Jon’s mum writes a blog about him leaving home to live in the South of England
He’s Leaving Home
I stare at the empty room, the bed stripped bare. Dirty sheets and the fleecy protector I brought to insulate him from the cold, all lying on the floor.
Watching him reverse the white removal van up the drive, grinning, beginning a new adventure, I was proud, remembering the physically wrecked and psychologically damaged Jon I met at the airport just over a year ago on his release from prison. Starved and deluded after days in transit.
Over the months he’s metamorphed, come out of his cell, learned to socialise again. Made me proud.
But hugging him goodbye I was overwhelmed with sadness. I cried. Tears no longer containable. Not just for myself but for all mothers who’ve suffered separation. Felt a part of themselves torn away. Reverberating in my head were the horrors the years of incarceration had brought. I held him tight. I felt afraid. Fearful for the future.
“I don’t want anything bad to happen to you again,” I said kissing his cheek.
“It won’t. I’ll be fine. All that’s over with,” he said. “I’m on the brink of a successful life. Be glad for me.”
The tears changed to relief. Relief that he’s got to a point where he can take off on his own and start his life over. Happy even, seeing the optimism in his eyes.
But the sadly beautiful Beatles song She’s Leaving Home sings in my brain.
I pick up the sheets. Place them in the washing machine. Turn the dial to the hottest wash, and watch as the circling motion of the drum removes all traces of the past.