My entire life can be summed up by the word “change”. As a child, we moved constantly. Change was always in the air. New schools; new houses; new friends; new towns. As an adult, that nomadic lifestyle slowed a little, but it didn’t come to a complete halt. Chef and I still moved about more than most. I had new homes; even new children; new schools for them. I had new friends, new jobs, new houses, new cities, new cars, new motorcycles, and eventually, a new marital status.
I find myself again in the throes of change, but this time, I feel so sad about it. Unlike before, this isn’t a new adventure. It’s the end of an era, and I’m reluctant to say goodbye. My son is moving away and at last, I’m truly experiencing what so many parents go through so much earlier than I have – an empty nest.
My son DJ is chronically ill, and after quite some time, finally was able to qualify for disability. He has a small, if stable, income and his heart has always been to live in Colorado. He has friends who love him there and he has decided to make the leap and try to live on his own with roommates. My mind knows this is a good thing for him; my heart is selfish and just wants him to stay with me.
Isn’t that the real rub being a parent, though? It would seem that all the best decisions for our kids run counter to what we want for ourselves. Rebekkah is safer and happier in China with her children, but I miss her in a physically painful way almost every day and wish she were near me. Dj needs to have more to live for than living in his mom’s home and playing video games on the days he feels well enough, but I’d be okay with that forever if I could just see his face every day. Caitlyn is fiercely independent, like her mom, but also like her mom, doesn’t always remember to let the ones who love her know she’s safe and happy.
I find myself entering a slower, more introspect time of my life. I’m having to step away from the humans I’ve loved the most in this world and let them succeed and fail on their own. I have no doubts they will do their fair share of both, but overall, they will succeed in all that they set their hands to do, because they know to not be afraid to try, learn from mistakes, always try again, admit when you’ve failed, and that apologies are the most powerful words in the universe. They will make me proud, as they always have. They were what I did the best, to my utter surprise and shock, and I’m most grateful to the Lord that He trusted them to my care.
I miss them, and will always miss them, every minute of every day.