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Posts Tagged ‘sons’


Our annual trip to Maine was up in the air. Should I go so far from my medical team (8-10 hours by car)? If not, should my husband go for his much deserved vacation and leave me home alone? How would cars be juggled? Would I see my west coast son if I didn’t go? All these questions had to be considered. I had already cancelled my teaching obligations and gave up any possibility of attending any art classes myself – two of the things I look forward to each year.

As we approached the weekend we would leave, I felt good enough to chance it. We planned only one week, rather than our usual two, to hedge our bets. Being in the woods, sitting on a screened porch overlooking a lake was just what the doctor ordered. I spent little time in the kitchen. My boys and their friend cooked and we went out to dinner. I even ate a 2.5 lb. soft shell lobster!

The healing power of family and nature is certain. I was out of bed all day (albeit resting and sitting a lot). When I got back home, I was able to be out of bed, doing things around the house, food shopping, laundry, etc., before tiring.

Now that I feel some recovery is occurring, I need to face the rest of the journey: another surgery in the risky zone and a minor one to complete the mastectomy/ reconstruction process. But I have survived this nearly one-year nightmare and feel almost human again, and that counts for something.

This portion of the experience is being wrapped up with this post. If I write any more about related subsequent events, they will stand on their own. Thank you for sharing my journey with me.

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Why do we get more sentimental as we age? Is it the feeling (and reality) that our time is growing limited? Is it a yearning for days gone by? Or is it a combination of these factors?
I am joyful beyond measure for the time we get to spend with our family. It is so rare now to have them all together at the same time, and usually not all to ourselves. With friends in their lives, we are sharing our boys with other people. I am happy about the kinds of people they choose to be in their lives, and enjoy the young adults sitting around the dinner table having mature conversations. I love the amazing meals my son and his friend turn out for us to enjoy. I love the physical closeness phone calls can’t provide.
Then why am I also sad?
It’s because I know this time is limited.
It’s because they will be wretched from us once again – each parting as difficult as the first.
It’s because I do not know when we will next see each other.
It’s because we will be moving away from where they grew up, and when they go “home” maybe it won’t be where we are moving to.
It’s because all parents carry guilt about what they didn’t do even though the outcome was good and there is no logical reason to feel that way.
It’s just because sometimes.
So, now I will put it aside and go back to enjoying the time I DO have with my sons and their friends. They need help in the kitchen!

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I never particularly liked tattoos and was told by my mother that it was forbidden if you were Jewish. Not one to question matters of religious law, I believed it. I wasn’t interested in getting one anyway, so it was a non-issue.

Many, many years since that conversation, my son decided to get one. He didn’t tell me before he did it and was expecting me to be upset. I had previously said that once he was 18 years old, I couldn’t really stop him from doing whatever he wanted to his body, but drew the line at jewelry in the face. I just can’t eat across the table from people (without gagging) while a flash of gold mingles in their mouths with food.

So, he arrived home from college one day with line art tattoo on his upper arm. It was actually a beautifully done image; clearly the tattoo artist was gifted. I asked standard parent-suitable questions like whether the place had good sanitary control and licensing, etc. I was assured he had done his homework. He also shared that he chose the location so it could be covered when it was not appropriate to show it, such as for work. Well, I thought, he was thoughtful and mature about his approach, the art was tasteful and well positioned and it was attractive. So began life with the first person in our family’s history, to have a tattoo.

He has since had it expanded and shaded, so it is richer and more dimensional. The addition, he has told me, is a symbolic tribute to me, as his mother. After teasing him about having “MOM” tattooed on his arm, he said he was going to get something dedicated to me. It is a lighthouse, with beams of light amidst the roiling sea. He tells me it is symbolic of the direction I have given him in his life.

Maybe it is, or maybe he is trying to charm me, but whatever it is, I’ll take it. It is rare a child ever gives a parent a review of any kind, to let you know whether you are doing a good job. He has made good decisions in his life, chosen good people for friends, and underneath the comic exterior, is a good person. So, I give myself an A; I must have done something right and I have the tattoo on my son’s arm to prove it.

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I thought that once my kids grew up, I would have less to say about them. True, they are not involved on a daily basis in my life like when they were younger, but still, they are such a part of me. Everything that happens to them, happens to me, by extension.

My older son came home briefly after graduation. We had quality time when he was here, though he spent 5 days of the 2 1/2 weeks back in Boston, saying goodbye again, to his friends still there. Then, early on a Saturday morning, my husband and I brought him to JFK for a flight to the beginning of his life. It was so bittersweet. I felt so happy for him and so proud of his courage. When he decided to move to LA, he told me, “I love Boston, but I’m too comfortable here. I need to stretch and try something new.” This, from a kid who said he would never move out of our house!

So, he is living in a lovely home with 2 roommates, alums of his college, and exploring the opportunities in the field of entertainment. He is finding a bit of freelance work, and continuing to interview and network. I know he will soon land on his feet as he has a knack for doing; forging his own life with a purpose. But I miss him so much. Even with Skype, Facetime and phone, it is not the same as sharing a meal or car ride together. I will soon be joining the generation of parents who follow their kids wherever they go. . . . .

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