They came into the house together, my daughter and son-in-law. Why? It didn’t take long to find out. They had news they needed to share…together!
They were offered a job. They’ve accepted. They’ll be moving away in October.
My initial thought was “I want to throw up!”
Instead, I picked up my grandson and gave him a hug.
I’m going to miss taking care of you three days a week. I’m going to miss watching you grow. And then, I walked away for a moment.
I wanted to just walk out the door; go home, crawl in bed, pull the blankets up over me…but first, drink a bottle of wine!
Collect yourself, Jane. You need to let them tell the story.
And so, I walked back into the room. Then, I found a way to say the right words: “Life is short. You have to do the things that make you happy while you can. This is a door (an opportunity) that has presented itself. You’ll spend your life always wondering “what if” if you don’t walk through that door. This will provide you with life lessons. It’s meant to be.”
God, please help me to truly believe all of that.
I cried but hugged them both
Then, I found a way to drive home. There, I sat with a glass of wine and a stomach ache. I kept repeating the words I had found to say to them.
- Life is short.
- Everyone should do things that make them happy.
- This is a door.
- They would regret not walking through it.
- This will provide life lessons.
- It’s meant to be!
I prayed to God to just let me fall asleep
I slept. And then the next morning, my clock radio woke me up to this particular part of this song by Rascal Flatts:
What hurts the most was being so close And havin' so much to say And watchin' you walk away And never knowin' what could've been And not seein' that lovin' you Is what I was trying to do
The words say it. I’ve tried to tell my daughter before but it always came across as unsupportive. I want to support. I thought I had been supporting. They are walking away from nearly two years of open arms childcare. They’re walking away from a willingness to continue indefinitely. I was ready to welcome child number two. I thought I was loving them the deepest, most profound way I possibly could. And they are walking away from it all to live hundreds of miles away.
I wrote the words of the song down
in my morning pages and just sat there, looking at them. And I cried again as I wrote the whole event out in longhand, dumping it onto paper, with all the anger and grief that filled me, hoping that I could find some relief from the pain.
After three pages, I wasn’t crying anymore.
I had moved on to the reality that my daughter is pregnant, has a two year old little boy and she is now moving away from her family, friends, a job she loves, and doctors she trusts. Her burdens, right now, are heavier than mine. She doesn’t need to carry me as well. Stop crying in front of her. Let her talk about her fears. Be her mother! I was able to support her through my divorce from her dad, his death, multiple boyfriend breakups, buying her first home, getting married, having her first baby. I can support her through this.
She is trying to be a support for her husband. She loves him and her family. That doesn’t mean that she no longer loves me. It also doesn’t me that she is walking away without appreciation for the things I’ve done over the past two years. It’s time to let go.
And so I closed the journal
with a new resolve. I closed my eyes for a minute. They were burning from all the crying and too little sleep. When I opened my eyes, I said to myself, “Alright, it’s time to open your arms up to your daughter this morning…
With a vow to help her walk through that door.