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Dorm Goodbye

Updated on September 18, 2012
anglnwu profile image

When words and dreams collide, poetry results. These poetry hubs reflect my life, my interests and all the things that move me.

Letting Go

Aaron with his roommate, all settled in, I hope?
Aaron with his roommate, all settled in, I hope? | Source

I left him at the dorm

Hedrick hall crowded as

Central station at rush hour

A hug and words too many

To put into a single satchel

Of reminders

“Brush your teeth

Eat your fruits and vegetables

Do your homework

Stay away from drugs and alcohol.”

Like post-it-notes—will they fly away

In the new winds of change?

Even now, they seem

Like frail streamers flailing …

In the storms of unknowns

They streak across the stark sky

Falling, flailing, floundering.

Moving carts and checking in--move-in day can be busy and crazy.
Moving carts and checking in--move-in day can be busy and crazy. | Source
A bit of luxuries from home--in case he misses us.
A bit of luxuries from home--in case he misses us. | Source

This leaving a part of you

At the dorm…the part of you

That you grew for the last eighteen years.

As he releases his arms around you

To face a new beginning

And you knew the grasp will

Slacken like the

Wilting of stems

As time climbs the mountain

Of never-ending peaks.

The unflinching sun looks on

Bright and callous….

It’s just another day.

While your heart smudges

Bleeding red at the fray.

The heart cracks open

Within, the ebbing

Of tides rushing to break free

Lapping, lapping

The shifting sands of change

Stirs and moans

As shadows weave in and out

of waters swishing with muted groans.

The throbbing of tears swells

To unleash in quiet moments of gray

Reflection, but for now a brave front

As he walks away.

Was it not for this moment you prepare him for?


The day finally came—the moment my son, Aaron, was preparing for—to launch into the adult world. He is looking forward with anticipation—finally college move-in day. As he watched his friends go off one by one to colleges near and far, he told me, “It’s about time.” I know-- it’s about time he goes off to UCLA. one of the colleges to start late in the school year. It's a big move, a happy move..a big step into the real world yet, something about letting go has made this a bitter sweet event.

It’s time to let go but this moment of realization brings with it much reflection. I have to get used to him not being there for dinner. I’ve to get used to the empty spot on his computer desk where he plays his music, chats on facebook and presumably does his homework. I have to get used to him not coming in through the garage door after school each day and asking, “What did you do today, mom?” I’ve to get used to not seeing his dimpled smile in the morning or getting high fives whenever he’s happy.

I’ve to wait for him to get home on holidays to replay a semblance of life before college.

That’s just too much for a mom, you think? You’ve grown your child and now he takes off…leaving a space… but that’s just me, I’m a nostalgic sentimental fool.

This poem was reflective of the day we said goodbye to him at the dorm. After settling him at the dorm and dawdling for as long as we could, it was time to say goodbye.

Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Quotes to ponder:

Change is never easy, you fight to hold on, and you fight to let go. – The Wonder Years

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. – Dr. Seuss

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. – Havelock Ellis

Don't let go too soon and don't hang on too long-- Morrie Schwartz in the book, Tuesday with Morrie (one of my favorite books).

Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye? ~Author Unknown


Submit a Comment

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Thank you, jesusmyjoy. Have a nice day.

  • jesusmyjoy profile image

    Betty Bolden 6 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

    love this

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Om, I think that's how my mother felt too when I left Singapore. I didn't realize the intensity of emotion until now. Thanks for your kind comments. Later...

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

    Angeline, I love this poem! Very beautiful and bittersweet....more sweet than bitter. This is probably exactly how my mom felt when I left Bangkok for Sacramento.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Charlotte, i mean a lot to me to hear from a student's perspective. You're right, there's skype, text, facebook and the phone. But when you've a kid who is very social, you may not be able to connect as often as you like. I truly appreciate your comments and the last one makes my day, of course. Thank you very much.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Jill, so good to see you. Glad you like it. I know saying goodbye can get sentimental. Thanks again for dropping by to cheer me up.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Thanks, kootheancheah, I appreciate your wonderful commetns. Yes, enjoy your kids and love them ever day--they're precious and they grow up too fast. I'm happy to hear from you. Thanks again.

  • Charlotte B Plum profile image

    Charlotte B Plum 6 years ago

    I loved how described the sentiments for this new season of life for both you and aaron. It is definitely a web of feelings that are so mixed. Just as much as you miss him, us students also have our moments when we miss home too, even though we might not admit it that freely. Thanks to skype and all sorts of new technology, sometimes the separation is not as far as it seems, although the time difference might mess communication up a little bit. You are a beautiful mom =)

  • jill of alltrades profile image

    jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines


    I love this! Trust you to come up with a poem to celebrate(?) commemorate(?) or to simply express the joys and anxieties of motherhood.

    Rated up and beautiful!

  • kootheancheah profile image

    kootheancheah 6 years ago from Penang, Malaysia


    Wow, such a beautiful and moving poem! Most parents with college-bound kids will be able to relate to the pain and joy you are feeling now. Your poem certainly helps me to appreciate my two little ones a whole lot more--especially when they are turning the house upside down!!! For it will not be too long when this house will also become quiet, and I too will begin to miss their screams and laughters. Time really flies.

    Thanks your sharing this beautiful piece.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Movie Master, thank you for your kind words. Saying goodbyes is always hard. Appreciate your visit.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Lady, appreciate your kind comments. I know it's hard to imagine that--they do grow up fast. Thanks for the warm wishes--angels will watch over him.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    katrina, it's good to see you again. Thanks for leaving me with your positive comments:))

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

    The poem is so beautiful anginwu, 'goodbyes' to our children are just the hardest thing.

    My best wishes to you and all the very best to Aaron.

  • Lady_E profile image

    Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

    Aaaawh.... so sweet and beautiful. It's hard for a mum when her 3 or 4 year old starts nursery for the first time... and now he's grown up and gone to Uni in a bigger world.

    Angels will watch over him for you.

    Take Care x

  • katrinasui profile image

    katrinasui 6 years ago

    This is a beautiful poem my friend. You are doing wonderful job here on Hubpages. Keep up the good work.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    failalovesbijou, you are talking my language--I totally understand your sentiment--I had the same feelings--one of the saddest when you leave your kid at the dorm. DR. Seuss's quote brings me much comfort and I'm glad you like that too. Well, in a couple of years, we'll have to hang out--our kids will be away (I have one more too). Thanks again for dropping by to comment, appreciate that very much.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    snakeslane, thank you so much for your positive feedback. I agree pride and pain sometimes are parts of the whole. I love your poetry too.

  • gailalovesbijou profile image

    gailalovesbijou 6 years ago from Wyomissing, PA

    This made me cry and think about my daughter who I dropped off at college last year (that was the saddest day of my life), and also about my daughter who will be going off to college in 2 years (and that will be even sadder because then I will have no daughters at home). Beautiful poem and hub! So well done. The last line of the poem, "Was it not for this moment you prepare him for," brought it all together. The quotes, especially the one from Dr. Seuss, made me feel better too. It's all very bittersweet. :( and :) Thank you for sharing, anglnwu!

  • snakeslane profile image

    Verlie Burroughs 6 years ago from Canada

    This is really beautiful and sweet anglinwu, I feel your pride and your pain, they seem to be inseparable. Regards, snakeslane