On Sunday, both children headed back downstate to their college town after a month-long winter break. This morning, no one stumbled out of bed at nine or ten o’clock, no asked what was for breakfast in a hopeful tone. The driveway is free of extra cars; the house is quiet. The house is quiet.
While there is a certain peace in getting back into a routine of two old fogies and one young dog, the house seems a little empty today. I miss the sounds of clomping feet, the offers of help folding laundry, even the video games and the all-too-frequent question, “What can I eat?” Still, I know that I’ll see those faces again. Faces that I know as well as my own.
Our neighbors around the corner don’t have that luxury. Their twenty-three-year-old son died at home Sunday morning after a three-year battle with leukemia. I know they would give anything to hear his shoes on the stairs or see his smile or hear his laugh just once more. My heart breaks for them even as I am so grateful to have my own children healthy and safe.
Hold all dear ones close. Life is so precious, so fragile, so swift.