Another goodbye

October 19, 2016

I am sitting here at Panera writing this.

I just don't feel comfortable in my own home with workers in my kitchen. I used to think it would be wonderful to have "staff," a la Downton Abbey, but I realize I am way too private to share my house with any one but family or friends.

Which brings me to another point.

We're sharing our home with no one now. The first time in 29 years.

It seems I've been saying goodbye to my children for about 11 years now, ever since my first went off to college. Then I had to do it all over again when my second one left. Then saying another goodbye to the first one when she moved out of state after graduation. Then, the hard parting with the youngest as he started college. But not an empty nest, as our daughter was back home by then. Then saying goodbye to both boys as they moved out of state. That was a Big Goodbye, from which I haven't fully recovered adjusted.

And now my daughter has moved out and into her new home with her husband. 

Getting an antique dresser, the last of the furniture, out of her old room. (Notice her pink work gloves!!)
I was so involved with the wedding planning and the excitement of it all, that I forgot.

How much we talked together every day and how much fun we had. How I would miss her.

{Good grief, Deborah, she only lives 15 minutes away!}

I'm just surprised I guess. That I haven't quite got used to this goodbye thing. 

A new (to me) teacup offers consolation. When the kitchen workers leave I will make myself a cuppa and enjoy my current read, The Dean's Watch by Elizabeth Goudge. I've read it before, but it's too good to sit on the bookshelf.  A wonderful, cozy read.


  1. Dearest Deborah,
    Well, it is always an emotional roller coaster after such a wedding... For you indeed it is only 15 minutes away but for us, all our family is some 16 hours away = flight + drive. And that also comes with a totally different price tag. We've now visited Family 65 times in our 33 years, so you can fill in the financial sacrifice for that... Don't know when we will be back again as Pieter too is aging and travel is very hard on him. He's a completely different person in his own surroundings, in his home and garden where he's always busy doing something. But also is able to take his nap! There were few naps during our 16 days away... That too needs to be overcome.
    But your children are all within reach, even by car if needed. That's a blessing and a phone call is inexpensive too. My Dad has no iPhone or anything like that for doing FaceTime... So it is calling him on his home phone if I want to talk to him. And, another fact is that over those 33 years, it's mainly us that always have made the phone calls. Very few from their end. The excuse was simply: Yeah, you moved away... Great!
    Nevertheless, we're still here and we always managed to pay for all that. Within a couple of days the final charges for gas and toll wil get paid on our Hyatt Visa card. In Europe they seldom accept the American Express card (for which we would receive Delta miles...).
    By living frugal we always have managed, also for paying the seven tickets for Mom & Dad over the years. But it does mean you sacrifice your own vacation time together as you cannot manage both (financially that is...).
    So you will adjust to this and what a great feeling for having so much accomplished. Raising a family, having them all complete their formal education and get married too.
    You are so right about having personnel around the entire day. We had that in Indonesia a lot, but you always have to be on guard; no privacy! Not that they walk into your bedroom but still, you cannot walk through your home in your night gown or whatever you feel like.
    We too care about our privacy, it is very different and you have to be used to it from childhood on I guess for living it otherwise.
    Sending you hugs,

  2. A wedding and now an empty nest, what big changes for you. She is only 15 minutes away, I think you said. Our sons live nearby too, which is a great blessing.

  3. Aww...yes, we do miss them when they leave, don't we? It has been 15 or more years since we've been empty nesters and it would be hard to share our home with anyone on a permanent basis again. It's just a process of life I suppose and making the adjustment can be a little hard! So good to hear that your daughter is only 15 minutes away! :)

  4. It does take a little getting used to but you will enjoy the quality time spent on other things eventually. You never know you might get lucky with the patter of little feet. We yearned for Grandchildren and went from 0 - 6 in a few short years. Take care.

  5. Oh Deborah, my heart goes out to you. I know it will be so hard when the time comes for me. My son is in college but he still "lives" here even though he lives on campus (you know what i mean) and my daughter is still at home.
    Your teacup is adorable with the polka dots and pink! The mosaic vase is nice too.
    So glad you daughter didn't move far away!
    Sending hugs,

  6. Bless your heart! It's a blessing that you do live close to each other so can visit regularly.

    Happy adjusting and happy fall ~ FlowerLady

  7. I know it's hard to see the last one go. You must count yourself lucky, Deborah, if she's only 15 min. away. I'm lucky, too, to have mine close. :)

  8. Oh dear, I know it does take a toll on us Mothers and Dads, I never thought it would all go so fast. And now all the home remodeling changes is very stressful and having the workers in the home can be just plain strange.
    Yet this to shall pass!
    But Panera is a good place to eat yummy food and watch people till your home gets finished LOL
    Hugs, Roxy

  9. It's definitely an adjustment, seeing the kids leave. In time, you will find your new norm without the kids, and you may even enjoy it a bit. There's always new traditions to make....with and without your kids. That's a good way to direct your focus, trying out new traditions. And I am like you when it comes to wanting the privacy of no workers around. It's stressful.

  10. I am just blessed to see that someone loves the old antique dresser! I love it when young adults love the old things!!!!

  11. Oh that makes me want to re-read The Dean's Watch. It is filled with little wisdoms and pleasant, homey scenes that I love so well. The good news about the kids' moving away is that one day there will be grandchildren...please God. Grandchildren brighten one's life. Praying that all is going well with the kitchen redo. It will be worth it all.

  12. I found it so difficult when our eldest daughter left home that I wished they would all leave at once so that I could get all the pain over with. But it doesn't happen like that. We've been on our own for about 6 years, and my happiest days now are when all three of my children, plus their spouses, plus 3 little grands, are under my roof. Bliss. You will adjust, but take time to grieve the loss of this stage of life.

  13. Right there with you, my friend. It's been a year since my daughter got married and moved out of our house, and only in the last couple months has it gotten easier. She lives 25 minutes away, and we see each other at least twice a week and talk and text daily. But it's not quite the same as having a late-night chat curled up on her bed. So, go ahead and feel sad. Go ahead and miss her. That's normal, and it's because the two of you have a loving, close relationship that you feel that way. Even if you don't believe it now, I know you will adjust. I know, because I did, and I didn't think that was possible. Truly, I wanted to die this time last year, as I grieved what I perceived as a loss.

    But you haven't really lost anything. You've just moved in to a new and different, though equally beautiful, relationship with your daughter.


  14. Oh, my gosh, Deborah! You echoed my thoughts exactly. When my eldest daughter got married and cleaned out her room to take to her new home, I suddenly realized it was the end of something huge. I was caught up in the wedding and I never really acknowledged she wouldn't be coming home after work or showering in the morning. Arguing with her sister or having dinner with us. I took it hard.

    I have to say we can get used to it, at least I did but the time it takes most likely varies with all of us.

    I wish you all the best. You are a loving and caring mother or you wouldn't be feeling this way. Have faith your daughter and you will always be tethered together in a new and special ways.


  15. Oh, it isn't easy - especially when we actually really LIKE our children - to say goodbye.

    but not to make light of it in any way - never forget the addage "when one door shuts another one opens."

    It's YOUR time. You've worked your lifetime to get here. Enjoy it. Pick up a much loved hobby and have crazy fun with it.

    Hugs and prayers. ♥

  16. I know exactly how you feel and our three adult daughters have been gone for years now.
    There is no one I would rather spend time with than them.
    This is a beautiful post.
    I hope you will share these today at Thoughts of Home.
    Just stop by my blog to join in!
    Have a great Thursday.

    White Spray Paint

  17. Dear Deborah, I understand and know goodbyes to well. It is a challenge to deal with but over time, the sharp edges of separation, are softened a bit. I never understood how much my mother and dad must have missed me and my family when we moved from Michigan to Texas. It seemed like a world away from our togetherness and talks. But somehow, the distance only brought us closer and those tea times together made extra special when we visited our home state and my dear parents visited us. Having your daughter within driving distance is such a blessing. You will be surprised how "in touch" you will be.

    Many of my goodbyes have also been because of many moves and sadly, saying goodbye to many family and friends who have passed away. That of course is a different sort of goodbye isn't it?
    Our nest has now been empty since 2000 when our son moved out and on his own. He lives only 3 minutes away which is wonderful. I see it as such a gift God has given us. A gift that heals us from so many many other goodbyes. Having him near by has been so special for all of us.

    I understand the workman in the house. We have been the same the last 10 days but having my studio off the garage, I had my place to go to get away. haha.
    We are done now and just waiting for the custom glass shower doors to go in. All went smooth and the fun part of the decorating, has been a total blast!!!

    Enjoy this time of your life now. You've earned it!! Blessings to you and I hope you get to enjoy that tea really soon. xo

  18. It must be very hard to adjust to when you children move out!! It's great though that you daughter did not move away and that she is so close to you.
    I still have this year and next and then my only child will probably go away to college. I am not looking forward to that and I'm enjoying every minute i can now with her.
    I hope all is going well with the work in your kitchen. Take care and enjoy the weekend.
    Julie xo

  19. I was shocked I felt that way when my youngest got married. He had lived in an apartment to be near the University but it was different when we moved his furniture out of his room. That was four years ago and his room is now my study... and their first child is an adorable three months old. I still miss my kids at home but I've settled into a now comfortable routine.

    Goudge is always a good thing. Especially The Deans's Watch. Have you read Hannah Coulter? I just read it after friends have raved about it for years. Wendell Berry may be a man but he certainly understands the empty nest.

  20. Yes, goodbyes are so hard, Deborah. I remember crying for days when mine went away to college. Thankfully, your sweet daugher is close by.
    I do love your pretty teacup. That prettiness should cheer you somewhat. However, having workers in your home is sooooooo hard. I'm with's an invasion of privacy! Take care, sweet friend, and enjoy your book. I must look it up, as I need a cozy read. Love and blessings, Kitty

  21. Thursday blessings to you! I well remember that season when both my girls moved into their own homes-it was so hard at first, but we stayed close in heart. We all live close in town, so it is nice to be able to spend time with them whenever we want. It is a blessing that your daughter is close in proximity. I love your teacup. I can imagine sitting sharing a cup of tea and life with you.

  22. Letting go is always hard. I live 40 minutes away from my parents and they spent the first night at my new place with me (shades of Rory Gilmore!). I still see my parents every week and my mom calls me every day. My younger brother, who moved out before me, lives in another province(4-hour flight) so my parents are always thrilled when the prodigal son comes home.

    I also don't feel comfortable when there are strangers around my place. I'm admiring your pretty new teacup--love the white polkadots!

  23. Our daughters have been out of the house for so long that I don't think to miss them for we talk on the phone a couple of times a week and visit with the youngest who lives 45 minutes away. The one up north we only see 3 or 4 times a year but FaceTime is a great way to visit with her.
    I'm sure some peace and quiet with a cup of tea will be something to look forward to when all your kitchen work is done.

  24. Hi Deborah,
    I totally understand how you are feeling. My daughter moved out in May and I am missing her terribly. She is just 22 and it feels too soon. My 31 year old son is still living with us though so I don't know exactly what it must feel like to be an empty nester. My middle son moved out and got married over two years ago now. It is exciting for you to have your kitchen re-done and look forward to time alone with your hubby. When we had renovations done I didn't enjoy having workmen around either. Blessings, Karen.

  25. Both my kids have moved home again, so the "goodbyes" will be on hold for a while longer. I too missed them when they were away from home, but I'm sure I'll enjoy a bit of wiggle room in the house once they do finally move away. I first felt this loss when my siblings moved out of our family home, and I no longer could talk to them every day. It felt so odd, and I realized then in my teens that there had been a gentle, yet permanent shift into unfamiliar territory. I've been feeling these subtle shifts ever since.
    Big hugs to you Deborah. I know this is a bit difficult, but treat yourself kindly while you adjust. Tea and a good book will always be tops with me for bringing comfort.
    Wendy xox

  26. Don't count on it being very long :) Actually adjust to it and enjoy it because there will be grandchildren down the line and an entire new chapter in your book coming along.

    In other words, don't go crazy fixing up the house too much or getting new furniture, etc. because it's all going to get ruined again ha ha! :) You will have matchbox cars crashed in to your furniture, you will injure your feet stepping on Legos left's all going to happen again :)

  27. Oh, Deborah, I know how you took me the longest time to adjust to my youngest moving out. It was the little things, like you said - the conversations, the day in and day out of seeing their faces, being able to share a morning cup of coffee or a meal together. And yes, you still see them and talk to them regularly, but it is not the same. That being said, a good friend who experienced it all before me said, 'In three months you will feel better and actually start enjoying your freedom', and you know, she was right. You get all the good stuff and none of the bad when they are on their own. get to visit them and be waited on!!!! Sending hugs xo Karen


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