It is strange to watch my mother pack her entire house into boxes for her upcoming move to Atlanta. Watching the progression is surreal. It is as though she is inventorying her entire life. Boxes are stacked in rooms, words haphazardly scribbled on their sides describing the contents and their fragility both in terms of strength and personal worth. Everything on those walls have come tumbling down into brown, corrugated boxes.
As I sat on the basement floor with her last night, scooping the dusty contents from below the pool table, I felt sad. It is the same old sob story, too. I will miss our memories. I will miss our close proximity; I will no longer be able to see her at a moments notice. Instead, it will now take plane trips, car rentals, and careful planning to mesh schedules. Nothing will be quite the same.
But what strikes me most is not the change. I can deal with her being far away – just a phone call away. It is the absence of protection that burns so deep. Now, there is a brutal vulnerability that has surfaced with the advent of her move. I often wonder if this is how abandonment feels. Perhaps less dramatic, but at least the same apprehension that pulls from within and hurts to my core.