Saturday, September 22, 2018

Face-to-Face with My Empty Nest Life

My life, my happy world as I once knew it, is suddenly nothing more than short-lived moments with echoes and shadows of children from the past.

I am at last face-to-face with my empty nest life, even if I am still in denial. Today, my first day with an empty house, I want to remain tucked within my sheets, indulging in a flood of salty tears that have already soaked through and stained my pillow. I have no desire to open my eyes and indulge them to a surrounding wall of obvious sunshine and warmth outside.

My heart is breaking! And this is only my first day.

I don’t want to answer the phone or see people at my door, anyone that would have something to smile about and then expect I, too, should smile and thus chat with them about the weather and a “bright tomorrow.” That is nothing more than murky waters from where I am now looking. At least, today, I would not be able to offer a friendly smile or utter a kind word without sounding obligated to do so.

No! Not feeling it here. Not now. And I make no promises for tomorrow.

Please don’t lecture and tell me to “embrace” whatever “good” the world still has to offer. And I certainly don’t want to listen any longer to those freaking birds singing outside my window! GRRRR!! What do they have to sing and be so happy about?

Dam the sting of tears behind my eyes! I don’t want to cry. I must accept....

My life, my happy world as I once knew it, is suddenly nothing more than short-lived moments with echoes and shadows of children from the past.

Was that my life I just saw zipping by?

My children were my world, my reason for existence. They gave me motivation to want to become a responsible adult. Because of them I learned to love. I learned what sacrificial love is, of caring and doing for others. Life and living was not just about me anymore.

I was happy in my new world! And then, just like that, they were grown and wanting to go off and make lives of their own.

Of course, this is as it should be. But reality really does bite!

So today I wake to face the first day of my empty nest life, to walk an empty house with empty rooms with only pictures and bits and pieces scattered-about to show that they once did really live here.

I am just only now barely finding relief from that dreaded syndrome, Menopause. And here comes the Empty Nest to face.

Dam ageing! Dam life changes! Dam my weakness to accept!

My house rings empty, empty of my children’s voices. I miss their laughter and loud talking; I miss their little voices with off-key singing, oh, how I miss their off-key singing. And I miss their fighting and taunting one another. I even miss them arguing with me! Right now I’d welcome any of those sounds and moments, anything to fill the obvious silence and throbbing emptiness.

Life dictates our children must leave someday, but my time with them in a snap flew by, and their time to leave me is already here. And while other parents looked forward to their children finally leaving home, counting the days and making plans for the chance to convert their old rooms, I lived in secret fear of the inevitable.

I never prepared my heart for it.

Some of my children will take different directions, either in pursuit of their calling or simply because they have no choice but to follow a new path. This, of course, may take them much too far from my arms’ reach.

One moment I feel happy for them and the next I feel angry and oh-so bitter!

Reality check: For sake of my sanity, for sake of my dear and faithful husband, and even for sake of my children’s ultimate happiness, I must come to terms with this new chapter in my life. I know that I am not alone in what I feel and now face. Others have felt the pain of separation from their children. My husband, too, is also feeling the empty nest. So together we’ll learn to make a new life, because we simply must, just as we have overcome so many other crossroads in our lives.

Tomorrow, after all, is a new day!

Note:Since writing this post, hubby and I have moved into a one-bedroom/one-bathroom apartment, due to unforeseen life changes. This, I believe, will go a long way in alleviating the heart-ache I feel with the onset of Empty Nest. Though I know this is not a Solution, it is a start.

Virginia Kahler-Anderson

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HomeRearedChef is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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4 comments on Face-to-Face with My Empty Nest Life

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By Barbara MacDonald on July 18, 2014 at 10:30 am

So nice to see your post my dear friend....I can so relate to what you are saying....downsizing, the children moving on...having babies of their own. It is not easy letting go..of them, and yes, so many things that we collect over the years. Time moves on and with it many changes come. Some good , and some so very hard to have to face. You will adjust takes time though. I did it in stages over the years. Having my children move out, then back in, then out again...and so it goes. Now I am very content in a small one bedroom apartment . So much less work than having a large place with 4 bedrooms....Kind of like it truthfully. So well expressed and written mi amiga....welcome back to Broo....hugs xoxo

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By riginal on July 18, 2014 at 01:58 pm

Virginia! Virginia! Virginia! Pull yourself together girl! There are so many positive things you should be grateful for! I woke this morning to a bird shitting on my car, then it starting pitter patting on the tin roof of the shed out back. The dog next door is like one barking nuisance. The guy across the road is an 'ice' man, i,like Barb, had a big house, recording studio. etc. My missus whom i'm seperated from now over a daughter who wouldn't behave or take medication,and cost me just about everything in money, trouble, etc etc says she still loves me and can't forget me but there's that wretched problem. Reno ing a 2 bedroom in drabsville. They live to 180 here and that's not mph. Do you hear me complaining girl? It's a wonder you don't because iv'e complained to 14999 of the 15000 people that live here. That 15OOOth last person i complained to dropped dead in front of me and i was just getting warmed up! Rude of her! I have just gotten over waiting for women to pause. A stunner woman came up to me in the dance bar at the RSL. She wasn't drunk...i said, after she started talking, "are you married?"...yep...four kids, her friend has my 32 year old's problem. Then we talked about kids. Her hubby was playing indoor cricket. What's the matter with these guys! My only friend here is on his fifth woman. Now Virginia i was a part time shrink. Here's my advice and there's no charge...cept the hand grenade i keep under my pillow should that bird not desist. 1. Stay in bed. 2. Stay in bed. 3. Put ear muffs on, put a zip on your doona, zip it up over your head and stay in bed. Moan...get your hubby to make you breakfast. Undo the zip,throw the dish and full cup of cold tea out, zip up and tell the world to shove off and tell that stupid bird,if she's male,to get a life, have kids, then when he's an 'empty nester' see if he feels like singing! Virginia the world is a cruel cruel place and at a risk of repeating myself it can be very very cruel. The train driver told me to get off the tracks this morning as he hasn't got time to stop after running over me. Upsets his time schedule. I have a train ticket and all. Serious girl, keep a diary, write a book. It's there. Call the book, 'It's a cruel cruel world'. OR...'Put a zip on your doona and don't bloody bother asking me which end.' 'One chirp out of you bird and i'll personally tape your beak.' (2nd book). It will pass girl trust me. The train of thought that is.Think of all the things you can do now that you always wanted to do. Put a zip on your doona...stay in bed...tell the bird to shut up for instance. Before you do though tell the neighbors to shut up because you're sleeping. All women suffer the same problem with the empty nest syndrome. If you miss a child you can adopt me with one proviso. I hate chirping shitting birds, and don't wake me...ever! It will pass girl. One day you will undo that temporary blip zip mentally, you'll leap out of bed,have a cold shower,scream at your unfortunate husband,"i'm going back to bed.where's my bloody breakfast!" Put your thoughts down on the laptop. If you need batteries for the torch to see the keys on the laptop when you're zipped up in bed get your husband to go get some...what the hell else are they good for? Can't even get your breakfast on time!Go for a run. Chase your husband chasing that confounded bird! It will pass girl...the train of life that is...and you'll get back up on board...we all do somehow though at the moment i don't think you'll get on board with your doona zipped up. There are better times ahead. Rest. Don't hang round people that sleep all day who have a hand grenade under their pillow and refuse to zip out and about...and you will sooner than you think because i rang God and he suffers the empty nest syndrome and he's constantly watching over'll see. Things happen for a reason, only God knows why birds get up so early. You'll be chirping soon...i promise. Then a forlon old drab bird empty nester will bash on your window and yell out "can you keep it down a bit Virginia i'm trying to sleep here." It will pass...then you'll have to wipe it off the window. You'll fly again...your parents did and their parents. It's not the last straw. Your little birds will come back from time to time. They always do when their zips gets stuck. And you have a husband to zip you up and listen to you snoring...women are so so lucky. Us men have so so much responsibility. Yep, at the risk of repeating myself women are....zzzzz. Cheers.

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By melanie jean juneau on July 19, 2014 at 12:53 am

wonderfully written and expressed

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By HomeRearedChef on July 22, 2014 at 11:52 am

Thank you, Melanie! :)

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