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  • Writer's picturelindsayireland

Halifax Heart

I left some of my heart in Halifax.

This isn’t about romance, or literal, like a medical catastrophe.

It is a loss of another sort. Earlier this month, my husband and I flew to Nova Scotia with my son and left him there.

Delivering him to his university dorm room felt like a huge life milestone; for him and me.

Move-in day was busy; the steady hum of activity kept my emotions in check, almost. Other nameless moms and I shared knowing glances. One had been using her t-shirt as a hanky, the tear stains looked like a spill. I knew I wasn’t alone.

It didn’t take long to set up the room- a single bed, mini fridge, desk, closet and some drawers. It was all too fast for me; I insisted we go out to some more organizers and then go back to his room for a final assessment. He didn’t object but replied “Ok, but I think I’m good.”

It became clear to the three of us that I was having a hard time leaving when I sorted the carboard in his blue bin and refolded a few t-shirts. We laughed at my obvious delays. My eyes got soggy as we parted “Have fun tonight. See you tomorrow.”

Yes, tomorrow. Still, I sobbed on the way back to our hotel. How had my baby become 18, over 6 feet tall and capable of managing his life? Pride and nostalgia were a heady mix.

A few days later, we said our final goodbye. As I watched my son walk away from the car, I had a fleeting feeling that I was abandoning him. All the years of preparing him for this day, and then, whoosh, I’m gone.

It’s my maternal instinct to keep him safe. My husband clasped my hand, “He’s ready.” I nodded “I know, so, I’m ready. It’s an exciting time, I can’t wait to see what his future holds.”

Besides, my heart will be full again in two weeks, at Thanksgiving.

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