A Bowl of Glass Beads

A bowl full of glass beads
Sits on the coffee table,
A glittering pool of moments
Waiting to be strung into days,

Childhood years,
Eighteen and a half,

First born,
First gone,
“Don’t blink,” they say.

I did.
And now you’re leaving.

Days and counting,
Red, green, purple, brown
Moments cascading
Through years,
Piling up in silent mounds,

A life rich in time
And love,

Nourishing moments
Slow in season,
Rushing water now

Moments of sorting,
Packing, boxing this
Thin slice of life,

Eighteen years hitched
To steam trains
Carved with faces,
Tagged with old men’s names,

Moments of molded wire –
Pokey and Gumby and Goo,
Days cloaked in a wardrobe
Of colorful capes,

Manga sketched into months,
Pastels smudged across years,
Pigment and brush
Staining the walls of our lives,

Words plucked from pain,
Strings bleeding into midnight,
Strains and chords twining
Anguish and time
Into song –

Moments of music
Strung in the quiet of night
This breath before dawn,

Oh, heart of my heart,
You’re not yet gone
And already I’m calling you

Come home!

But you’re ready to fly,
So ready.

Am I?

*To my son on the eve of college life: I’m so proud of you, of the man you’re becoming and your heart for the Lord. You’re ready, more ready than even you know, to go out and meet the challenges of this world. Go with God, follow where He leads, be who He created you to be – even when it’s hard, and know that no matter what, I love you and I absolutely always will.


13 thoughts on “A Bowl of Glass Beads

  1. Oh, Cindee … I know your pain. I have sent three on this journey, and let me tell you, they do come back, and they bring others with them! But today is an exciting time for both of you. Let God set your feet in a spacious place. Give him the empty room to show you new things. Blessings on you and your son!


  2. Oh, I know a part of your momma’s heart leaves with him but it’s a puzzle piece that easily fits back in place at every phone call, every letter, and every visit, for it lives on in Kyle’s heart. Every time it is removed, it will again fit back in. Such a touching post!


  3. Your heart gracefully seeps through your words to your son. I’ve launched 3 kiddos and Lisa is right. They do come back, bringing their friends…don’t throw out the Cheetos just yet…


  4. Oh, I’m right where you are… sending our second son out in three days. Most everything is packed… sort of. What a beautiful tribute to your son and your love for him… a handsome man he is! Such a wonderful painting of words you gave him. I have no doubt he knows your love. Give thanks for being able to “complete” your part in preparing him to go and rejoice that he is able to do his part in going. Hug and a smile to you… and a prayer for both of our sons.


  5. Cindee – beautifully written as always. And yes they come back. But in all honesty, it isn’t the same.Or at least it wasn’t for me.
    It wasn’t bad, it’s just appropriately different.
    It’s a joy to watch them mature into their uniquely designed self, but in that maturity there’s movement.
    First they come back with friends, then with spouses, then with grand babies. And although we become less of a factor in their everyday lives, they remain centered in our hearts because that’s the way it is with Mothers and Sons and Daughters. It’s a privilege and a gift, a bit of grieving and a lot of rejoicing.


  6. Cindee, I am so glad for this, on this day especially. My son will be 36 in a few weeks. I live in New York, he in California. He arrived back east to Hurricane Irene and left again to go back home this afternoon. Yes, they do come home, but it seems to me that when they go again, they take another small piece of us with them. Maybe that is as it should be, also. Thanks for your beautiful words.


  7. You are going to make me cry (ok, maybe I did a wee bit). My oldest started high school this year and my faith is being strengthened through it. I guess I will have a lot of opportunities for strengthening faith over the years, right? Praying for your sweetheart. Boys’ hearts belong to their mama, they always say.


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