Surrender To The Sadness

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? 


  1. As a mother, I understand (now) how hard this must be. Holidays are "just" a day but I know it is the people you surround yourself with that makes the day.
    I will be celebrating Thanksgiving for 3 days, a feast at my son's daycare, a meal with my family (mom, sister, nephew and niece) tomorrow, and our Thanksgiving meal with my "own" family. You are blessed to have raised such a well grounded daughter; she's having a wonderful freshman year. Kiddos to you and your husband.

  2. Thanks, Sylvia, for your kind words. We are happy when she is happy! It sounds ad though you have a lot of merriment planned; enJOY your family time and a little R and R!

  3. Hi Barbara:
    So this is how it works: It's raining so that you can be home to check your computer for messages from your BlogFriends!

    Here are some suggestions:
    1) Go to the Dancing Matt video on YouTube and click on his out-takes footage. And then watch the "real" video again and watch the children laugh. My friend Barbara told me about that one!
    2) Go read a few older posts from Kristen at Teeny Tiny Teacher. She is VERY funny and, if nothing else, you'll be distracted.
    3) Choose something to bake that you know your daughter will love. Making preparations will make it seem like she will be home soon.
    4) Buy laundry detergent. Laugh when you buy the bigger size.

    Remember your bad day/spilled Starbucks post? That is now a memory in the past. You felt pretty bad that day--and you recovered and had great experiences after that.

    And, just so you know, I have run out of tissues before reading your posts. The family who does the good, kind things all December nearly did me in--I could barely SEE to drive to work!

    You are so LOVED, Barbara! Let that love get you through until Friday. I'm on your corner, cheering you along!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  4. Seriously, Kim, I had JUST about finished crying and then YOUR beautiful post came on the heels of Mrs. Parker's kind words . . . here they come again . . . (can you hear Barry Manilow singing???) . . . thank you, kind friend. I was remembering Zachary and those amazing chocolate chip cookies as I scripted this morning's post, then I got busy helping my boy with preparations for his Science Fair board, so I'm coping. I like the idea of reading Kristen's stuff - she's HILARIOUS!!! Thank you, thank you.

    Oh, and I posted a video clip onto my knitting blog last night so you can see how handily our kids craft those caps . . . your knitters might want to see it, too!

    With gratitude, Barbara

  5. I remember when our first one left the nest and it was tough. But I knew we had prepared him and he was ready to fly. I agree with the others: though she is not here now, she is in her heart and on your mind; get ready for her coming this weekend--bake an apple pie, plan some one on one time with Kaitlyn

  6. Barbara-

    I think I feel your pain since I will be going through all of this in a year or so since my daughter is now a senior. I have had "inside" tears of sadness for a few days because my daughter has made a mistake with a friend and the "other" friends have ganged up on her (facebook and all!). So I'm telling her what you will find out-time will heal. Of course, I'm also telling her that this kind of drama will be GONE when she graduates-then it will be real life, but not THIS kind of drama. So, know that you are not alone in your tears-I feel your sadness but for a different reason. :) Hang in there, the sun will come out again! And your daughter will be home in a few days!


  7. Thanks, Jo and Shannon. She called this afternoon just as I was about to catch a power nap and the excitement in her voice totally melts away the sadness . . . along with your kind words! Shannon, those cyberspace issues are T.O.U.G.H! I pray you find peace as you travel through these trials with her!

  8. Congratulations! You've been awarded the Kreativ Blogger Award by Cachey Mama's Classroom! Click here to see the post about it:

  9. Barbara,
    How precious you are and how very much I understand exactly how you feel...I am so sorry you are having such a tough time. I'm feeling guilty that I got to go get my girl yesterday and posted about it:(( Those feelings that you're feeling, I still feel on a daily basis. It hard for most parents to "let go" under normal husband and I lost our first precious daughter at birth so that letting go has been close to impossible for me. I can honestly say that it is one of the hardest things in the world for me BUT my daughter as I am SURE yours is too(from reading the wonderful person that you are on a daily basis) is a precious child of God and has so much to share with this world and I would be selfish to stand in the way of that. Does that make it easier? No way, but it helps. It's ok to cry, then try to throw your focus somewhere else until it doesn't hurt as bad.....we will get eachother through this! Look forward to Friday:) Start a new tradition for your new Thanksgiving with her:D You will be in my prayers:)

    I also wanted to tell you that your blog brightens my day and I have given you the Sunshine Award!! Pop by to pick it up:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  10. Good morning, Tara - you're up early spreading sunshine! Thanks for the award and your kind words of advice. I know that we can't compare grief, but I feel a little guilty grieving my temporary loss when there are parents carrying the weight of the world as they grieve a more eternal loss. Thank you for your honest reflections and yes, it DOES help!!!


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