I had four older brothers and as the only girl in the family, my mother and I had a close relationship. I left home when I was 21 and not once did my mother voice any concerns or worries, but whole heartedly showed her support, realising it was time for me to find my own way. I don't think it occurred to me at the time the range of emotions my mother must have been dealing with as I departed my childhood home.
Only now as a grown woman, wife and mother, do I fully appreciate what she stoically bore. Women have many rites of passage that we all encounter throughout our lives. In the role of mother, we understand and accept that one day our children will leave us. It is a parents role to lovingly protect and watch as our young flourish into adulthood, we nurture, encourage and guide them so they may have wings and one day fly.
With these thoughts, I recently found myself hugging my own daughter tightly as she officially moved out of the house to spread her wings. It is bitter sweet to see her go. Bitter - for I miss her presence, and her childhood is officially over as she begins a new adventure with her young man by her side. Sweet, because it is the normal, healthy next step in her life, and my husband and I are very happy for her. Something would be terribly wrong and emotionally unhealthy if she didn't want her independence and to make her own way in the world. As parents, we hope we've given her the tools to lead a full and purposeful life, following her dreams and the ability to succeed in her endeavours.
When a child grows up in a household with a parent who is chronically ill or disabled, it stands to reason that this factor is bound to have an effect in some way. From personal experience, I can see many beneficial life skills a child has the opportunity of learning, which will hold them in good stead for the future. Circumstances often dictate, and living with Gaucher and Parkinson's disease, over the years my daughter has competently helped my husband take care of me, almost reversing our roles of parent and child on occasion. For the love and care she bestowed upon me, I am blessed and proud of the remarkable young woman she is today.
Grocery shopping is one of the many duties my daughter took on over the years, so now she is not here, I found the fridge pitifully empty and in need of a solution to this problem. My husband has enough on his shoulders taking care of me, and certainly doesn't need to add groceries to his very long and often overwhelming list of things to do. We decided to try 'On-line shopping'. Placing an order, I sat the next day eagerly awaiting the delivery. The supermarket van arrived well within the allotted time they had predicted and I was impressed with how the groceries were packed; so one satisfied customer here!
When circumstances change, finding a solution to a problem, isn't always as simple as On-line grocery shopping - I only wish it were! Often problems of a far more serious nature need to be tackled and thinking out of the box is required, consulting with others who have been in similar situations, talking things through with family members, a good friend, or perhaps a professional counsellor. When confronting difficulties, I don't leave any stone unturned. My husband has a unique way of handling the many hurdles that present themselves throughout life, for he maintains that problems don't exist, only solutions exist. Once you find the solution, you no longer have a problem!
So the grocery shopping problem was easily solved. I try to embrace each new chapter of my life, but as I stand here in my daughter's empty bedroom, that was once filled with beloved stuffed toys, which in later years gave way to shoes and makeup, my heart aches. I have many precious memories that I hold onto and cherish. Too soon have the years flown by. My daughter is now a young woman embarking on her own life adventure and I wish her the best of luck. As she steps forth on her own journey, wherever she may reside, she takes with her a little piece of my heart.