The handsome young man in the image is my son. I’ve written about him before – on his birthday and upon his graduation from high school. But this time around, he’s going to help me bring a powerful message to you.
Ah, for the sake of equal time, that’s my daughter. I’ve written about her here, as well. She’s such a wonderful young woman. I know. I know. What the heck am I doing publishing images of my children on the web! Well, let’s just say I calculated the risks and I was comfortable with it.
My son, “Johnny,” leaves for the University of Illinois in exactly 20 days, as he begins his freshman year. He’s been accepted into the College of Engineering.
A wonderful occasion, to be sure – worthy of raucous celebration. And that’s exactly what we’ve all been doing since he received word of his acceptance several months ago. And we’ll continue to do so, and be thankful, as time ensues.
But I gotta’ tell ya’ – I’ve been experiencing a bit of a hallow feeling deep inside; and that’s what I want to share.
Johnny and I had lunch together yesterday. And as he was wolfing down his Italian “sassage” (Chicago, you know), and I my hot dog, we discussed some of the details regarding his new adventure. By the way, he’s so much more ready than I was all those years ago.
As we were wrapping things up, I shared just how much I’d been feeling and thinking about what was to come; as well as our lives together over the years. As in, “Where did the time go?” And, “Did I give you enough?”
Several hours after we parted company, I wrote and published a chipur article on a treatment technique for nightmares. And a few hours later I hit the sack.
I awoke early this morning with the horrible emotional fallout from my own special, first-time, nightmare.
It seems Johnny and I were taking a trip together. We stopped at this really cool location through which a river flowed, and an ocean beach was within several hundred yards. All was going well until Johnny (at his current age, by the way) disappeared. Like poof!
I was absolutely beside myself with fear and tears. I remember thinking this kind of stuff only happens to other families. And I remember thinking how his mother was going to fall to pieces. I felt fully responsible, and I just couldn’t fathom what had happened.
I contacted the authorities, who came to the scene immediately. Interestingly enough, we must have been somewhere in the United Kingdom because the police officers had very thick British accents. Well, one of the officers and I were sitting in his vehicle going over what had happened; and I remember feeling so absolutely helpless – and frightened for Johnny.
Suddenly, the officer and I looked off in distance, to the right, and approaching us from the beach was that lean and tall drink of water – Johnny. What an amazing feeling!
Well, it sure doesn’t take Uncle Siggy to figure that one out, does it? Absolutely, my heart and mind have been consumed by Johnny’s leaving. And it’s been taking me places deep within that I find hard to visit. Let’s see…
- My history of issues with abandonment, separation, and loneliness
- The great difficulty I had leaving home and heading off to college when I was Johnny’s age
- Feelings of inadequacy and “Am I good enough?”
- My very mortality
Oh, one other observation. Don’t you think Johnny is very likely – me?
Ah, such golden moments, you know? Don’t know about you, but strolls in such deep emotional sand are often difficult for me. However, I know this – if our steps are slow and sure – and we dare to be open and honest with ourselves – we generally emerge from the journey all the better – and wiser.
By the way, thanks for letting me share. It helps a ton…
What about you? Ever experience feelings such as these? I’m betting you have. Won’t you share with us?