Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Empty House (redux)

I was doing some work on my blog last Sunday and found a new template that I loved.
It’s the one you’re looking at right now.
It’s called ‘Absynthe’.
I wanted to make sure everything worked and entered some text in the ‘search box’ in the upper right hand corner of the site.
As I scrolled through the search results, I came across a post called ‘Empty House’.
Hmmm, I thought, and I clicked on it.
I wrote this post in late August of 2008 before Jenna went off to college.
I always wax philosophical whenever a daughter leaves the homestead.
Although I can’t for the life of me remember writing it
(1200+ posts will do that to you, I guess)
I read it with the eyes of a new reader, a wonderful and incredibly insightful moment for me.
As I read the post, I felt warm tears forming.
Since the death of my father, life looks a bit different to me these days.
I read my own words and got blown away.
I felt weird.
I’m not supposed to be that jazzed by something I wrote, am I?
Yet, I was.
I am not blowing my own horn here just saying that the craft of writing is a magical thing.
Sometimes it gives you back something totally unexpected.
Very unexpected.
Check out ‘Empty House’.
After checking Google, it looks like I did write this.
And I did check Google, several times.


If these old walls could speak,
I wonder just what they’d be saying
the comings and goings of life; the hellos, the goodbyes
tears of the restless nights, memories of suppers shared, stories told

time shuffles his feet like that of an old man
that just can’t help but grow older,
he’s now quiet as a mouse
listening to the days gone by in this almost empty house

Sunny days and skies of blue, little girls saying, “I love you”
echoes from a heart that breaks
Simply because it knows,
that nothing can ever stay the same,
life is ever changing and the tiny souls once held in gentle hands,
aren’t meant to be held forever
But it’s so damn hard to understand and accept ‘temporary’
Take them to the edge and tell them to “fly”;
towards all that makes their hearts happy,
all their souls desire,
every dream they could ever hope to find
just fly . . .

We’ll watch you walk away embracing this wonderful thing called life
but inside we’re still calling out your name
Although you can’t hear it, we want it that way
maybe we just needed to tell you

in everything you do, know that this almost empty house will always wait for you
Doesn’t matter how long or how far away you’ve been, it remembers,
like we remember . . .
that whenever you’re here, you are truly home.



  1. Good Luck, have fun, be safe, make friends, work hard, brush your teeth, and pray.
    When the cafeteria food gets to you, know that you can make a reservation for a home cooked meal.
    Do your best and be good.
    Love, Mom

    You are one hell of a Mom.
    The girls are truly blessed to have you in their lives.

  2. Wow. That was really touching. I wish your daughters the best in all their adult endeavors. I’m sure it is tough being a parent and watching them spread their wings, but being a really good parent is what prepares them to do well on their own. I know they will make you proud.

    My girls have never let me down.
    Pamela and I have so much to be proud of.

  3. I couldn’t wait to get home to see tonights posting, especially now that I know where it was written……
    This is so beautiful! Looking at your 3 girls tonight was a wonderful sight. Watching you and Pam watch them, was even better. Things do change, sometimes too quickly. Sometimes catching us off guard completely, but I guess things aren’t always smooth sailing, right? Life can be crazy sometimes! You two have done a wonderful job and should be very proud of your daughters. They’re the best! The best to Sarah and Jenna as they begin their special college years. Sarah, enjoy every minute of Senior year…it’s over too soon. Jenna…have fun and stay safe. Work hard! Hannah, you’re my super special god daughter…..I love you and wish you an awesome sophomore year at AHS!
    Happy 15th b’day…I had to squeeze that in one more time before midnight! xo

    You are a very special friend, Lynn.
    And the best damn Godmother Hannah ever could have asked for.
    Thanks so much for reading this.

  4. you could take my approach – move. the empty family home was a bit difficult without my adult-sprogs clumping up steps, waking me at 2 am as they came home and wanted to tell me about a cool new band they’d discovered, or just the general noise… (sigh)

    I think it’s really just a matter of listening to the “new soundtrack” of our house.
    It will take some time.
    Thanks, DF

  5. The sad truth is that you never let go of your children; they let go of you. It’s probably for the best, but it’s still hard to accept. Ironically, your children will not appreciate this bittersweet reality until they, too, have children of their own who, in their turn, let go of them.

    Wonderful post. Very nicely done.


    I wonder if my blog will still be up and running then?
    Hmmm . . .
    A blogging grampa?
    It could work.
    Nice to see you poke your head out of the cave.
    Take care, T-Bone

  6. Oh Michael…I nearly cried as I read this because I know exactly how you feel…you’re sad and happy at same time.
    Happy to see them making their way in the world, sad they’re gone, happy they’ve grown into women to be proud of, sad they’re not your little girls anymore…I always found walking past their bedroom the worst thing..I’d glance in as I went past and see them as they were throughout the years they were growing up…their tiny little fingers wrapped around yours, little hands in yours as they toddled along, their hair flowing behind them as they were on the swing, you hear the giggles as you tickled them…I know it my friend…I know it…
    {{{hugs}}} for you and Pam…as I always say, it doesn’t help, but it can be nice to know there is empathy for the way you’re feeling…

    You’re always there for me, Maureen.
    I thank you dearly.

  7. A wonderful post Michael. The thing that gives us confidence to go out into the world is knowing that there is a soft place to land if ever we need it. Knowing that soft landing and warm arms to greet us are there we can do so much out in the world.

    My kids haven’t reached the stage where not having them here is even on the radar yet, but there are other steps that they have taken that make it hard to let go a little more each time.

    Hugs to you and Pamela.

    “a soft place to land . . . “
    I absolutely love that.
    Thanks so much, Gem
    I’m beginning to understand that ‘Gem’ is a perfect nickname for you.

  8. Howdy stranger,

    I’ve been around–just been a ghost lately.
    I end up doing the reading when I get home, but since I’ve been keeping late hours I barely have the time to comment when I’m finished reading.
    It’s kind of a lame excuse for my absence, but, you know.
    You barely have time to eat and I don’t have the consciousness to comment. :)

    This was beautiful, by the way. The last paragraph especially tugs on the heartstrings. And if this is written to your daughters, I’m really happy that you took the time to say this because some daughters never hear it.

    I’m well. Sorry for falling off the face of the earth during the summer… :)

    No worries, D
    Just really nice to see you is all.
    Thanks so much for the visit.

  9. ~m: Mine are only 10 and 12 and I’m beginning to feel this in my heart too. Your words are beautiful.

    Tanks, MrsV
    Much appreciated.

  10. Thanks for sharing.

    I’m all about the sharing, Spaz 😉

  11. You can hear the music in this one. I know I’ll be sad the day my little girl goes away.

    Welcome, Scott.
    That you hear music makes me think I’ve done my job.
    Thanks so much.

  12. WOW… you keep taking my breath away, thank you for the lovely reply to my earlier comment :)

    Most welcome, Gem 😉

  13. Your words speak to people.
    I’ve been telling you that for a long, long time, and now, finally, you see it for yourself.
    How does it go?
    Nail, meet {michael’s} head.

    There is no reason you can’t be jazzed about something you write either.
    It’s a good thing that you can recognise the beauty of your own words, and let me add, you should be damned proud of them as well

    This was almost like an ‘out-of-body’ experience, if that makes any sense.
    Funny thing is that it is the first time that it’s happened.
    Of some things yes, others? Yikes . . . :green:

  14. I experience the same thing when my emails bounce.
    I have a very short memory.

    Only you can leave a comment like this, K.
    You make me smile because I know you understand what lies beneath.
    Thanks, dude for the smile.
    You are awesome.
    Hopefully some of my readers will visit you and
    your unique sense of brilliance and intelligence.

  15. it’s lovely as always –with a 17 year old son, this gets closer every day.

    You’re living it, huh?
    Life moves too quickly, doesn’t it?
    Jeepers . . .

  16. Do you truly know how awesome you are?

    Man, I have missed plenty since I have been away – hopefully I can remedy that in the coming days, weeks, months.

    I know I am way behind on this – but I am sorry to hear of the passing of your father. I understood what you were going through in so many ways and can only imagine the whirlwind of emotions associated with it.

    I love the theme. And I hoping to find I similar one for my new home. Wanna help?

    So much has happened, Grimm.
    Thank you for your thoughts regarding my Dad.
    It was a bittersweet goodbye to say the least.
    He had suffered enough.
    As far as being behind, don’t sweat it bud.
    I ain’t going anywhere.
    Nice to see you back in the fray.

  17. (I came back and read this again from the FB link.)
    They’re not really gone you know, they just won’t be there as much.
    Besides, there will be more food in the fridge, less washing to be folded and you won’t need to fight for the bathroom anymore.

    Can Mark make me a personal loo upstairs next year? 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


© 2016 Smoke and Mirrors

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑