• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 08
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Careful What You Wish For!

Empty Nest Syndrome? I never thought I'd experience that, not with an errant husband and two warring children who conspired to make my life hell. But here I am, going through my daughter's things with tears in my eyes and a sad heart and she left only two days ago.

The image that evoked these emotions is a picture Alice painted when she was five years old; I remember that was our first holiday abroad as a family and I should have been excited; but instead, I was suffering from heat exhaustion and over-worked looking after the children while Jim relaxed the whole time and did very little to help. I remember showing that picture to him and his initial reaction was to burst out laughing.
"She's got a real talent, hasn't she?"
"Do you think so?"
"Absolutely. That woman in the picture is a mirror image; long miserable face, pasty skin, red nose; bulbous eyes; lank and lifeless hair; she's got you down to a tee, love."
Tears drop onto the picture now as they did then and I remember feeling hurt, upset and embarrassed at Jim's harsh words; and it didn't help when the children took his side and began laughing hysterically at my expense. It's funny, but I wished at that precise moment that Jim and the children didn't exist, that they were not part of me and I thought to myself I'd be happier if that were true; but I couldn't have imagined, thirteen years later, I'd feel what I do now: lonely, empty, bored and desperate for company. With Jim at his new wife's apartment and the children gone away to college it appears I've got what I momentarily wished for all those years ago; and of course I have to get on with my life, move on, but there is a niggling feeling in the back of my mind and it's something my mother told me - or rather warned me - when I was young: be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.