Monday, December 31, 2007

Saying Goodbye

I've been going through some letting go the last few days. I've been crying and pondering and feeling my feelings. Now it's time to write and it occured to me to post a blog would be therapeutic for me and perhaps someone out there will resonate.

My daughter turns 23 in January. She and I, like most mothers and daughters I suppose, have gone through some ups and downs. Basically though I feel we have a deep and caring relationship. A few years ago she had a boyfriend who just was not a mother's dream of a potential son-in-law. He had serious growing up to do and I found myself feeling so frustrated as they continued this relationship that seemed to only run downhill. They moved to Colorado together and lived quite poorly. During the time she was out of state, I missed her horribly and of course worried a great deal about her wellbeing. The boyfriend was generally not working and while she was, they didn't have much money. She and I didn't talk much then and when we did it felt distant.

Fast forward to 2007. My daughter dumped the boyfriend, moved back to California, and basically started getting her life together. She moved in with us several months ago and I have been delighted to have her back. Despite living under the same roof, we really didn't spend a lot of time together, and yet, it was somehow comforting to wake up together, have her right across the hall from me preparing to go to work while I worked in my office, saying our "goodbye honey"s as she drove off to work. She got a new and vastly improved boyfriend, a super guy who loves her madly. He proposed. They are getting married. And, as really makes sense, she decided to move in with him.

While I could see the writing on the wall that she would be leaving, I really hadn't planned on it being as painful as it was. After she and boyfriend loaded up most of her stuff, I hugged her and started to cry. She started to cry. She's not moving out of town, and let's remember, she is almost 23. This is what 23 year olds do and I'm happy that she is. Why was I so upset? It felt like my baby girl was moving away, going away. I told her she was experiencing the next chapter of her life and that it felt huge. I spent the rest of Saturday, and much of Sunday bursting into tears every time I thought of her.

My baby is growing up, has grown up, is living her own life now. And in that, I need to let go, and grieve. I want her so much to be happy, to have a good life. She does have that. Yes, they are poor; they don't have much, but I know they will make it work. This is surely a chapter in her life of creating who she will be. She will find her way and learn to work with her spouse and make a life for themselves that will eventually include children.

It is a strange and very emotional time. What am I learning from all of this? How very deeply I love my daughter. I have felt it so keenly to the depths of my soul.

This is the nature of life: change. Things must change. We grow, we move on. Everything is normal about that. I am glad I am a person who feels my feelings. And while it felt painful (and a bit bewildering) to break into tears all day long yesterday, I know it is good for me to experience my feelings - and even to share them.

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