A eerie quiet has descended on my house. For the first time in 15 years, the only sound is that of my own making.
I cannot hear mom in the kitchen puttering around, arguing with the stove, washing dishes or working on one of her many craft projects. There is no sound of the television from the other room or my brother either laughing at something, giving advice to a contestant on some game show he is watching or arguing with someone on the news.
There is no sound of the front door opening and closing or voices exchanging greeting as people come and go. Yesterday was frantic as my sisters in law came in and completely rearranged my living-room and kitchen. Their kids, my nephews and nieces bouncing off the walls making complete nuisances of themselves.
For the last 15 years, my room has been my refuge from the semi-controlled chaos that has been my home. A constant flow of friends and family coming and going, hustling and bustling about their lives. For the first time in 15 years, I do not sense the presence of another individual, though they might not be making any sound, in my home.
This is not the quiet of nobody being home. This is a different kind of quiet, an eerie kind of quiet, a faintly disturbing kind of quiet. This is the quiet that says, you are alone, you are all alone. Those sounds that have faded away are not coming back.
They may in time be replaced with new sounds, with different sounds, but today, you are all alone.