Last weekend, I flew back to Orlando to share in two momentous events for our family.
First we celebrated the culmination of many years of hard work — Marissa’s graduation from medical school. Compared to the huge and almost impersonal undergraduate ceremonies, the ceremony for the 117 member medical school class felt intimate and very meaningful. I sat with Sean and Marissa’s family as we proudly watched her walk across the stage to accept both the doctoral hood and medical school diploma. The officiates spoke of what it was to be a good doctor, and I have no doubt that Marissa is well on her way to becoming a wonderful doctor. Truly a significant milestone, and one that I wouldn’t have missed for the world. Following the graduation ceremony, we regrouped at her Dad’s house to celebrate!
The rest of the weekend was occupied by helping Sean and Marissa pack up and prepare to move to Greensboro, their home for the next three years. A little back story here — their Orlando home is actually a house that we purchased and renovated for them to rent from us. When Jeff and I transitioned to full time RV living, we began using their address as our mailing address. In a small way, it felt to me as though Sean was still living at “home”. Now, they are truly going to be on their own, in their own space.
I helped to pack up, clean, and make Goodwill runs. We enjoyed a last celebratory dinner out with Marissa’s family. Sunday morning, Sean picked up the moving truck and the family assembled. With all of the willing hands, the truck was loaded in very short order. After a break to eat lunch, they climbed into their respective vehicles (Sean driving the truck, Marissa in her car), and drove off.
There was more to do, though. Marissa’s brother and his girl friend have been rooming at the house for a couple of years and will now take sole possession of the house. So, with all of the family help still available, we shifted their furniture around and helped them settle in. Early the next morning, I caught the first flight back to Indianapolis. A busy weekend, most certainly!
I was a little surprised at the depth of my emotional reaction to their departure. Although, technically, we haven’t lived with Sean for 8 years, it somehow felt as though he was leaving for the first time. I felt happy and excited for their new life adventure, but grieved to see him go. Does this Mom thing ever get easier? From the time we give birth, our primary job is to love, teach, and equip our children to be happy, moral, fully independent adults. We give them roots and wings to fly. But then we’re sad when we’re successful …. and they leave to live their own life.
It’s all worth it, though.