It’s a free, floaty feeling to loosen the ties that bind, even for a little bit. For no matter how lovingly they encircle you, they still keep you in place, grounded. And though that does provide comfort and a sense of security, I look forward to breaking free, taking a hiatus, leaving the daily grind behind, for just a little while.
What makes this voyage that I’m about to embark on seem even more buoyant is that I literally don’t know when I’ll be back again. My trip has no expiration date. And that’s OK. Like Scarlett O’Hara, I will think about that tomorrow.
When I’m lifted up into that clear blue yonder, I will be suspended between the bookends of my life here and my life elsewhere. I will be alone, alone surrounded by strangers. All of us traveling inside our own cocoon of solitude, for truly that is how we traverse this life, accompanied yet alone.
I am not so much moving away from one point as I am progressing toward another. I am going to, not going from. I fly to welcome an angel that has landed on this earth. A little soul who is a bridge between the life I live now and the life I tried to live then.
As much as I loved back then, I was unable to give my son, her father, what I most wanted to. A home with his own mother and father. The love I feel for him is forever framed by the guilt I carry. A guilt that is somewhat assuaged by the fact that though we divorced each other, we did not divorce him. I know both his father and I love him dearly, our firstborn.
Yet now is not the time to dwell on that particular arc of our family history. My son has given me a gift that will take me even further back in time, a granddaughter who carries my mother’s name. There is no doubt this new baby’s life will be one of privilege my mother could not even begin to imagine. A child sent out into the world at the age of seven to earn her keep would have no reference of what it meant to have a stable, secure life with two loving parents.
But, this Carmen will. And when I finally hold her great-granddaughter in my arms, I know my mother will smile down at me from the heavens I’d just been so close to.