Four months and four days, seventeen weeks, one-hundred twenty-five days; but who’s counting? Anyway you look at it, it’s been a while. A long while. It’s the amount of time that has passed since we said goodbye to our daughter and son-in-law in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve. We exchanged hugs and Christmas wishes on the corner of Rose and Frederick in Edinburgh Scotland and watched them turn and walk towards their little apartment from the back window of the taxi cab.
Well, that went by fast.
Thanks to modern technology, my husband and I have visited with our daughter and her husband through Face Time a few times. It was so good to see their faces as we talked to them but it’s not the same as being there.
I am so excited to see them in person again soon — tomorrow, as a matter of fact. They returned to the United States to attend the wedding of a close friend and former roommate, the young woman who performed their nuptials. Can I just say, I am so happy? For the bride but also that I get to see my girl again. This special wedding trip falls about halfway through her time in Scotland.
I know this visit will go by fast. After all, it’s only three days.
The longer I live in this empty nest, the more I appreciate the time I get to spend with my adult children. It may be simply a meal shared like I shared with my son last weekend or it may be a quick visit home. For this mama’s heart, it will never be enough time, that’s why I am compelled to savor every moment.
I’m trying not to complain. I think about all those mothers who sent their sons off to war with only letters exchanged for years at a time. Mothers of foreign missionaries make a huge sacrifice as well. I know other moms who have had to say the hardest good-bye as their child slipped into eternity. My not seeing my daughter for a few months pales in comparison.
Even so, this has been hard. I miss her a lot. I miss my little family. I’m in the season where family is me and my husband again.
But I’m not going to be gloomy. I’m going to enjoy every moment of their visit and make enough memories to carry me through the next four months when I will see her again. And, her time in Scotland will end before the end of the year then she and her husband will begin their next adventure — hopefully not as far from home.
How about you? Are you an empty nest mom with children far away? How do you cope? Besides my faith, which I have to cling to with all my might, I find comfort in the camaraderie of other women experiencing similar situations. We’ll get through this!