After a few minutes Caleb returned. "Was it hard to say goodbye?" I queried.
"I'm OK," he softly uttered. Now there was one last thing to do. Rising from my lounging position on the couch, I fetched the clippers from the closet. It was time.
With Caleb seated on the bar stools in our great room, I plugged in the electric clippers. We both nervously laughed as the buzzing began. With no guard covering the reciprocating blades, his dark brown hair collected into mounds on the floor. I took pictures throughout the process for posterity's sake. I masked the meaning behind the action by laughing along with Caleb at his changing appearance. At last, I rubbed my hand over his smooth head, kissed his cheek and reminded him of my deep affection for him. "Caleb, I love you."
It's been a long time coming. Caleb's wait to join the Navy is over. By noon today, his room will be empty. Not empty of his possessions; books still overflow his nightstands. The room retains that “lived-in” look. The desk is an electronic depot and the floor a depository for dirty clothes. The covers on the bed are rumbled and three-quarters of the glasses from the kitchen cabinet have taken up residency on the bedside table. But the essence of that room will be gone. He is leaving to pursue his career.