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Day 461- Cat’s In The Cradle

Kayla came home this weekend for fall break.  It was a pleasant surprise as she was home just two weeks ago.  The good news is that she wanted to come back.  She has a boyfriend now. So, she brought her boyfriend home with her.  He’s a nice guy.  He’s very good for Kayla.  He seems to get her.  I’m very happy for her.

What I have had to adjust to is life is not the same, will never be the same again.  The Harry Chapin song “Cat’s In the Cradle” loops in my head now.

Well, he came from college just the other day
So much like a man, I just had to say
“Son, I’m proud of you. Can you sit for a while?”
He shook his head, and he said with a smile
“What I’d really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later; can I have them please?”

Kayla doesn’t even borrow the car keys. She’s got her own car.  She and Gabe are living their own lives. She was here for almost five days, but I feel like I barely saw her. College kids sleep on a different schedule, staying up late and getting up later. I’d be up for five or six hours before I even saw them, sometimes more.  They eat at weird times. Tywana and I had planned to take them out to dinner on Monday night.  Then I saw them eating “lunch” or whatever meal you call it when you eat your first meal of the day at 4:30 in the afternoon.  We went out to dinner on our own that night. They went out around 8:30 I think it was.

Kayla’s off to college and has a boyfriend. Shayna has moved to heaven, at the age of 15.  I’m Harry Chapin in that song, except I wasn’t too busy for them when they were young. I built my life around them.  I was fortunate I didn’t have to travel.  Many days I didn’t even leave the house. I have those precious memories.

I was watching a show called Better Things a couple of days ago. There was a dialog between a bag lady and the main character- Sam.  Sam is sleeping in her van because she’s exhausted and is catching cat nap when she can. The bag lady raps on the window asking for the empty water bottles to take to recycling. They get into a conversation, and the bag lady empathizes with Sam and her schedule with the three girls- PTA meetings, dance classes, sports, driving them to the mall.  Her whole life is built around the girls. Then, the bag lady gives Sam a glimpse of her future. She had that life.  She now has grown children- four of them- scattered across the country.  She has poured everything into her kids. Now they are off living their own lives, and she’s struggling to get by.

I’m struggling right now adjusting to this new life.  We were supposed to have three more years with Shayna at home. Tywana went to the high school volleyball match last night.  I think it was senior night. They had tributes for Shayna and Victoria (a player on the team and Shayna’s friend, who passed six months after Shayna).  I’m extremely grateful the team still remembers our girls. They wear tags on their shoes honoring them.  They had a moment of silence for Shayna last night. Maybe I should have gone.  I just can’t.

The last week has been getting 2015 taxes done even though it’s October 2016.  The accountant keeps calling. The deadline is looming. I’ve put it off as long as I possibly can.  Then, just as I’m getting my records together to get to the accountant. I get a bill from the IRS for 2014 taxes.  I have no idea why.  And I have no time to deal with it now. I throw the bill into the stack of records to take to the accountant. It’s his job to figure it out.  I’m trying to restructure the business which is off 60% from our peak. I don’t know exactly why or how this has happened.  But, I’m focused on trying to get back at least some of that loss so that one day we can retire.

Kayla’s back at school now. Even though we didn’t get to do our usual thing of staying up late watching movies or having heart-to-heart talks, it was good to have her energy in the house. I have to take what I can get now. This is my life.

The good news is that even though it’s Wednesday, it feels more like a Monday since Kayla has just left.  Shayna will always be here with me in my heart until I can drop this flesh and see her with my spiritual eyes.  One day at a time.  I only have to get through one day at a time.

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