I've been having a very existential morning. Walking alone. Well, not alone - with the weiner dog. Misty quiet morning, 6:30 a.m. I see all the regulars: the Cycling Grandpas, the Holding-Hands Dogwalkers, Broken Arm Man and His Wife. Randy On His Bike. I take comfort from seeing the regulars but still I'm on my own.
My son, my baby really, is leaving home in less than 9 days. For a long time. Far away. I alternate between feeling blue and total panic. I remember the day he walked, ran actually, and the perpetual scab he had on his nose until he was three. I marvel at the man, yes man, he's grown into. O-o-o-o-h boy am I gonna miss him! I think about all the things I've forgotten to do. I question all my choices in life. My fitness as a mother. I remember the details that need to be taken care of before he leaves but I don't make a list so I can remember to actually get them done. Are the kids gonna end up alright? Did I give them enough of my time? Am I helping them enough now? Too much? I feel overwhelmed. Will I ever feel comfortable about my choices? Will I ever be satisfied with how they're doing? I feel like I've made a huge mess of everything and everyone. I feel unworthy.
I end up, as usual, at the Royal and chat with the morning coffee crowd. Everyone's pumping me for details about my visit with Gayle and her shop and her new life. I miss Gayle.
On my way home I pass by the spot where yesterday my neighbor, Doug, told me the story about his aunt's death. He's just back from Grand Junction, CO. Settling her affairs. Burying her. The story just poured out of him. He got there just shortly before she died. Like ten minutes. Her death was headline news: "Local Woman Dies of West Nile Virus." He met a lot of nice people who had been her friends. They helped him and really touched his heart. That was her gift to him. At ninety, she was the last link to the previous generation. Now Doug's the oldest living member of his family. Big responsibility. Big hole in his heart. Big existential whammy.
As we near the house, I'm starting to think about how hard I am on myself. Damn. There's only so much one person can do. And how will I ever really know if I've helped my kids or crippled them? I've done what I've done because I needed to. Or they needed me to. Actually, I just did it. And what's done is done. No regrest, right? Then I realize I should check my calendar, because these blue/panic episodes have a monthly cycle. Ah, yes! I was right. Any day now.
Then I come upstairs to the Knitting Room and read Rachael's blog. It's something I usually do while I'm waiting for the bathtub to fill. Damn! That gal can write! And, Damn! Right on target for this blue/panic morning.
And Rachael has a link to Greta's blog, which is all about walking today. There. That's what I neended. Comfort. Walking. Life is more than existence. It's all the moments before that help you face the adventure in the future. The kids are alright. I'm alright. Gayle's alright. I've just got to slow down, breathe, and enjoy the walk.