to improve the flow and keep the message - maybe, "pen and notebook, like father and mother, separate, deceased".
Im trying to find the correlation between the "childrens shoes that no longer fit" and the "empty space again, one page open". I think your eluding to your inability at that time to fit thoughts to word but It doesn't paint a vivid image.
your stuff is good and I am most likely less than skilled enough to give an authoritative critique, but as a reader, those are my thoughts.
I can only echo the words of in media res. I read everything you post and you never cease to amaze. The only critique I could possibly give is that I love your work and I'm anxious to buy your published collected works that, without doubt, will sooner than later, be available.