Here we are with our children
Almost completely gone
And we wonder:
Is this house a home
And who are we without them?
For me it’s easier, to be sure,
My dear wife and friend,
Because you are a nurturer of all things:
Flowers, wild birds, mongrel dogs,
And not only children.
On the other hand, I am a mere man.
Still, I am not so different from you:
Longing for a home
We truly made one together
And it has been good.
When I was younger but all grown up
Like our own children are now,
I was too old for mother and father
But yearned for a sanctuary in the midst
Of all the craziness and toil.
Before you, it was only me,
And then it was us,
But it felt just like home
With only you and me and God,
That unbreakable cord of three strands.
Later, we added to ourselves
Children who were precious and delightful.
Nonetheless, they were our own tiny crosses of sorts
Nailing our self-interest down and making it good as dead.
But resurrection and joy came in abundance:
As we gave ourselves to them
They returned more than I ever expected.
And now they too are about
To spread their tendrils of love
And create homes of their very own.
That leaves us with you and me
Still bound together in love
Just as when we started.
So I remind you that we are still at home
With only one another in the house.
Perhaps what you feel
With our children going away
Is just a reminder that we
Are essentially pilgrims still on the move,
Always questing and yearning
But nurtured by foretastes of unsurpassing
Grace and peace and, above all else,
Love beyond measure
And certainly beyond comprehension.
It is no wonder that we are a bit restless
On this side of death’s golden threshold.
One day we most likely will not cross together.
Rather, one will go ahead of the other,
And whoever gets there first
Eventually will greet the other and say,
For the very first time
We will mean it absolutely and completely and forever.