Saturday, April 23, 2011
(T) Three Doors Down (the hall)
There is something to be said for an empty nest.
No more sticky doorknobs, mounds of laundry, exorbitant grocery bills, or sibling bickering. No more sitting up after midnight peeping through the blinds- waiting for your teenager to return home safely from a date. No more dishing out lunch money, dance funding, or being a 24/7 taxi service. No more setting alarms, watching for school buses, fretting over periods and pimples and popularity problems.
It's almost heavenly how silence settles over the house like warm velvet... How the birds outside can be heard chirping in the treetops...the refrigerator hums...the day is open and free for reading a novel, painting the bathroom, or watching a Gray's Anatomy marathon.
All the beds down the hallway are neatly made. There are no giant backpacks blocking the doorway, no wrinkled jeans thrown across the floor, no lights left burning to keep the electric company in business.
I sip my coffee, my feet up on the footstool, a fresh magazine nearby ready to read and coupons waiting to be clipped.
But, I gravitate to the three doors down the hall. Empty bedrooms that once held blooming children. Kids that grew overnight like fragile flowers. Teens that filled the house with laughter and music and all things sacred.
I touch the doorknob to Erin's room. Enter. See her many picture frames soft with dust...college days...cruises...important friendships...
She was my first. Always the one with the gentle heart, the compassionate soul...the just-right amount of shyness and spunk. She has my eyes and I miss seeing them each morning, ready to start a new day. She was my shopping companion, my sounding board, (my partner in diet crimes!) ...
Next spring she will be married... Pull that apron string a little thinner and build a new life of love and dreams and babies of her own. But she will always be here in this room...
I go into Becca's room. Although married almost twelve years ago, I can still see her applying makeup, trying on clothes and talking on the phone past bedtime. I hear her silly giggle...her crazy demands...those humorous faces that would lead us all into fits of laughter. She was always stubborn, rebellious- but with a kind heart that shone through that tough exterior.
She has embarked on a new life. A new town. New people and places and loves that take her further from this place called "home".
All that's left of her in this room are the glowing plastic stars on the ceiling. Still shining. Still a beacon of light.
Just like her...
Across the hall. Jake's room. Memories flood back of Penny Hardaway posters, baseball gloves, hunting camo, four-wheeler magazines and Ninja Turtles....I can still see him sleeping in...snoozing past the alarm and dreaming of boy things..
When was the last time he slept here as my child? Not as a college student, home on weekends- but as a young man that still enjoyed Mom's goodnight kiss, my dry pancakes and dumb jokes?...
He will be married in September. But some of his love will always breathe within these walls and his handsome smile linger forever here. I am so proud of him.
I go back to the kitchen and pour myself another cup of coffee. My heart is thick and full of bittersweet memories. And a tear rolls down my cheek.
Oh, but I know how blessed I am with these children!
Behind the three doors down the hall, I can still hear them blooming.
Posted by Rae Frazier