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Micki Peluso

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Final Departure
By Micki Peluso
Sunday, March 08, 2009

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Micki Peluso
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This is a narrative of a mother's loss with a twist ending

She leaves in a moment, exiting toward an exciting new world; a world I cannot enter. Rejection overwhelms me and I feel abandoned and alone. These thoughts jolt my senses and I am perplexed by the intensity of my feelings. After eigthteen years of nuturing this child, loving her and attending her needs, the world has come to claim her. I should be prepared for this—but I am not.
The car pulls up, full of laughing young people, the people who will possibly take my place in her life, Her luggage stands readied by the door. College holds open the doors to her future. The doors close on me. Will she miss me as I do her, or toss me aside as a relic of her past? Will someone be there to to see that she eats right, and hold her gently as she cries over some small tragedy in her life?
This daughter of mine is yesterday’s child, woman of the future. She is my loss and yet my gain. Loneliness gives way to pride. This is what I primed her for, the dreams we both shared. Why then, do I feel that our ties are severed? We have done so many things together, yet as she goes off to meet her greatest challenge, I am left behind.
A few more goodbyes and she’ll be out the door, crossing the threshold to a different lifestyle, in which I play only a spectator part. My heart bursts with a myriad of emotions. Pride dominates them and sadness yields to acceptance. I molded this child-woman and the die is cast. She will not go off alone. She’ll carry a part of me with her, a motivation for her future, rather than a fixation of her past.
Halfway out the door, she kisses me one last time, arms around my neck, tighter than usual. Tears fill her eyes, but do not fall. Her luggage is loaded into the car and we exchange a look only we understand, The look is long and says it all. Our ties are not severed, but extended to a new awareness.
The car pulls away as we wave to each other. I turn and walk into the house, with leaden feet and heavy heart. I am pulled in two direction--I want her to go, I need her to stay. As I walk through our home, the echoes of her absence reverberate off the walls. My child has left the nest and I am appalled at the gaping hole her eparture has left in my soul.
Her room is as she left it. Posters hang in disarray on the walls. Rollerskating pompoms droop listlessly over her bed, and her prom picture sits upon her dresser, draped by her gradulation tassles. The room spills over with memories, mementoes of a full and happy life. How glad I am that she refused to pack everything away, leaving a barren, empty room. I know that I will come to this room many times throughout the years.
I cry a little, missing al the pleasures that she has brought me. My part in her upbringing is near its end. The responsibility for who she is belongs to her. I salut her; my child, this young woman who strides forward with confidence, only slightly masked by fear. I remain a part of her life but no longer the center. She has marched out of my life toward the knowledge and maturityof a woman, causing our relationship to continue on a new and exciting level.
In the far recesses of my mind, I remember when I left home for the first time. This must be the way my mother felt. Our lives seem to be reinactments of the same play. It’s only the performance that changes.
What now of my own life? Surely it’s not over, although on this strange day it seems so. Until today, it has centered on my daughter’s life, but tomorrow has come so quickly and she is gone, leaving me with nothing to fill the empitness. I have my husband, who is both lover and friend, but he may not be able to fill this void. Will I be content to be simply a wife, an estension of my husband? These are thoughts that I must deal with before reality robs me of the choice.
Watching this child leave home has jarred me into the realization that I am a woman with needs and future, unknown to me, yet prickling at my mind like a persistent canker. The knowledge that I have raised a daughter of such merit instills the assurance that I must do no less for myself. Seeds of dissention rattle through my mind and I realize with lightening awareness that this first fledgling, flying off on uncertain wings, has unknowingly inspired me to re-evaluate my life.
The telephone rings, jarring me back to reality. I remember again and the pain returns, relentless in its throbbing agony. I have no daughter. She was taken from me as swiftly as the tide reclaims its own. A mindless drunk on a country road, brings to an end, her life and future—and my dreams.
I will never know the feelings I’ve experienced, except in the fantasies of my heart. The doctor tells me not to enter her room for a while, but I don’t listen. It draws me against my will, for only there can I feel close to her, reliving the past and pursuing what might have been. I merge her death and upcoming trip to college in the same vein—a final departure.
My thoughts are spidery, reaching out for memories and storing them in the cobwebs of my mind. Maybe I won’t go back into her room anymore . . . today.
It’s her father on the phone, asking me how I am. I say, fine

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Reviewed by Sandie May Angel-Joyce 5/3/2009
The feelings of emptiness when a child move away on her own and the raw emotions run amok in the lost of that same child into the hands of a drunken driver - all kinds of pains and unfairness comes onto you, and I can really feel your pain in this story.

Emotion and pains well-delivered!

Sandie Angel :o(
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 3/9/2009
Good story, Micki; well done!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D

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