Friday, August 28, 2015

Life is short.

Returning from my two-month summer book tour, I put a visit to my 21-year-old son at the top of the list. Matthew is living and learning to be a grown-up in New Haven, Connecticut, and the last time I saw him was in late June. The connection I have with my son is one of tender understanding. His struggle, his life views, his spirit, all touch me in powerful ways. He is the youngest. He bore the brunt of our family's dark years. As we hugged and parted yesterday, and he turned to walk back to his apartment, my eyes filled up with tears as they always do. I longed for a simpler time. I ached for a return to the carefree days of his early years, the laughter, the promise. I lingered in my car a few minutes until I could safely reset my thinking, and actually drive. Truth is, I am grateful that my son is alive, he is safe, he is learning to live a clean, honest life. I am grateful that I can pick up the phone and call him, text him, tell him I love him. Some people I know can no longer do that because their children have died. Still, a pervasive longing took hold of my heart as I made the 30-minute trip to my 90-year-old mother's home in Southington, Connecticut. I love my mom. We have made our peace. I no longer allow her to push my buttons. I am wise enough to know she won't be on this earthly plane forever. But my initial response to going to visit her was the usual one, "Okay, I'll stay an hour or so, and head home." But something occurred to me (and this was God's grace)---my mother loves me, longs for connection with me, the same way I hunger for it with and from my son. I called my mom from New Haven to tell her I was on my way. My mom suggested I spend the night. When I said, "Actually, mom, I was planning on it, and hoped that would be okay," I could almost hear and feel her joy over the line.

This thing called life is cyclical. What goes around comes around. What I crave from others, they crave from me. Time. Connection. Love. Understanding. I owe people my presence, my wholehearted attention. Today, I vow to linger longer with those I love.



  1. I can relate so much. This year has caused me to do some soul searching and I have realized that time is so precious and fleeting. In the past I've often treated a visit with my parents, more particularly my mother, at arms length. I'll stop in for a few brief moments and be on my way. But this year I became aware of how selfish that is. I know she misses us, living 1000 miles away in Kentucky. This visit Steve and I made a point of spending extra time with them and just being there. I could see how important our time with them was to all of us. I hope that my children and grand-children also realize how important time with the older generations is fleeting, but so very important. Thanks so much for sharing Carol.

    1. Thank you, Donna, for such a heartfelt response xoxo