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Now browsing: Hometown News > Columnist Archives > Family - Kathy Josenhans

Dealing wit hthe empty nest syndrome
Rating: 3.36 / 5 (183 votes)  
Posted: 2006 Oct 20 - 02:58

By Kathy Josenhans

Well it's finally here; the freedom I knew would come eventually.

I was excited and ready to take on new challenges. I did my job and I deserve to live it up. So why can't I get motivated to do anything except eat and mope around all day?

For the past 18 years I've been busy raising my son and I was lucky enough to help raise two beautiful stepdaughters.

The girls have been gone a few years and have their own families but I still had the job of finishing up with my son.

Volusia County being a tourist locale isn't the easiest place to keep a child focused. In fact sometimes living in a tourist town can be the most difficult place to raise children.

We have strangers in and out of town everyday not to mention Spring Break and all the other annual events.

It's a no brainer; our kids are going to go find action on the beach side.

So I know for many of us we struggled to keep them on the right track.

We have spent many sleepless nights waiting for them to come home or at least call to let us know where they are. We would take the keys to cars and put them on restriction, then pray.

Now my son has left me for a drill instructor.

Yep, that's right. Off to the Army he went a few weeks ago. No need for Mommy anymore.

We are very proud that he wants to do something with his life besides check out the girls on the beach. So now I sit and wait for letters and phone calls. I actually feel useless and have no idea what to do with my time.

The depression sets in and I feel lost and then the phone rings. It's my best friend Elizabeth, checking to see if I'm coping.

What a relief.

I thought no one knew what I was going through. She explained how she felt as her son left for the Navy about a year ago.

With all the concern in her voice I realized that all Mothers must go through this.

She has raised three sons and her baby is moving out of their nest in December.

There is silence on the phone while we both are crying and feeling literally all alone.

Woe is us!

It's an empty feeling in the pit of your stomach as if someone has pulled the meaning out of your life. You are useless and unwanted.

Just as I reach for another tissue, I hear my husband say: "What's for dinner honey?" Reality again appears.

You learn to go on with your daily routines. As you pass their bedroom you look to see if there is a hidden sock or T-shirt, you pick it up and smell to see if their scent is there. It is.

Now you are comforted with tears and memories of that baby you held.

You end up rearranging their messy room weeping the entire time.

OK - let's be proud of what we have taught them and what they are accomplishing. It's our turn now, right?

As I was writing this column, I took a break to check the mail.

My son had not forgotten me after all. He wrote a very short letter to let me know he did love me.

So remember that your parents must have felt the same thing for a short time after you left home. Why don't you give them a call to let them know you love them?

Kathy Josenhans lives in Port Orange with her husband, Frank, and their German shepherd, Heidi, and a cat named Bogie after Humphrey Bogart. The Josenhans have three grown children. She can be reached at Kjosenhans@gmail.com.

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