Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Do You Think?"

Felt the chill in the air far more powerfully today than I have in quite a few. I had the day off and was done with my newsletter stuff for The Wine Country so I had the entire day to just lounge around, get lost in my thoughts and focus on the part of my life that does not intertwine with the store. These are rare days these completely out of the store days, I’m a front of the house manager type so even when I’m not walking the floor my thoughts, ideas, stresses and concerns are with me if I’m on the clock or not. That store has quite literally saved me on a number of occasions so it is one of the first things I think about when my mind starts it whirling in the morning and slips in between the, “Just for me” thoughts that lull me to sleep. The one time I allow myself a total day off is when I have sent all my verbiage in for the newsletter.

Today was one of those days.
After hearing that my standing date night with my adorable neighbor had to be canceled I kicked into cooking mode. Compiled a list and almost without thinking devised a plan for dinner…one that I had not cooked in almost fifteen years but rattled off the list of needed items as if it was a dish I had been making every week for like ever. Seven bone chuck roast, the makings for salsa and tortillas. I was making my mother’s burritos, the ones I had not made or thought about in years, yet here were the ingredients, cooking times and assembly instructions floating around in my work-less mind. Why? Why that dish right now?

“Do you think it would be okay if I stayed a couple months longer, just to save up some money and watch the seasons change one more time?” just part of an email I got from my soon to be graduating son. Jeremy, My Jeremy is about to be handed his degree. Every time I tell people that ask about him that he is about to graduate they all say the same thing, “Oh My God. Has it been four years already?!” and I stand there, grinning but feeling the weight of a heart that has been Jeremy-less for four really long freaking years. Yeah, it’s been four years, four long years without his smile, chuckle and touch. To everyone else it might seem as if the time flew but for his mother, well it has felt like an eternity. The “do you think?” email was heart wrenching but not in the way you might assume.

When that amazing kid…..man, first stepped foot on the campus in Louisville I knew. I can read that face as if it were my own and as we passed the brick buildings and lush patches of lawn my favorite reading material was speaking loud and clear, “Time to fly, it’s my time to fly”. He took weeks to tell me which school he was choosing but I had begun preparing myself, as best I could…I knew. And the past four years have also been a time of emotional preparation for me, preparing for the very real possibility that my son, the man that now wears my face, might choose to continue the life he has started building there in Louisville. I’ve waffled over the years, going back and forth between being adamant that he would return home, just knowing that the call of family, the near perfect weather and his history would be too much to deny, and facing the reality that he now has a life and history there as well. It’s never been easy for me but here’s the thing, it’s not about me. Never was and never should be.

As I sat in our home tonight, the smell of our history hanging thick and rich in the air, I thought about Jeremy’s email and started to cry. It’s not the coming to terms with his wanting to stay, however long he stays, I have been building a support around my silly heart for that. No, it was the sweetness and concern for me and my feelings in what I’m sure is one of the most terrifying and confusing times of his life. I could feel him so powerfully, feel his once tiny hand in mine, the furry brow I used to kiss, see those beautiful brown eyes filling with tears whenever he would see someone else cry….thousands of miles could never separate us, he is always here with me. Always.

So to my beloved son I would like to say this one thing, and I need you to hear me. The only sure way to break my heart is for you not to follow your own….

I’m fine baby, how could I not be fine when I get to wear the pride that is being your mother every single day? You have given me so much Jeremy, more than you will ever truly understand and more than my feeble attempt at writing will ever be able to convey. My heart doubled that July morning almost 22 years ago and has continued to grow, flourish and gain strength just by watching you become the man that you are. You have given me the strength that I will call on when the missing you gets too painful. I will visit with you through the smells in my kitchen, the pride in my step and the years of laughter we have shared….the waiting for the volumes more to come. Take those months my sweet and loving son, take all the time you want and need. That front door is just like this heart that you helped build, wide open and simply waiting for your return.

It’s your time Jeremy
Your time to fly
It is such a pleasure to watch you soar….
I love you baby
You are the reason I am the woman I am and I could not possibly be more proud of you.


webb said...

Oh, Sam. You're an eagle (or maybe a condor?) and you've raised a good little eagle, too. You both soar!

Michael Hughes said...

So sweet, tender, heartfelt. He's a lucky man to have such a loving, adoring mother.

Joe said...

yeah, yeah, love this and tender that. Howsabout those burritos?

Okay, it was very sweet. Ugh. Makin' me into a mush over here.

Samantha Dugan said...

I feel like a Dodo most days but thank you!

I always feel like lucky one...hopefully he does from time to time.

I've seen you around rats, me thinks you were kind of a mush when I found ya.

middle child said...

In the end-I think that all we want is for or kids to grow into happy, self sufficient adults. You are a good mom to hve such a loving son.

Charlie Olken said...

Come on home, son.

I hear you, Sam. My mother once said that the worst thing that happened in her life (slight exaggeration, of course) was when I stayed in California after grad school instead of returning back east as I had originally planned.

Years later, my daughter headed east for school and I was pretty much convinced that she would stay there. After all, in my group of college roommates, the two from California stayed back east while the three from Massachusetts wound up in LA, San Francisco and Honolulu. So, I was resigned to seeing history repeat itself.

I got lucky. She came back, settled in and has stayed near enough that we see her a couple of times a month.

There is no telling where Jeremy will wind up. But, wherever it is, he will make a decision that is right for him. And that, as you have said, is the way it is supposed to be.

But, baby boy, that does not stop mama from hoping the way I was hoping and my mother was hoping.

Thomas said...

You handled this situation beautifully, Sam. It shows how much you value Jeremy's need to develop his life--not yours.

When I announced to my mother, at nineteen, that I would be getting my own apartment, she handled it in her best way. She said, "don't come crying to me when you need a good home-cooked meal."

It was her way of challenging me to learn to cook, which she considered par of taking care of yourself.

Samantha Dugan said...

Middle Child,
Thanks for stopping in. It is, or should be what we want and work so hard for....the helping create a person full of their own ideas and wants, with the drive to go make them happen. This, this is all I have ever wanted for my sweet son and once again he is making my "job" as a mother as very easy one.

Awe Charlie Baby,
That "Come on home, son" damn near killed me and gave me what I needed, the knowing that someone out there truly understands what this feels like. Such a strange mixture of pride and heartbreak. Have to let pride win here, for both Jeremy and I.

Sadly my mother did not and any advancements we made she seemed to take like rejection...of her and let us know it. The thing I never got to tell her is how much that ended up helping me. Made me a little stronger each time, (my sister was always better with the guilt trips laid on us. She caved far less than I did) a little better at using my words to explain and helped mold me into the mother I had hoped I would be. For those things I am forever grateful.

Thank you dear friend. And thank you all for indulging me in these soul searching posts. Seems that there has been so much to think about and deal with as of late and the releasing of my thoughts here does a great deal to help....the finding warm hearts and understanding helps even more.

Sounds as if your mother served you well Thomas. I had wanted to include the recipe for the burritos at the end of this post. Just for Jeremy when he longed for the smells of his family's kitchen but, well for some reason the formatting of this post gave me nothing but nightmares! Began the piece Monday night, finished writing in the morning before work, went to post and it kept showing as on long ass paragraph! Used my lunch hour to try again and the same damn thing happened. So I scrapped the recipe and spent my 30 minute break creating paragraphs and finding pictures so I didn't have time to get the recipe in....not that there really is one. More of a add some of this, cover with water, a few shakes of that kind of deal. Oh well, maybe next time!

chris said...

Dear Sam,

You are Jeremy's safe harbor. On his life journey he'll occasionally drop anchor for home cooked meals, clean sheets, and his mother's unconditional love. Guaranteed.

Samantha Dugan said...

The knowing that makes it so much easier. Honestly.

Anonymous said...

Oh Sam... he'll always come home. Eventually. Four long freakin' years indeed. I can only imagine. But proud of him for doing it and finishing it. Its hard work,that. You raised him well,girlie, and it says something that at this crossroads he's not running home to DaMomma's apron strings but standing on his own two feet like a man, trying to find his own life's journey. Bittersweet,I know.

Carl said...

when Jeremy does read this. I would like to add "What Mom Said!".

Samantha Dugan said...

Another Day of Crazy,
Bittersweet indeed but much more on the sweetness end. I'm so proud of him as you well know and I cannot wait to get MY HUGS!

Use your words dammit! He is probably too busy to be reading my stoopid blog and that's okay, he doesn't need to read it.....I just needed to say it.

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

First of all, please forgive me for my recent absence here. I'm a bum, no two ways about it. You know how much I love you, of that I'm certain.

When I read your posts about Jeremy I not only flash back on my own mother, but, maybe more importantly, I think about the folks in the world who never had your brand of love and support from their mother, about how difficult and horrible that must be. Those folks, whose mothers abused them or showered them with disdain, don't understand how that has warped them, but they spend their lives suffering. I lost a woman I loved to what amounts to maternal abuse. I often try to imagine what a remarkable woman she could have been had she had my mother for a parent. Or if her mother had been like you.

I never had the courage to move very far from my mother, though she tried to have me deported. I just had a hunch that bus was going to Tijuana. It takes little courage to move a long way away from a family that hurts you or neglects you. For Jeremy to stay and live for a time in Louisville shows great courage and character and strength. All of us know where he got that.

And I'm guessing that it's been a very tough four years for Jeremy as well. No doubt one day he will soar. But make no mistake, he still needs your flying lessons.

I love you so much!

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron Love,
Not a bum, just having a life that can't always include me and my stoopid blog. I get that and understand, just happy when I do see you here.

I know how much you loved and admired your mother so to read your words of praise for the kind of mother I am means more than you can possibly understand. So thank you for that. Everything I have to give I will gladly give Jeremy so those flying lessons, should they be needed are his for the taking.

Thanks for everything Ron. I love you.

Jeremy said...

I miss you too Ma, I mean that's one of the reasons I want to move back, even if it's only for a little bit. I miss my history I have back home, I miss my family. The stuff I have done here will never be forgotten and there will be a time where I will miss this as well. But nothing more than what I miss back home. I'm ok with seeing Maggie, Aj, Stochaj, Shaggy three or four times a year for a couple weeks and talking to them on the phone, not my family...


Samantha Dugan said...

Well kiddo, I am convinced that you can do anything so if you can manage this very confusing time in your life it will be one more thing that you can teach me. I taught you food, wine, booze, laughter, lightness in the face of sometimes harsh reality, it is now your turn to take the bow and steer our family into the next sea of knowledge. My hand is rested there, right where it has always been, either in reality or memory...right there in yours,trusting and believing in you and the dreams you have. Make them real Jeremy, you can do this Baby, of all the people I know...you have what it takes to make your dreams come true, the power to take us all with you....

I'm here watching baby, fingers crossed, heart full and ready to take the next step with you...should you need me.

You were and will always be the first true love of my life, because of you I can now love in a way I never thought was in me. I only wish there were words big enough to encapsulate that, There are not, all I have to promise you is this; there will always be You and Me and just knowing that can make even the darkest times bearable.

Your smile, my melting because of it. My, "Tiny man" now a man and our freakish understanding of each other, the look that needs no words...you and I kid, we did it. Momma's heart is full baby. Let's go get em'!

Do Bianchi said...

@Samantha Jeremy has the best mom that anyone could ever wish for. Sometimes it's not the coming but rather the knowing you can come home that gives us the support and surety to do the greatest things in life. Your Jeremy seems like he's on a great track toward great things in his life (do you know anyone who finishes in 4 years these day? your Jeremy is the only one I know!). But even more important that having a family and a home to come home to (when/if he needs/wants/desires) is that he has a mom who isn't afraid to tell him she loves him and isn't afraid to let him know that it's okay to feel pain and that the separation — whether at birth or at graduation — can hurt... it hurts as much as you love and you love a lot... the two go hand in hand and cannot be separated... like the mother and the child... I hope that I get to meet Jeremy someday and I am always inspired by you and you and your writing. Ti abbraccio j

Samantha Dugan said...

Jeremy...Um, the other Jeremy,
Thank you as always for your kind words and tremendous following of the Sam & Jeremy story. You have said things to me, both here and on the trip, that make my heart swell with pride and that is a gift that can never rust or tarnish. Thank you doesn't cut it but sadly it's all I got so...thank you.

Joe said...

I did not freak out about the rats. You're embellishing. I just said that spiders, snakes, and crazy chimpanzees do not bother me, but I wouldn't really care to do that fear-factor where they put you in the coffin covered in black rats. But it's not phobia. I just don't want to end up on Hoarders, like Glen from Llano, CA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsITgqGQgj4

Samantha Dugan said...

Dude! I saw that one....holy fuck that was just gnarly. Like when they were pouring....pouring rats from the guy's mattress. Gack!!!