StoryRhyme After Dark: Sister Kathy's "Empty Nest"

We have children. We love them; we teach them; we enjoy them. But only for a few years. If we do our job correctly, we will one day send them out into the world, our hearts heavy, to seek their fortunes. We hope that they will be good, kind, responsible adults; that we've given them a strong foundation. I am not looking forward to this day at all, but this is something every parent must deal with, some sooner than others.

Here are the reflections of my sister Kathy, mother to three sublimely-wonderful daughters: One married with a baby on the way; one engaged; and the youngest getting ready to spread her wings. Kathy did her job, with constant love and support, and here are her thoughts one recent sleepless night.

"Bone weary... Yet at 4 a.m., sleep has long left me to feel loss and separation with a raw clarity.

"When they first came to me, I knew I would be championing them through life, conveying them one day to that point of departure. Milestones observed became degrees of separation -- this was as it should be; they were not mine to keep. I am unable to stop the stream from my eyes.

"I watch them move through portals into their own proscribed worlds to which I have small access.

"I wanted a life of richness and accomplishment during our shared years. I struggled against the iron grip of privation, cursing the ticking clock that would hasten their leaving. Strength, will and love was the army I brought to this all or nothing, epic battle of the ages, which is never conquered. Defeat comes too soon. I reflect in the post mortem minutia of second guessing. The last shot is fired... Time is lost. They are gone.

"...But the silvery cord that tethers body to soul connects us all. Throughout the vagaries of life, we are all inextricably bound in this universal matrix.

"Hours go by and veils of darkness are lifted as memories play. All is as it should be. Nothing is taken away from what is most revered. I am ready now to sleep."


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