I remember the day you left, it was bitter sweet. My boy was a baby no longer, and my bird's egg had cracked and my chick had flown away. I was alone with my husband, alone, yet with a world of possibilities. The odd thing is, I didn't feel like exploring this new and intriguing world. I could vacation, yet I didn't feel like traveling, I could escape, yet I felt like being trapped.
I remember waiting for the day I would meet you. Preparing a room and spending hours rubbing my swelling stomach. You came in a whirl of tears and smiles. I couldn't bear to wait to watch you grow. My mother held you with a saddened beam. She had lost me just as I have lost you. Don't think I mind it that much, it is a part of life. However hard it may be.
Yesterday I found a recording of your voice. So confident, and so inspired. I miss that. You had been my baby that fit in my arms. All sweet cooing and chubby cheeks. You looked like your Turkish father with dark tan skin, dark brown hair, and dark brown eyes.
Then you started walking. You ran from chair to chair, faster than me. You would climb and climb and climb! Up any thing that had legs on the ground. I would chase you around the house from one mischievous venture to another.
As a child you might remember you were consumed with all things nature. You were that odd boy out that picked flowers and danced with the birds. I think you were closer to flying through the cottony clouds than any other being in humanity. You preferred animals to your own kind and flying to walking on the ground.
That is until you met Serenity. A dashing young lass that stole your heart and stole my mind. I couldn't stop thinking about the girl that had seemed to catch you as you plummeted down from the birds to the ground to be with her. I had been your best friend and now she had taken that place. You finally looked at a girl in a new way, a way that didn't just hold hope of friendship, but showcased a future together. She stole you from me, yet I didn't completely mind it.
You seemed to take your diploma and run to college. Suitcase in hand, you waltzed to the station with only a goodbye and an 'I'll miss you!'
As a disorganized and unhealthy college boy you only found time for dates with your desired one, Serenity, and never your mother. I anticipated an hour long phone call every day. I longed to hear of your life, your romantic endeavors, and how people treated you there. I wanted to hear that brainy voice rant about his professors and whisper about the past.
However, you never called. It wasn't the end for me though, I knew you were busy gaining this new life. You were experiencing new things just like I did when I was your age. The only news I heard was from Serenity. She came over every few days to 'help me'. However I knew guilt made you appoint her to look after me. At least I got to know this woman that had clutched my son close to her.
She told me you were doing well. However, I knew she didn't really know because your phone calls with her would only be filled with innocent murmurs of young love, it would be filled with plans for the future, not ever the present day.
Soon you came home. It was in a flurry of boxes and packaging tape. I cleared out your old room and you shut yourself in there for hours at a time: studying, sleeping, occasionally eating, and messaging Serenity. When you came out it was to see her.
One day you left for hours on end. When you came home Serenity was wrapped in your arms, teary-eyed and sporting a gaping mouth. She flashed her hand in my face, complete with Dimond ring. I was not shocked. With you I couldn't be shocked, you were just learning to live and learning is full of surprises.
The wedding was beautiful. One thousand and one shades of white filled the little old church you had grown up in. Flowers dressed in every color and the most handsome groom and most beautiful bride were married. I had officially lost my son and gained a daughter. It always will be funny to me how that happens.
After the moving in and a year of little happening the promise of pattering feet on my dusty wood floors filled the house, along with Serenity's stomach looking fuller and fuller. As a soon-to-be proud father you strutted my house once again, pacing back and forth.
The day came when you gave me a call. Serenity had given birth to a baby girl. I was officially old, and was gifted the title of grandma. I held the sweet darling in a flurry of tears and laughter. I had raised a son and would offer a hand in raising baby Aimeé.
Now you have five children and a little farm in South Dakota. From phone calls I hear of the adventures of Aimeé, Lucy, David, Archie, and Lydia running through the long golden grass. I hear of the sun that scorches their already red cheeks and about the carrot-colored cattle that comes home with the setting sun.
You have a different life now. I can imagine as this worn hand holds this pen that touches this paper Serenity is collecting hen's eggs or planting wild flowers, you are cleaning out your horse's stall or feeding the cattle, and maybe the children are playing with a kitten or are at a friend's home.
As my only child I miss seeing you, helping you, and feeding you with love. You are hours and hours away yet always in solidarity in my heart. I will never forget my baby that cooed, my boy that climbed, my son that flew, my love-sickened teenager that gave his heart to another, my young man that studied in college, and the excited person I had never met before that exchanged rings at the alter one day.
Josh, my son, please pass on this love to your children. Please store their sayings and frustrating actions in your heart. Sooner than you would like you will look back with a mix of loving and longing. Soon you will be stuck in an empty house with a world of things to do yet only one thing you want to do,
which is being with your son and his family.
With an overflowing fountain of love,
Your mother, Tammy Erkin