Collecting Memories

>> Thursday, May 22, 2008

I was up late last night working on my Faithwriters entry. The topic was pets and it was so tough to write. Oh my! But anyway... I did get it done and with hours to spare:) But meantime, I was up with my son. Ryan is home from Hawaii and the best time to connect with him is late at night, or should I say, early in the morning? With TV blaring, he watched a disaster movie while I finished up my entry and chatted on the phone to a friend and was IM'ing a couple of others. Well now, I am a multi-tasker. I didn't realize how much until I started to write it down.

Throughout, he would make comments about the movie. "Watch this... Did she die? Did you see that? It's not scary. You won't have nightmares..." So funny. Many of my senses were engaged in that movie even in my busyness. My ears couldn't help but listen, it was on so very loud. My mind was thinking about volcanoes and how I would be going to Washington in 46 days, I think it is, where there is an active one. My conscience would be pricked as I heard bad language come of out of the mouths of people about to die. Hmm... I would be more inclined to say a prayer, I would think, than curse. But I digress...

The movie ended and then my boy went outside. Soon I heard music piercing the now quiet house. All were asleep but the two of us. No one lives in Tabor anymore. No one else was up to hear the beautiful notes coming from Ryan's trumpet at 1:30 in the morning. He plays for pure enjoyment and I can't get enough of it. It makes me cry even now thinking about it.

Oh. And now tears have started. Soon, my oldest, cherished son, will be going back to Hawaii. Back to his own life. Back to life without Mom and Dad. Life so many thousands of miles away from us. A life that we can't even drive to. And he will continue to make his adult decisions without us, maybe an occassional phone call, but for the most part, his life continues with little interaction from us, the way it should be, I suppose.

And not too long after that, he will have his appendix taken out. I smile through my tears thinking how everytime I walk near him and reach out my arm, that he covers his stomach. Just one time I punched him in the gut, totally forgetting about the sick appendix inside him. Its just something I do to connect to our youngest, and it makes him smile when my hand gets hurt at impact. Wow! How could a mother forget their child is hurting?

My boy sent Jim and I to a very fancy restaurant for our anniversary. He handed us cash like we were the children and he was the parent. Told us to go and enjoy ourselves. And we did, immensely. His first Sunday home he bought KFC for the whole family. I can't believe how much he has matured. Oh, he also bought a new shower rod, hooks, and curtain for the bathroom. How funny is that? This is NOT the son I know. He's grown up much since he was home last.

The most special, as always, is when we sit in church together as a complete family. One more Sunday we will sit together. One more.... and that Sunday will be when the tears will flow at the thought of the Sunday after and the Sunday after that. Already I miss Ryan but I need to live with him now, in the present, and enjoy each moment he spends with us.

I am busy collecting memories. And when he gets all packed up and leaves for the airport with his dad, I will look around the house and see evidence of his being with us. A forgotten razor, shirts that Nik will end up wearing, a lone shoe... I know these things will happen from many years of being visited by our most loved Navy son. And I can't help but let the tears flow.

I am so very proud of our sweet, sweet son. He is making his mark in this world and I have such little input, so it should be. He will continue to mature when he's gone and the next time he's home, I will be so very proud of him, no matter what choices he has made, no matter what mistakes, no matter the triumphs and successes. He's my son and I can't help but be proud. But now, before he leaves, I will keep my mind off that departure date, and will keep on collecting really awesome memories.

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