Her Door – © 2003

This is a piece about having a child leave home. In this case, my youngest daughter got mad at me and decided she wanted to go live with her Mother. She was in High School at the time, so I let her go. She came back a few months later, but not before I wrote this piece.

When i lost her again, in 2011, this piece took on a whole new meaning.

Her Door – © 2003

As I walk past her open door I see the same clutter in the same place it was yesterday. “You’re not going anywhere until that room is clean young lady”, I say as I pass. I say it almost every time I pass her door, even though I know I am just talking to myself. Every day the room looks the same and every day I make the same idle threat.

I know that one day I will finally break down and clean her room for her. I will go in there with a package of garbage bags, fully intent on putting everything into the bags and dropping them at the curb. Then I will find something that will remind me of when she got it. This is from that time we went to the beach, the movies, the ball game, or whatever memory it is that is associated with that object. I will relent and place that item on the shelf. When the shelf gets full I will get a box to put stuff in, then another. I’ll be lucky if I throw a whole garbage bag out.

Then I will take the stuff off the shelf and put them into boxes too. And one by one I will tape up my boxes of memories and hide them in my attic. Next I will take down her bed, putting the pieces in the garage with the rest of her furniture. Eventually her room will be clean – and empty.

My friends tell me it is a part of life. Kids grow up, they graduate, and they leave home. It happens all the time. But that was years away, it wasn’t supposed to happen yet. I’m not ready. So for now I’ll keep passing her open door and I’ll keep telling her she can’t go until her room is clean. Someday, when I’m ready, I will clean her room for her. When her room is finally as empty as my heart, I will let her go.

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