Empty Hangers, Empty Nest

I remember more than I should, I suppose, about the day my youngest son left for college (he’s two years out as of this month.) It’s hard to explain the dichotomy of emotion, both pain and joy, that accosted me as I stood in his room that day. I looked to my left and noticed empty hangers, halfway falling off the wooden rod that held them safe and sound through the years. Even the hangers looked alone and lonely and sad.
A freshly-made bed caught my eye because it was still imprinted by the weight of a suitcase, my son’s suitcase, that held all the most important belongings of a young man excited to start his new life, in a new city.
I was convinced my home was invaded by thieves in the night. That’s what the emptiness felt like to me. Thieves took the last of the best of what our home had to offer: the kids that kept it alive with wonder and a willingness to explore life.
I cried a lot that day. I smiled a little. Two days of migraine headache later, I realized that I would never be as whole as I was with my three sons under one roof. More than that though, I realized, I deserve to be happy for me and grateful for all that I share with my husband.
It was hard for me to witness my youngest son walk out the door, never to return in the same way again, but I’m smiling a hell of a lot more these days knowing that all three of my sons are more than okay on their own.
I wrote a poem about being alone as it relates to my experience with Empty-Nest Syndrome. I hope you like it. Maybe you can relate to it.

Perfect Place to Be

Being alone
takes practice

makes perfect

can be a perfect
place to be

Embrace and enjoy
your alone time

Time belongs to you
you alone

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