I wasn't speechless this morning as Evan and Angie pulled out of the driveway to begin their journey to Omaha. I did manage to squeak, "Call us from Idaho."
We have been empty nesters before, as the kids went off to school and work in their various directions, but this time feels different. Always before we had the expectation that the semester would come to an end, and that someone would be on their way back home. This morning I realized that "home" will likely be elsewhere for our brood, and that their being with us in the future will consist of occasional visits, rather than lengthy stays.
Even as we freely shed our tears this morning, Sally and I were thankful that we're so close to Evan and Angie, Erin, and Megan, that such partings are difficult. Not all families offer space where people can feel "at home", and where love, laughter, and tears are so freely shed.
There's so much more that could be said on this subject -- the quote from Gibran on "Children" comes to mind -- but I don't think it's really necessary. It's enough to say that, though our nest is empty, our hearts, most assuredly, are not.