This is how it is: the children remember the parents and the parents miss the children when they're gone. Mary Black tells of that kind of pain in the song 'Sonny':
Sonny lives on a farm, in a wide open spaceHe's old and alone but he still remembers the words Mama said. That's how it is. You can listen to the song here, sung by Mary Black and Emmylou Harris. And this is them again, with the addition of Dolores Keane and a great bunch of musicians.
Take off your shoes, stay out of the race
Lay down your head by the soft river bed
Sonny always remembers the words Mama said.
Sonny don't go away, I'm here all alone,
Your Daddy's a sailor, never comes home,
Nights are so long, silence goes on,
I'm feeling so tired, not all that strong.
Sonny works on the land, though he's barely a man
There's not much to do but he does what he can
He sits at the window of his room by the stairs
Watching the waves drifting soft on the pier.
Many years have rolled on, Sonny's old and alone,
His Daddy the sailor, he never came home
Sometimes he wonders what his life might have been
Still from the grave Mama's voice haunts his dreams.
Sonny don't go away
[The Momma 'n' Daddy Archive, containing all the details of the series, is here.]