Kathleen Gemmell: Who Am I?

fountain-pen[Years ago.] “Mom, I’ve really gotta leave now,” pleaded my college-bound son. My only child, Jay, and my ex-husband stood at the side of Jay’s Jeep. Realizing that his seven-hour trip to the university meant he would be much too far away, I felt a pang of angst like no other.

I had read about the ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’ and I thought I was prepared to see Jay’s room striped and his parking spot vacant. After all, there were phones and emails and the outdated snail mail letters. I could jump on a train and visit from time to time. Yes, this would not be difficult in the least.

Still coming to terms with my divorce, I knew that I was no longer a “wife.” I had not planned or expected this life-changing event. Thinking that all was well in a marriage where I adored my spouse, found me devastated when he announced that union was over. Was he experiencing a midlife crisis, had he found another or were my idiosyncrasies/dysfunctions just too much to bear? (Decades later, I feel that I haven’t closure and I still miss the man that I so loved.)

“I am totally alone,” I whispered to myself as Jay and his full truck left the yard. Ignorantly, I had put all my eggs in one basket. Jay and my ex were my life, I had no true friends and few acquaintances. My parents had passed away, and my one sibling and I had little in common. As I shut the front door, I sobbed. I cried for my losses and I wept for my many oversights. “Hindsight” is truly twenty, twenty.

Jay is an awesome young man and I consistently reminded myself that he was journeying on a healthy pathway. As much as my lonely mind craved for him to be a “momma’s boy,” I tried to give myself a few kudos in the child rearing department.

No longer a wife or a child, and feeling as if I was no longer a mother, well… who am I? My life had engaged these roles. I hadn’t a career, nor a passion to follow. As my weeping continued and I felt a migraine coming on, I knew that this self-pity party could only last so long. I popped an aspirin, made a pot of fresh coffee and grabbed a blank notebook and a pen.

“Dear self,” I began, “What in the world are you going to do now? How can you right all these traumas you have created? Where will you go from here?”

And I wrote…for hours. I purged my pain on those pages and I vomited out my regrets and my foibles. My heartache and my tears began to dissipate and I surprised myself. This journaling was therapeutic I learned. Aspirin on board, I eventually slept and was blessed to awaken with my headache at bay.

I journaled daily. I took long walks. I decided to focus on my conflicts by using my intellect and not my emotions. By the end of that month, I had filled a large notebook and I had met a neighbor while out on my walks.

We talked…for hours. She also was going through major changes in her life and I felt less alone, less pathological. Granted our struggles were different, yet we agreed that we were finding solace in our budding friendship.

[Currently.] Jay is now married and has just completed his Master’s degree. I am a writer and a dear friend to several ladies. I have my Phoebe cat to keep me company. I relish my new lifestyle and awake with a smile on my face most days.

“Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.” –Maya Angelou

I love my dance.

kathleen-gemmellKathleen Gemmell loves playing with written words. Currently penning for 6 online sites and magazines, Kathy is also a story teller, an animal welfare proponent and a psychology buff.


Poet, Promptress, and Coach providing fierce encouragement for writing + life and gentle creative guidance for writers all over the world.

8 thoughts on “Kathleen Gemmell: Who Am I?

  1. The complex tapestry of our lives that we live weave daily can be so bright and happy in its complexity. Sometimes. It can be so dark. And tearstained.The time I am in seems very long, and it is good to see the words of someone that has emerged on the other side. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. From the sorrow, a wonderful writer was born and a friendship grown. A beautiful silver lining from the cloud that eventually looms over all mothers when it’s time for our children to fly on their own. Thanks for sharing this piece of your soul ❤


  3. This was a well written story of the transition that many mothers/wives go through. If it is not a work of fiction, I say kudos to the author for her strength and perseverance and her talent as a writer and dancer.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s