Sometimes you just HAVE to surrender and today is one of those days for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am abundantly blessed and have much to be thankful for, leaving me naturally joyful. But today the tears just came, kind of unexpectedly actually. It’s growing pains, I suppose, since this Thursday is the first Thanksgiving Day that we won’t spend with our daughter. She’ll be playing with the band, happy to be part of a time-honored tradition in the Aggies v. Longhorns football game. We knew this day was coming, and believe me, we prepared ourselves as best we could by saying it over and over again, that this is the last time we’ll be together as a family, like this. I’m not sure we believed it. Or maybe we just didn’t know how painful it could be to go through our daily grind without her. Is there any way to be better prepared for that?
It’s also the first Thanksgiving break in 15 years or so that we won’t be going on our traditional trek to the Hill Country. Sure, we could go, for tradition’s sake, but it wouldn’t be the same without her, so we’ve decided to just stay home. And even though I like that option, there’s an element of loss at having to let go, of yet another change. So many sad emotions running amuck right now.
So I woke up feeling lost. And guess what? As if I’m somehow being told it’s okay to surrender, it’s raining outside for the first time in weeks. Seems even the heavens are crying. It’s been almost a whole semester - REALLY? - am I STILL struggling to let go? It’s such a conflict because I’m so proud of her and thrilled beyond belief at how well she's doing on her own. Still, her launch into independence has left a huge hole in my heart. I miss her voice, her smile, her energy, her point of view, her messy room, her laundry. Well, ok, maybe not her mess or her laundry, but you know what? I’d be happy to do loads and loads and loads of it - I'd even FOLD it! - to help me find my way out of the trough where I find myself today. To help me let go. And heal. And find my way through this new normal.
The silver lining is that it’s just for now. Ooooo, I like the sound of that, Just. For. Now. Because she’ll be home on Friday and we’ll feast on our three-day weekend as a family again. What a gift that'll be. I’ll get to hear her voice as we catch up on her life and – yep – I'll even do her laundry. And I'm told that when she comes home for an entire month at winter break, that I'll actually be ready for her to go back. I know that time is a great healer, but is that really possible? Until then, I guess I’ll just surrender to the sadness. Just for now. Where is that white flag and those darn tissues?