Time in a Bottle
Written by swambolt on in From the Heart , No one has commented...yet
I love it when I come across something that pulls at my heartstrings, something unexpected that catapults me to earlier years, nostalgia flooding me like a pothole after a drenching rain. Yesterday provided one of these moments, a nugget of nostalgia, which came at the most opportune time. As I wrote about in Crossroads, it has been a summer of reflection. Because so much of my identity is wrapped up in being a mother, the transition to life with adult children forces me to put my relationships and expectations into perspective. I have confronted and am learning to come to terms with the reality of having my children grow up and move out – although the pain of it will forever own a piece of me. Holding on and never wanting to let go … the albatross which seemingly will not release its grip on me. If I could just save time in a bottle …
If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you
The weight of letting go hangs on me, like a branch sagging beneath a pile of wet, heavy snow. Pictures of the children, marking milestones along our family pilgrimage (pictures with new puppies, family vacations, Christmas photographs) follow me around the house … frozen reminders of cherished times.
Today, while looking through Scott’s folder – the sacred place where school report cards, yearly physical forms, Scott’s birth certificate and copies of his driver’s license and miscellaneous papers are safely stored – I uncovered a message that Scott had written in his Literary Studies journal in November of 2004. Nestled between his Wheaton College acceptance letter and CollegeBoard AP test results was a piece of Scott’s heart poured into an empty page of his Literary Studies journal:
Having siblings is both rewarding and exhausting.
You always have someone to hang out with, to play
sports with, to talk to, and to do everything with.
At least that’s how it is for my brother and me; best
friends, teammates, brothers in Christ, classmates,
fishing buddies, snowboarding partners, hunting pals,
everything friends. Then, he left for college.
We will still see each other, but not as often and it
stinks. I miss my best friend.
I remembered this heartfelt sentiment and the feeling it evoked in me at the time – and now, it provided a precious nugget of nostalgia. A gift. To see into Scott’s heart and know that the relationship he had with his brother meant so much to him filled my heart to overflowing. We have always encouraged the children to respect and support one another – so this message poured out on a piece of paper in the back of a classroom or in the privacy of a bedroom (not meant to be shared or seen) was proof that somewhere along the pilgrimage we did something right, validating hopes that the children’s relationships would forever be characterized by love, kindness and self -sacrifice.
The words of scott’s note fell off the page, autumn leaves coasting to the ground with a gentle breeze, hanging, suspended and then gliding to the ground – carrying pieces of himself seemingly meant for my assurance alone. He was struggling to let go, to carve out a life without his brother around. An unfamiliar and seemingly unwelcome road. A crossroad mirrored in my own life.
Finding pieces of the past when I least expect it, a 4-leaf clover in a field of wild flowers, is a sweet and precious gift.
If I could save time in a bottle…
I’d save every day like a treasure …