Sunday, November 27, 2011

From The Driveway

If the decision was mine to make
and Time was mine to tether,
I'd take a picture of this moment now
and freeze this frame forever....

The decision is not mine to make. Nor is time mine to tether. Three years has not changed that at all. Confronted by the infirmities associated with my own inherent limitations, I shall do today nothing other than stand beside the Missus today and through tear-stained eyes (be they the result of joy, sadness or a combination platter their appearance is assured) stand on the driveway and wave goodbye to Suz.

Her next great adventure begins today. And as is the case with most "Next Great Adventures", it shall unfold in a locale different from the one that she has called home for the entirety of her life to date. My head tells me that it is a great thing. My heart needs a bit of convincing. Eventually it shall come around. Selflessness shall trump selfishness and parental pride shall overcome parental sadness. That day shall come. And its arrival shall be soon. But that day is not today.

Today the Missus and I become that which we have never been in two decades together: empty nesters. This day is not easy for me but it is worse for my wife, who perpetually envisions a world in which our adult children and their families shall reside within a hug's reach of us. Given the far-flung nature of the Kennys, it is a vision that is a tad difficult for me to wrap my head around. For Margaret, who has lived within walking distance of her parents and her only sibling for practically her whole life, it is not.

Suz heads out today to blaze a new trail. I know - as she does - that having learned at the knee of her mother all these years, she heads out well-prepared for what lies ahead. The two greatest testaments to the incredible character and strength of my wife are Suzanne and Rob. Suzanne shall succeed in Texas and anywhere else that life's journey may take her because she has been well-taught.

More than that though. She has opened up her heart and her mind to learning the lessons that Margaret has taught to her. Lessons Margaret learned from Suzy B. who in turn learned them from Nan. Nan lived so well and for so long that I suspect she was in fact the original teacher - and the original author of the Book of Life.

(I have this picture framed on a shelf in my office, as I have had since I took it standing in "the Pit" at Springsteen's 10/03/09 concert at Giants Stadium, the first Springsteen concert Suz had ever attended with Margaret and me. I suspect that both my wife and my daughter shall groan upon seeing its presence here. This is among my favorite photographs. In it, they are as they have always been: side by side, shoulder to shoulder and united in their purpose. A damned formidable duo....even before Suz developed the ability to deadlift two or three Backstreet Boys at once.)

As she heads off today, I know that Suz shall do well in Texas for she has never failed to do well in anything she has attempted. I wish that I could say that her success is owed in substantial part to my good efforts. I cannot. Two decades into it, I suspect highly that I have never quite gotten the complete gist of this whole Dad gig. I kept presuming that at some point I would figure it out. Tonight the only bedroom occupied in our home will be ours. I reckon the time for figuring it out has pretty much been used up completely.

I am no genius. Yet, I was smart enough however to know that which I did not know, which led to me standing off to the side a lot so as to not screw up whatever it was Suz was in the process of achieving while she was achieving it. I am happy that in spite of my limitations, I never turned into an obstacle she could not overcome. Truth be told, the obstacle that Suzanne cannot overcome has not been invented yet and it is not likely to appear on the horizon any time soon.

Tomorrow morning Suzanne shall awaken somewhere very far from here. Yet, even with New Jersey squarely in her rear-view mirror, the road she will travel on will be the one that carries her home. And that will never change. No matter where she goes. There shall always be a road that leads her home....

....and Margaret and I shall be here to welcome her. Always.

Suz, Mom and I shall miss you more than we can adequately express. Your absence from our day-to-day shall be painful. The love we have for you and the pride we feel in you for all that you have done and all that you shall do shall ease it. We shall be better than fine. So shall you.



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