There are so many stories of this season. I will tell them to you one at a time.
She looked across the room at me with a strange expression. Suddenly she said, "Mom, I want you to have my car."
It was a little like being sucker punched. Amazed I said, "Why?" Since she had gone overseas, it had set in Dylan's garage, waiting for her to come home.
"Because," she began to explain. "I'm not coming back at the end of the year, unless they make us shut down the university and I have to."
"Because," she explained, "you and Tim gave the car to me as a gift and so you should be the ones to get it back."
"Because," she explained, "it's just taking up space in Dylan's garage and that is not fair to either one of them."
What popped into my mind was that she was getting rid of her worldly possessions. I knew that was stupid, but it's what it felt like.
I said, "I don't WANT your car," and her response was, "You and Tim need it."
She came home for two days. In those two days, she cleared all traces of herself from her room. She said, "I want William to have my bedroom furniture." Her loft bed is heavy duty, and the matching desk and dresser and bookshelf are in perfect condition.
One by one, the ties to this place are loosened and she is free to walk in this world. What remains here are boxes of things in the attic.
'Cara's room' is now 'William's room'. 'Cara's car' is now 'mom's car'. She freely gave of her things. Her DVD player showed up in our bedroom. She gave things to her sister.
Sunday she leaves again, headed back to Afghanistan. I drove her car home from work in the dark last night, and I listened to the CD that she left behind. The band is 'A Great Big World', and snippets of lyrics catch my ear.
If only New York wasn't so far away
I promise the city won't get in our way
When you're scared and alone,
Just know that I'm already home