Friday, January 2, 2015

Gone Girl

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


Another year you made a promise
Another chance to turn it all around
And do not save this for tomorrow
Embrace the past and you can live for now


Shorty don't wait in line
Short don't wait til' the sun don't shine
Shorty don't wait in line
Shorty don't wait until your life goes by

I listen to the lyrics, all of them. Words catch my ear, and feel like valuable clues, or maybe secret messages to me. I drive in the dark, and I find myself missing her so much that it actually hurts.

But she is doing great things, and I am proud of her. In her, I see what I used to be. Where did that go? When did it stop?

I have her little car and I will drive it around my world, and it is a connection to my girl who travels in a much larger world.



Bob said...

Your stories are always poignant and beautiful, and this is one right up there with the best of them. Cara is going on to do great things because she has a mother who does great things.

Bush Babe said...

Oh Deb... I feel that wrench from right over here. Your Girl knows how much she means to you... so glad she is sure in these steps she is taking. Such big steps. I love reading her updates, all the while knowing how much you feel reading each one (relief/angst/love). Hugs.

jeanie said...

Oh Debby - bon voyage (and very very safe voyage please) to Cara - and blessed travels to you in that little car, Deb.

Kelly said...

Oh, man. I'm flooded with so many emotions reading this. I pray for your family. I will continue to do so. Please pray for mine (and me).


KarenTX said...

I think she's just seeing the bigger picture of what she wants to do with her life. My son is somewhat that way, possessions don't matter very much to him. He's sort of a free spirit. But a Mom worries anyway. Hugs.

quid said...

Beautiful, beautiful post.

A little heartbreaking. Know the feeling with my own girl.