting him and my mother in Florida. The boys and my mother went out somewhere and I stayed home with him. He said “I’ll be in bed by 8:00, That’s my bed time.” “Of course” I said, “That’s always been the case. You go to bed and watch TV.” That night he sat with me until everyone came home. We cleaned out the bag of coffee, sugar and sweet and low together. “I think I need a cup of coffee” he said. His plan was to stay up with me until mom and the kids got home so he could prove that he could stay awake.
I didn’t know that would be the last time I’d see him, but he and I were meant to spend that time together.
The holidays are a time for family and close friends. I’m lucky to have my two boys even though they have lives of their own we got to spend quality time together.
Those of you that have large families or your spouse that you’ve spent so many wonderful years together, be thankful. Enjoy each day and each moment. It’s precious time and enjoy every minute of it.