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Feelings of the Heart

Two days ago, my son traveled to Europe to attend university. At the age of 17, he is not a boy, but also not yet a man, but he felt it was time to be on his own. He dismissed my idea of taking a year off, and working while taking a class or two at the local university. I thought it would be better for him, but I selfishly admit that the one it was probably better for was me.

At the airport, I forced back the tears as I held him tight, not wanting to let go. Pride and sadness filled my heart as he walked through passport control, on his way to a country that I know nothing about. His father smiled and said, “It’s okay, he will return a man, a doctor.” I childishly told him that I don’t want that – I want my baby back.

I don’t like to cry in front of anyone, and I know that if I talk about the empty space in the house, I will cry. So I avoid it.

It’s 5:30am. Aside from my cat running around in his daily moment of craziness, the house is quiet.

The dark room hides my tears which flow uncontrollably, wetting my cheeks. Maybe I exaggerate, but I am a mother.

Writing is my therapy. What I can not say out loud, I put on paper. This early morning, as I write, I am already feeling the heaviness in my chest lessen.

I realize that this is not a heart wrenching story, nor one that will make an impact on or change the world. My intention is to share my feelings. Who can understand them better than women and mothers? And that is why I am here. World Pulse has given me the opportunity, not just to write, but to share what I write.

World Pulse came to me by accident. While searching the internet for writing opportunities, I read about the “Holding Hands” competition. I had a great story to tell, but the deadline passed without a word being written.

Weeks passed before I decided to take a closer look at the website. What I found amazed me!

Women have been given the POSSIBILITY to VOICE their thoughts without inhibition or fear. They COURAGEOUSLY write about important, serious, and sometimes dangerous, subjects in their search to TRANSFORM their societies.

I decided that I want to be part of it. I love telling other people’s stories. But I too have a story. VOF allows me to share my life, and to CONNECT with others through my words. In a world filled with difficulties, there is also so much BEAUTY that is not discussed in the media. I believe that must be touched on because from that we get hope. My stories of challenges, pain and beauty can INNOVATE understanding, love, caring………………… and change.

The simple story about my son allowed me to open my heart to you. I have more stories to tell.


Eliana's picture

Thank you Noreen, It was a

Thank you Noreen,
It was a wonderful post and I really loved and enjoyed reading through it. As a mother I can understand your feelings when seing your son go and the sensation of emptyness that is left behind. We mothers would always like to see our sons and children with us. We always see them as our babies and it is difficult to see how they gain their independence and spread their wings to fly for their own destinations, to discover what the world has to offer them. There is no medicine against this emptyness that is left in the houses and we are aware of every moment of the day. But deep in your heart you know that your son will bring into the world and widespread the message he got from you as a mother, through your education you gave him, and from you as a family and entity. He is also part of the great process of letting his voice be heard and speak out to the world creating new bonds and letting others be part of his experience and life history.
I had a little laugh on my face when I read about your experience on the internet where you were looking for some writing opportunities and you found one but until the end of deadline, no line was written. This happened to me, too and even more than once. And it is fantastic to see that worldpulse with VOF sprones us to write about ourselves and that for me it is much easier to keep the deadline. I don't feel it like a pressure or burden but either as a great chance. As for you I love writing because it gives me the chance of expressing my deeper feelings I am not able to express in spoken words, too. Everyone of us has her own methods of expressing her inner self.

Thank you for sharing your story of your family life with me and thank you for your friendship

In friendship and with peace


noreens's picture

so true

Hi Eliana,

It is easier to keep a deadline when you are writing about yourself. You're writing about something familiar, and not having to do any research to be sure you get the facts straight. As far as my son goes, we talk each day. I am very grateful for Skype! It has brought him back into the house - but still..................!! I am glad you enjoyed my story!


Eliana's picture

Yes, you are right. But

Yes, you are right. But sometimes if you write about yourself it is difficult too because you have to do some inner research according to what topic you are writing about. And sometimes reminiscences hurt too and we don't like to re-live them again and feel the pain and the sorrow again. That's why I really admire all the women that are able and willing to write about their difficult experiences. I think this takes not only courage but strenght to get through it and willingness to leave it behind.
I am glad that you talk to your son every day through skype. That's a wonderful invention. Of course it's not the same as having him around the house but it brings him closer to you and that's at least a little consolation.
Your story was really interesting and I felt it came right from your heart. I am always anxious and curious to read your journal.
By the way, if it could be interesting for you, I put a post in my journal or under pulsewire events about an encounter in Palestine between Israeli and Palestinians and their projects, suggestions and proposals about a peace process in the country. It will be held in December. If you feel like have a look at it.
I wish you all the best
In friendship


noreens's picture

that is what is amazing me

that is what is amazing me about some of the stories here - some of the stories are so personal, about things which are hard to share, but so many women are writing very openly. i think sometimes it's easier to talk to strangers, so i wonder if all of the women, not knowing each other personally, find it easier to "speak" so without inhibitions? Yesterday i saw what you posted about the Palestinian / Israeli project. I am going to take another look at it. Tomorrow I start a journalism course based around coexistence, and next month I will be starting another coexistence course based on art. Should be interesting. I will write about it in my journal.

I'm glad that you like my journal. I need to write some more. I have been very busy lately.

Thank you for the encouragement, my friend Eliana!


Eliana's picture

Dear Noreen, thank you for

Dear Noreen,
thank you for your reply. I always appreciate the lively exchange of mails and posts. I think you are right in your thinking: sometimes it is easier to write about personal stories and matters in a protected environment,i.e where you don't know your interlocutors in person. This gives every woman the chance to express her experience, thoughts and feelings more freely than otherwise. It avoids inhibitions and feelings of shame and there is not the feeling coming up to be judged by others or by your society or the world that surrounds you.
I find it interesting that you are doing the journalism courses about coexistence and about arts. If I were living there I would love to take that courses too. I am curious to hear your impressions and your opinion on the courses you are going to take and I would appreciate knowing more about the courses in itself, like main topics and structure.
On October 7th I will start a facilitation course online and the topic will rotate around internal conflicts with focus on the situation between Israeli and Palestinians. The participants will be from a variety of areas around the globe and I am really curious to get to know them and to start the course.

I am looking forward to reading more about your courses and life history in your journal. It is always an enrichment for me.

Thank you for your friendship and inspiration.
Peace to you and your family


IvanaG's picture

Great Post Noreen!

I enjoyed reading your story. You managed to pass on the feelings you had to other people by reading your story. We all have stories to tell and we all can give support to each other! I am looking forward to read more stories from you!

IvanaG's picture

Great Post Noreen!

I enjoyed reading your story. You managed to pass on the feelings you had to other people by reading your story. We all have stories to tell and we all can give support to each other! I am looking forward to read more stories from you!

noreens's picture

ivana, thanks! getting


thanks! getting feedback about my stories gives me encouragement. i am glad that you liked the story! thank you for taking the time to read it!


ariniaina's picture

Hi Noreens, I understand your

Hi Noreens,

I understand your feeling about your son. My mother was like you. One thing is sure, you can be proud of him.

I liked reading your story. As you promised that you have a lot more, I'm looking forward to reading them.

Wish you all the best,


Thanks for visiting my blog

noreens's picture

I'm the type that has a hard

I'm the type that has a hard time letting go of people and things, but when it comes to a child a parent has no choice. He wants to be a doctor. I told him to study whatever he wants, as long as he has a degree, and yes, I am proud of him. Glad you liked my story. I'll be sending in more!


giftypearl.abenaab's picture

A space for all

Dear Noreens,
I have enjoyed reading your post. I am glad that you have a space and time to empty your feelings here. Your writing is clear and your descriptions vivid. I felt as though I was standing with you at the airport seeing you giving your son a hard hug. And I want to give you a hug too and tap your shoulder-'He will be back safe and sound, take heart'.

Your journey to finding Pulsewire is similar to mine last year. I am happy that you did not let time slip your fingers for VOF.
I find your lines 'Women have been given the POSSIBILITY to VOICE their thoughts without inhibition or fear. They COURAGEOUSLY write about important, serious, and sometimes dangerous, subjects in their search to TRANSFORM their societies.' touching and moving. This is very true as I see this happen every single day and time I log on.

I look forward to reading more of your personal VISION for your community and how you intend to bring change in your community. You are a powerful women and you carry a seed of change for women today and tomorrow. In your country and worldwide.

All the best

Gifty Pearl Abenaab
Greight Foundation

noreens's picture

Thanks for the compliments

Thanks for the compliments about my writing, and for the hug! I know he will be back safe, he has a good head on his shoulders. Some of the stories are really inspiring, and give me a push to do something for my community which is lacking in a lot of things. I am always trying to think of something, and maybe through one of the stories here, I will get an idea or two that might work here. Thank you so much for your encouragement!

By the way, I took a quick look at your website. Your foundation looks good!


Pushpa Achanta's picture

Expressing yourself

Dear sister,

Thanks for sharing your innermost feelings. This post reminded me of when I left home to study at a university far away although within India. My folks like many others learned to live in an "empty nest" especially after my sister also flew. Even though I returned to live with them for various periods when I worked in the same city, I preferred my privacy. Now, we live in different towns but enjoy talking regularly and meeting annually.

Although I've been mentoring/tutoring teens for over a decade, my hub. Ram and I have chosen not to have kids. But we believe that parental love, especially a mother's, is often selfless, infinite, unconditional and unmatched. Btw, we both have become independent writers and passionately let ourselves go with the pen and keyboard!

It's obvious that your story has touched a personal chord in some of us - so continue creating your poetic prose...

Love, joy and peace,

noreens's picture

Hi Pushpa, Thanks for your

Hi Pushpa,

Thanks for your comments. I remember when I left home to go to high school in England. My sister and brother went to the States the same year, so my parents had to let go of three of us at one time. My older sister also was not at home also. We have all been in different parts of the world at different times since we were kids. It definitely has it's advantages, and its disadvantages. But it is always so interesting to travel and meet new people.

A parent's love IS unconditional. I can never stay mad at my kids, much as they drive me crazy at times! But it's all worth it!

I'm glad that other readers liked and could relate to my story. The positive comments give me a good feeling!


EleanorJohnstone's picture

Noreens, thank you so much

Noreens, thank you so much for your story here. I am an eldest daughter in a family of three girls, and while I just graduated college my youngest sister, who is in her last year of high school, just chose to live with her father for her last year. Although I fill up some space living with my mother, I know that it is not the same for her since she is already accustomed to the idea that I will move on as soon as I find work. As for my youngest sister, her story is only just about to be told. It's hard for a parent to accept any distance from their child and it's story, and I think that not being completely engaged in my sister's life is what is driving my mother crazy.

At the same time, I find that while leaving my family members is increasingly painful the reunions are even more exhilarating and heartfelt. As we all become adults, and as my parents both discover their own autonomy and begin to claim a life outside of 24/7 parenting, we are learning so much about each other and the world and learning to share it in wonderful ways. I hope that you and your son come to enjoy that new phase of a relationship. Out of pain, much beauty can arise.

As one of your listeners this week, I must also say that your writing is exquisite: concise, clear, poignant, purposeful, and inviting. Keep it up!

~ eleanor

noreens's picture

thank you

Hi Eleanor,

The compliment about my writing made me feel REALLY good! Thank you! At the moment, I am trying to finish up my article for assignment 3. I always try to do my best because writing is so important to me, and your words gave me extra encouragement. Thanks again!

By the way, even as I get older, saying good bye to my parents, sisters and brother is never easy. We are in different countries, and so that makes it even harder. Through times of trouble, we have had to pull together through the internet. I guess I should be very grateful for technology!!!


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