The following two poems epitomize these very opposite acts of love and devotion.
You’ll never see the tears that flowed,
As your plane took off in flight.
You’ll never know the icy fear,
That made my chest so tight.
You’ll never sense my immense relief,
When I call and you answer your phone.
You’ll never known the emptiness I feel,
Even when I’m not alone.
You’ll never know how I lose track of time,
As I try to imagine your day,
Wondering how you are faring,
In your new home so far away.
You’ll never know how hard it is,
To let a child go off on its own.
To move aside and let it fly,
To admit your baby is grown.
You’ll never know – for I hid it well,
I smiled when I helped you pack,
Even joking how I gained a room,
But it was all a put-on act.
I devoted my life to protecting you,
Being your screen, your advocate, and your shield.
But the time has come for me to step aside,
For your own good – I must yield.
There is a time for letting go
Of the child you held so tight.
And the time is now, this I know,
But standing back took all my might.
You’ll only understand when the circle turns,
And you’re the one waving goodbye.
As your child’s plane soars above your head,
And you can drop your mask and cry.
The old ones move slowly,
As they walk down the street,
Each leaning on the other,
As they lift their heavy feet.
With their arms linked together,
They support one another.
Husband and wife,
Their children’s father and mother.
Each step is carefully measured,
Their pace is very slow,
Yet their tired, lined faces
Are content and aglow.
For he is her pillar,
And she is his crutch,
Together, they are able
To endure so very much.
For a lifespan of years,
They stood side-by-side,
As one, they rejoiced,
As one, they cried.
Cleaving to one another,
Throughout the avalanche of years,
They stopped each other from drowning,
When overwhelmed by their tears.
Anxiously clinging to the other,
During the nightmares and the fears,
They proudly stood hand-in-hand,
During the triumphs and the cheers.
Each other’s completion,
Two parts of a whole,
They go forth united
To reach a common goal.
So much at peace with each other,
They have no need to talk,
As they hang on to one another,
And help each other to walk.
And as they continue their journey,
Serenely, they face the good and the grim,
For he has her,
And she has him.