She sat staring at all the empty boxes and the packing yet to do. Still on the wall were the photos of the baby, now grown, all the memories of the growing up years, and all the regrets of things not done. She’d taken another way, left a marriage confident in her ability to earn a living, but things had not worked out in the way she’d hoped. She had too much drive and impatience to hold temper with any one particular job, and her boy had largely grown up with his father. She’d missed out on a lot of her son’s school years, and now she had the regrets and the empty nest.
She’d hoped he would opt for college. That was her forte, learning and studying. She could have helped him do well there, she thought, but her son had opted for the military instead. Worry had broken her heart for a time, but she rose above it, and put the pieces of her love back together, knitting them stitch by stitch until she was fully behind his decision, one hundred percent, Uncle Sam wants you.
She was so excited to drive down and watch his graduation from Parris Island, fit and fatigued from the Crucible. It was a huge deal, marching bands, all the young men fit and handsome in their drill uniforms while tearful mothers and proud fathers tried to pick their child out of the line up. The reunion of young men little boys for a moment grabbed their families in strong armed Marine hugs and accompanying music of family noises and “How have you beens?” There was the dinner together, then all too soon the weekend was over, and son went home for a week to father before heading back to Marine life and mother went back to her several part-time jobs.
When she thought about her emptiness and the sadness at all, she allowed herself a sigh, wiped a tear from her eye, put back on the cheerful smile, and got back to work.