adjective: (of a person) suffering from overwhelming distress; very upset
I prepared my child for this very day for eighteen years. Everyday, every week, every month, every year. “Step it up.” “Be independent.” “Well, what do you think about that?” “What’s the best way to handle that situation?” And step by step he climbed the ladder towards independence. Then it happened …all the planning, all the dialogue back and forth, all the physicality of doors opening – “I’m home” and doors angrily slamming. Of hugs and brush offs and messy rooms. It’s all over. That life of a boy and his mother is done.
I wiped every inch of his freshman dorm room down with antibacterial wipes. I made his bed one last time. And with a hug I told him “I will always be there for you, no matter what.” Then I walked out the door. I walked away with big tears running down my face. I was quiet until I reached the car where I sobbed loudly. An ugly cry of loss. Innocence and youth, bedtime stories, hot chocolates, little league games. Sunday dinners, bath time, summer sandcastles and sloppy wet little boy kisses are all over and done with.
What remains is nearly two decades of work. A six foot three inch man who knows right from wrong and who does not want to be mediocre. An adult with a grateful heart who is a curious life long learner on his own quest to be the best version of himself. I am left behind. Completely spent. Proud but heartbroken knowing I gave him my all and sad that that chapter is over. I’m living in the moment, taking it all in, both gratified and grief stricken and I kind of like that about myself.
“Do you know what this is? This is heartbroken.”
Erica Barry from Something’s Gotta Give