Sad Glad Fear
Two days ago my oldest son Jay was walking out the door heading to work. This summer he started a business here in Anchorage called "The Grass Guys." He was standing in the laundry room heading out the door dressed in his lawn cutting gear (everything with a tint of green from all the grass he's mowed this summer). I looked back at Brenda who was standing in the kitchen. She was crying so I asked, "What's wrong?"
She answered, "I'm gong to miss him so much."
It hit me. I can spend the next two weeks keeping busy at work and filling my schedule with the million details that are screaming for my attention. Or I can slow down and "see" Jay . . . and in the seeing, grieve the goodbye that is right around the corner.
When I asked Brenda what was "wrong," her answer reminded me of so much that is "right."
In the past I would have stayed busy and allowed the urgency, even "importance" of my work to crowd my heart and my mind allowing me to skirt above the the deeper currents rushing inside me. Today I am not refusing my sadness -- a sadness whose depth honors the rich relationship I share with him and the unbelievable joy he is to me.
Last night Jay and I sat up until very late. I reminded him that he would not be alone on the Dartmouth campus. I shared with him about the time when I was 28 years old and realized that there wasn't anyone "thinking about me" and there never had been . . . at least not like a father thinks about a son.
"Jay, in that way, you will never be alone. There won't be a day that you are walking across that campus that I'm not thinking about you. There won't be a day where you get in or out of the pool (he's swimming for Dartmouth) that I won't be thinking about you. You won't be alone!"
We both cried. I saw him. And he saw me.