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Column - A "Wilson" Moment.

burnt

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Original Design - A "Wilson" Moment


One of the strongest moments that soaked into me from Tom Hanks’ movie “Castaway” centered on a volleyball he named Wilson, his only - albeit silent – companion. It suddenly floated away on the ocean, out of his reach, forever gone. The pain it caused Hanks reverberated the listener’s eardrums in Tom’s piercing cry, “Wilsooooon”.

That Wilson volleyball was almost the only thing he had salvaged from the plane wreck of which he was the sole survivor, castaway on a deserted island. One thing which made “Wilson” so special was the face-shaped, blood-stained mark imprinted by Tom’s gashed hand upon the ball, giving it a character of its own. However tenuous, Wilson was a blood-marked link to Tom’s past and its loss resulted in the “Wilson” moment.

Such a moment waved its way from my consciousness into my memory one morning recently when I walked to my usual sun-porch Lazyboy chair, coffee in hand. But it yielded no seating since it was loaded high with a pile of coats for all seasons. The top one bore across its back the familiar brand name “Wilson”. What are all these coats doing on my chair?

Aah, these coats belong to my son, the one who is marrying and moving out of our home, starting a home of his own. No more will these coats hang in my closet, other than a brief stay when he visits. I stood crooked and transfixed over the pile; the visual across the back of that jacket transforming into an audible “WILLLSOOONNN!”

Multitudes of images from the past splashed onto my mind’s eye in rapid-fire succession, like a living tsunami washing across a breached wall – our son carefully tending to the goatherd he started with his sister, that lightening swing of the bat that crushed the baseball soaring out of the ballpark, his first car parked on the front lawn, reflecting his pride in the glow of its latest waxing- the wave was relentless. Upon his every fiber was the imprint of the hand of his mom and dad, our blood in his image. I was there to change his diapers, when he learned to ride his bike, when he brought his first puppy home, when he left for his first day of work as an electrician. And now those days are ending? Indeed, because here was a coat – crying “Wilsooon”- telling me that it was so.

Ending? Or transitioning? Yes, the days of our son sleeping under our roof were over. No more regular meals at our table, no more piano recitals or drums played in our living room. No more Wilson...a strange mixture of loss and pride flowed through the cascading thoughts------His Christian character, work ethic, commitment – his very life was solid proof of his deserved independence. It was time to find his own shore. But yet…

The moment served as a poignant reminder that there is little that we may permanently claim as our own in life; that we do well to hold only lightly to the things we treasure the most. Because they will always, inevitably slip from our grasp, to float away, far from our reach. A pile of voiceless coats giving loud lesson. However, rather than echoing the despairing tone of Tom Hanks’ anguished cry, the space in the closet evokes something more like a celebratory “Bon voyage, son, BON VOYAGE!”


JES, 02/06/2011
 

hillsdown

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Nicely said Burnt. You made me tear up and want to give you a big hug. Hopefully you will stay very close to each other and will always be in each others lives. Will be different but better as you are now gaining a daughter and maybe grandbabies too when the time is right.

When I married my husband I had to move 4 hours away, it was very hard on me and my parents as I was used to seeing them everyday even though I did not live at home. Thankfully our lives changed and my husband and I moved close to my home town .I see my parents often as they are a huge part of our lives because my husbands family lives across the pond he comsiders my parents his as well. I speak to my mom and dad many times every day just to chat because I enjoy talking to them . Last weekend we were together for dinner to celebrate my Dad's 75th birthday.♥♥
So even though your son is beginning the next chapter of his life the novel will still be about you and your relationship as father and son. :)
 

Shortgrass

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I've felt that, but you stated it very well. It is nice to watch them fly, but that empty spot is still there. And as my wife would tell me, something would be wrong if we did not feel a loss. It is as it should be.
 

Shortgrass

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Soapweed said:
That was really good, burnt--a bittersweet moment, so to speak.

Now I am seriously considering naming one of my mules, "Wilson." :wink:

Save it for the one that goes galloping over the hill as you sit in the sand watching :lol: .
 

Jassy

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Wow..you really nailed the feeling we had when our son moved out of state to go to college several years ago...thanks for this post..and hang in there...it does get a little easier not having them around..
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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Very well said.....and I know exactly what your feeling. With Lil Lilly's wedding only 2 weeks in the past....

But.....haha she hasn't gotten all of her things out of her room yet. I keep asking when that's gonna happen....her brother wants her room because it's bigger than his....and I want to redo a room as a guest room. (never have had one of those before LOL)

I'm gonna share what I sent you via pm.....maybe others will get a giggle out of it too.....

Phone conversation I had with Lil Lilly:
And the call at 11:30 the other night because she was scared (he works nights) was priceless....."That's not funny!!!!" and I said...."What's not funny?" She said, "Daddy comin down here makin noise tryin to scare us!!! (her bridesmaid best friend was spending the night) I said, "Your daddy's on the couch watchin TV......" and she said, "That's not funny either!!!! Could you Send daddy down here to check....?" LOL So he went....nothin but her own dog under the house bumpin and makin racket. hehe

Then this Friday night she had a barrel race. Showed up at the house around 5:30..hooked her truck to the trailer....gathered and loaded her horses....then hopped in the passenger seat like always wantin me to drive. So we went. And it was one of the best nights we've ever had as a mother and daughter. She ran.....and was leading the race for a while.....15.995!!! I almost cried after I finally found her and gave her a hi five. She won money in the 1D Open for the very first time EVER!!!!
 

Kato

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Good one, burnt.

Been there. When our two sons were done with high school, and left for their respective colleges, it was huge. I wasn't sure how I'd adjust. Then they came back. And left again. And came back. And left again. And graduated. And came back. Finally the leaving stuck, and they were gone for real. I was glad it happened that way, because it gave me time to adjust. :)

But they never really leave. We still have stuff in the spare room that is boxed up and waiting for them to collect it. I have a suspicion it's not going to be collected either. It's been years. :?

But just wait. If you think having kids was fun, wait until you have grandkids!!!! They are priceless.

:D :D :D :D
 

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