I realized this morning that my last post was on Jordan’s birthday. What a time it’s been. Writing hasn’t come easy as my tactic of, “One day at a time,” started to fall apart the closer I got to Merrick going away to school. I’m not sure if my anxiety would have lessened if he had chosen a school somewhere other than the same town his brother attended school. All I know is that as the weeks started to slip away and the day of departure was upon us I was a wreck. I didn’t want him to go. But I knew he couldn’t stay and I knew I would never stand in the way of his goals and dreams. There were a lot of late night tears shared with Mark as we both grappled with how to send a second child away to school when the first one didn’t come home.
The doubts and fears swirled through our home. My daughter came into my room to say goodnight and she brought her fears to light.
“Mama, can I talk to you.”
“Yes baby, what’s the matter.”
“I’m scared that what happened to Jordan is going to happen to Merrick.”
And then the tears flow, from both of our eyes. I stand holding her so tightly wanting to banish her fears but at the same time knowing that words like, “Don’t worry,” ring hollow because this isn’t the first brother or for me the first son that has gone off to college. Jordan didn’t come home. Accidents happen and this time they happened to our family.
“I know you’re worried about Merrick and I can’t tell you not to worry. But Merrick has picked the place that is right for him and it’s time for him to have his adventure. Just know that we wouldn’t let your brother go away if we didn’t think it was a good idea.”
After a few more moments of me holding her as we lie on my bed, she takes a deep breath and says, “Good night.”
I watch her walk down the hall and then collapse in tears. “Is it a good idea? Please don’t let anything happen to my boy. I can’t have two empty bedrooms. I need him to come home.”
The next morning when I come downstairs Lindsay is making her breakfast.
Looking down she says, “I had a hard time sleeping.”
“Were you thinking about Merrick?”
Tears pool in her eyes as she shakes her head yes.
“Oh honey, he’s going to be alright.”
“How do you know?”
That question hung in the air and all I could muster was a shrug. When words came to me I reminded her that Merrick would be home for his Fall break and that we would visit him for Family weekend.
“Let’s not look too far into the future. We’re going to live one day at a time and try not to worry too much.”
My words were for me as much as her.