It isn’t like the world stops when your last offspring spring off, but it definitely makes the days seem longer! Alan and I still wake up early, have devotions together and breakfast before he leaves for work. I still take Abby out for a morning walk and do my little routine of calisthenics. The world is full of so much business and happy pursuits that I’m never without work or pleasure, and I’m certainly never bored!
BUT, you cannot replace the companionship of missing loved ones… having your son bop into your bedroom to chat when he wakes up. Do you want to stop for a cup of coffee and a few minutes of sharing Our Daily Bread over a second breakfast? (This may sound fattening, but all Hobbits know it’s perfectly reasonable). I miss the beautiful sounds wafting up from the music room while my son (known to most as Stephen, but to me as “Roger, Darling” at such times) runs nimble fingers up and down the keyboard for hours, intent on mastering some fabulous composition by Liszt or Tchaikovsky. I miss Joel writing by the hour, intent on finding just the right turn of phrase to convey a certain nuance in a scene he’s conjuring up. I miss my sons sharing ideas and plans over lunch. I even miss the fact that they’re no longer working in GR; they don’t have “jobs” here in town anymore. They both have “jobs” still, working as teaching assistants in their respective universities, but our house is no longer their home base as they practice and write, study and work! There’s nobody left to dream up fine cuisine for dinner but me. Nobody to brighten up the dinner table conversation but Alan and me. Nobody to help wash up the dishes or share an evening constitutional down our lane or a late night dip…unless Alan’s up for it. (These gorgeous dogs are my friend Maya’s, not mine!)
The nest is empty. Woe is me.
“Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by strength of the ox.” (Proverbs 14:4)
Well, not really. If anyone is living in his own nest, then the nest is not empty: he is there! So, I am here! My nest is not empty either. Besides, I still have Alan, so there’s two of us. We lost our last two, but we still have two. That means the cup is only half empty and is still half full! Furthermore, when we first got married, 2 was the definition of double the fun!
“The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21).
So, shall I mourn the loss, or take joy in what I have?!I spent my first day going solo by doing everything I always do (which took up most of the day), but in my spare time I cleaned the fridge, made menu plans, and went grocery shopping. Amazingly, the bill was just the same as usual, only this time it was because I was buying some unusual items to make special treats to cheer up Alan, who—despite his macho blustering—will also miss the kids intensely!So, honeymooning, here we come! I’m guessing the Lord gives us a second crack at living as a couple so that we can learn from our past mistakes and, with renewed commitment to making the marriage harmonious and good, live lives filled more deeply with grace and love. At least, that’s my dream!“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32)
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9