It was a warm, sunny late summer morning., when the young man finished packing his belongings into the trunk and back seat of his new car. He was leaving home.
This wasn’t the first time away from all which was familure and comfortable. There had been solo trips and vacations out of state, and to other parts of the world. Education had seen him residing a good distance away as well. Still, this had, for a large chunk of his life, been home.
Thinking about it, the evening before, while talking with his mother, he had realized as much as his roots may have been here, with memories of friends, lovers, family milestones, forever linked here to this haven; “this” was his “home” no longer. Mother had shed a few quiet tears over that remark, but she understood the truth of what her son was saying. He knew he would always be welcome, and if the need arose, he could – at some future point(s) in time – stay as long as it took to get himself positioned to strike back out on his own. He had left the nest before, but this time … this time, he would be well and truly striking out on his own.
Final good-byes were said, hugs and tears, smiles and good wishes exchanged. The young man slipped into the driver’s seat, made a quick scan of all the items of immediate importance, in the seat next to him, leaning out the window for one final farewell, he pulled out of the drive. Heading down the tree lined street, closing one chapter, while at the same time beginning another.
The above was a thumbnail of events which took place some thirty four years ago. August 1975 to be exact. And now, my oldest takes to the road. He heads out tomorrow toward his own personal “great unknown”. The options and tasks ahead of him are a bit different than what I faced way back when, but the sense of change, of this time being on his own, has got to be a mixture of melancholy (for the past) and anticipation for wanting to know what the future holds. I have faith in him. He is made of sterner stuff than he might imagine. Others have made the “trip” before him and survived, he will too.