My daughter is no longer living at home.She just recently went to North Carolina in search of herself and in search of a life of her own. I don't blame her....and while I miss her horribly; I pray for her success. She has much to overcome in terms of pain from her past her past here in this family and in other relationships. There's been a lot of trauma. A lot of difficulty involving separation from those she loves. After all, she 's had a mom who from her young age of four months has been gone, sometimes for months at a time...and has frequently been so sick that there was serious doubt that she would ever come home again at all.
Now after the dust settles from her departure and we have stopped listening for her voice in the next room, we must get down to the question: WHAT NOW? What now in our marriage...in terms of a career...or living arrangements? What now in the sense of what now defines us as we are no longer actively, "mom" and "dad." What now in terms of what our future holds for us....a new career for me? A nursing facility? Coming to grips with being disabled and almost homebound? Coming to terms with our lives thus far, forgiving ourselves and each other for our mistakes and failures? Or do we go our separate ways in search of something "other"? (For me the last question is not much of a question in my mind....I'm staying where I am, unless forced to leave. But it is something which may be crossing my husband's mind...I'm really not sure...things like that frequently do emerge at this point in a man's life.)
I've heard of the "Empty Nest Syndrome" and truthfully had never given too much thought to it....I somehow didn't think it would be something I would really have to face. Especially not at the distance of a six hour drive from the fledgling. But here it is. And it's real although I still have not assimilated that.
I look back a lot lately - at my marriage; at my raising of my daughter....and I have a lot of regrets. I see so much that i should have done differently or better. And my daughter told me this in a Facebook message today: "We HAVE good memories as a family. I have tons of beautiful memories of you and daddy. Not everything about our family was/is bad. I wish you could remember some of the things I do. Maybe then you wouldn't feel so helpless and upset."
It's true that much is gone from my memory...due to the damage done both by this cursed illness and by the treatments for it. And I want to scream at the unfairness of it...to be deprived, not only of my child, but of so many memories that SHOULD by rights, be mine to ponder and treasure! But I do have some. And these I'll have to polish up and cling to tightly so that they do not slip into the fog that is pervading my mind.
I may be confused and foggy about a lot of things..but not about this: my daughter is the best thing that ever happened to me and I will thank God for her daily until I can tell him in person.