One of the greatest gifts of being retired is time to spend with family. Family that lives far away. Family I don’t see very often because they live so far away. Or maybe it’s that I live so far away.
I lived close to my parents until I was 32 years old. When we moved several states away for the first time, I was excited by the coming adventure, but never stopped to consider how my mother felt about it. On my first visit home after moving, she held on tight to me and cried. That puzzled me.
Now my daughter lives far away and I’m the one who clings to her and cries. I understand the longing Mom must have felt for me, because I have that with my daughter. It’s hard for me to get enough time with my daughter. I admire the woman she’s become and I want to see her in action, spreading her kindness, skills, and abilities to those she comes in contact with. I never get tired of seeing it.
I think about my hubby’s ancestors that came to this country from across the ocean in the first decade of the 20th century. They left home and never went back. They never saw their parents again. I cannot imagine what that parting must have been like when they took their infant son (Hubby’s grandfather) away to another country. What strength it took to leave. And what strength it took to watch them go. Letters were the only form of communication then and it probably took months to cross the ocean and the prairie. How blessed we are to live in a time where instant access to each other is available so that there is no wondering. Answers to “how are you?” and “can you help me?” can come in seconds.
So when leaving my daughter, I get teary eyed, but I say a prayer of thanks for being the mother of such an incredible woman. I am sad that our time together is over, but I’m so happy I had that time with her. Those memories are so precious to me. I hope to have more time with her in the future since I’m free from the restraints of annual leave. I just hope she doesn’t get tired of having me around.