Music CD’s that entertained him when he was 14.
A collection of comic books from the ‘Batman’ era when he was 8.
A Cobras baseball t-shirt, the select baseball team I managed and he played for most of his first 18 years. Autographs from the Houston Astros, scribbled across a spring training program from the summer he was 11.
A beaten up metal locker plastered with a thousand stickers. I rescued it from a demolition project at a school and brought it home to fill with tools. He wanted it. No problem.
Carpet stained with the Lord knows what. No, I truly don’t want to know, just rip it up and put it by the curb.
So many nights he was banging around the house at 3 am and I wished for quiet.
Always asking “What’s for dinner?” as if he thought we were servants at his beck.
Sprawled across the couch with remote in hand, playing alpha male as if it weren’t actually MY job in this house.
Looking from the hallway into an empty room that I regretted becoming a reality.
He’s grown. He’s college educated. He’s employed.
Mostly, I sense he’s gone.
He moved to an apartment this weekend.
BEG said to me tonight, “You do understand he won’t ever live with us again don’t you?”
I stare into the empty room at the reminders he left behind.
But more than anything else I see that he is gone.
I confess now to my own mind that I have not dwelled on this until now. Now on a Tuesday night, tears fill my eyes and I have to stop writing to dry them.
Twenty four years ago we walked into the adoption agency and he was placed into our arms on a Christmas Eve. He was six weeks old. We walked out with smiles the size of Christmas morning itself.
I suppose he’s not really gone, but then again that room is empty, and it has never been empty before. He’s strong, competent and willful just like his dad. BEG knows us both like no one else can know us, and she says he won’t live here again.
So, I stand in the hallway looking at the little bits left behind. Tattered fragments of memories left behind as if fate had choreographed a movie scene. And all I can think to tell his room and the aura of my once upon a time young son is……
“Be sure to save a room in your heart for me, and I’ll save this room in mine for you.”