Monday, October 26, 2009

The '70s - One by One They Leave Home

This will be my only post this week, the boys graduating high school and leaving home, because we have several out-of-town guests and I'm hosting my Keno and Bridge Clubs.

Old folks are busy in Las Vegas. We do volunteer work and have many social activities.  We have one goal--enjoying the last years.  We understand that this is not a dress rehearsal. A few friends have died and many have serious ailments. Those who can, help those who need some support and some of us have driving problems.  I'm blessed to have some younger friends (50-65) who help me.

For example, tomorrow Lorraine will drive me to the strip to pick up my sister from Chicago, take her shopping, lunch in Henderson, NV with friends visiting from Ann Arbor, back home to finish dinner (Chicken Creole that cooks all day in the slow cooker), take sister back to strip, and start cleaning for Keno Club.  I'm tired just thinking about it.

One by one, the boys became men and began to leave home.

I was not one of those mothers who was upset about the empty nest.  However, I did make one mistake. It was August. David left for Howard University in Washington, DC on Saturday. Corey and Cameron left on Sunday for Morehouse College, and my husband and I planned to meet them in Atlanta on Monday. Yes, we had three children in college at the same time.

Since it was Sunday I cooked my normal BIG, BIG Sunday dinner (including a cake and 2 pies) and my husband never said a word.  I cooked and cooked and cooked.  When I set the table for five he finally spoke.  He reminded me that it was only us.  What did I plan to do with all that food?  I looked at the table, fell into my chair, and cried for all of 15 minutes.  I couldn't believe it.  We were alone.

We had a tradition.  In 1970, our kitchen table had five seats.  As each child left, a chair went to the basement, to return only when that son was home.  Now, our table had only two chairs.


David as a youngster

David graduated from high school in 1974, finished his degree from Morehouse College in 1978, and then went to Howard University where he received two degrees in architecture.

David and his prom date.  Can you believe that suit?

Cameron and Corey as youngsters

Corey graduated from high school in 1979, went to Morehouse College on a track scholarship, and received his accounting degree.  

Corey and his prom date

Cameron graduated in 1980 and went off to Morehouse.

Later he transferred to North Carolina in Greensboro, graduating with a degree in engineering. This move also helped him become active in the Civil Rights Movement and politics because two of his classmates and friends were Jonathan and Jesse Jackson, Jr. and he traveled with them and Jesse, Sr., on many missions. 

I couldn't find Cam's prom picture, but I found this one of him escorting a deb.

Hope to see you next week.


  1. I love this post, especially the huge dinner you made and the 15-minute-cry. The emptiness was palpable as the children left for me too.

  2. My son should be going away next year to college, and while I'll miss him, I could use a little break from him. I know I will miss him much, but I also have the twins who are only 3, so they'll keep my mind occupied.

    Enjoy your week!

  3. I can only imagine how it feels to have raised children and then see them leave on their own.

    I'm the youngest of three boys, and my parents haven't had us living with them for two years now. From time to time they'll say they miss us, but I'm actually quite surprised at how well they've moved on. Both of them have busy jobs, and they even go on dates now!

    Honestly, I can't believe that they actually have lives beyond us. Children think we are the center of our parents' world.

    Have a lovely week! I hope all the food you prepared does not go to waste :)

    - David

  4. Christella - just found your comment on my blog - I just LOVE you!

  5. I love your stories. You are just the most amazing person I know!