As I sit and write this post this evening, I must confess that my mother's heart hurts.
We said "goodbye" this morning to our daughter, Rachele and her little baby, Eric.
Her car was all packed up and ready for her journey back to California.
We said our goodbyes just before we left for church. The day was cloudy with rain on the way. The dreary weather matched my mood.
Just 48 hours ago, Rachele and I (along with Eric) were enjoying a talent show put on by the kids in our church's youth group.
It was a fundraiser for a future mission trip. The kids served a spaghetti dinner and entertained us all with their talent.
My daughter, Gracie, played piano and did great, even though she was a little nervous.
My son, Kai, and daughter Ruthie (hidden behind Kai), displayed their comedic talents. Or should I say, Kai showed how much ice cream he could eat. Ruthie while hidden behind Kai, served as his 'hands' as she prepared an ice cream sundae and then proceeded to feed him. Needless to say, not much ice cream made it into his mouth.
The silent auction afterward was fun and I even won a couple - Starbucks and a Diamondbacks baseball game.
24 hours ago, I was sitting with Eric, enjoying some of our last moments together.
He is almost 6 weeks old and I have been with him for everyday of his short life.
From holding him minutes after his birth and changing his first diaper...
To taking care of both him and my daughter during their 6 day hospital stay.
Rachele came home to stay with us while she recovered from her c-section and we enjoyed her company and holding Eric a lot.
I will miss feeding Eric and seeing him becoming 'milk drunk' and I will even miss his crying (a little).
This morning, I took one last picture of Eric before it was time for them to go. It will be hard to think that we will miss the next few milestones like his first smile.
I remember how sad I was when Rachele first left for the Navy and how I rejoiced when we saw her again when she graduated from basic training.
You can read more about her Navy journey, here.
Then there was sadness as she was gone to Missouri and later Mississippi for further training.
It's hard to believe that my little girl is all grown up. You would think that when your child is an adult, that saying "goodbye" would be fairly easy.
Well, it's not true. I wish it was.
Now it is harder because I also miss my grandson. I realize that I was given a special gift of being able to spend so much time with them both.
While the house seems rather empty with them gone, there are some perks:
- My son, who graciously gave up his room for them to stay in, now gets to vacate the living room couch and move back into his room.
- The Xbox, which was moved temporarily into our bedroom, is now back in his room.
- The kitchen counter is free from bottles, nipples and formula.
- The trash can will be 'diaper-free'.
- There is more room in the family room with the absence of the baby swing, infant seat and changing pad.
- Nights will be somewhat quieter with no midnight feedings.
While the house is quieter and cleaner, I would trade it all back if I could.
But, the good news is that Rachele lives one state away, 7 hours by car and 1 hour by plane. We already have plans to visit in April, June and September for starters.
I wonder if I can figure find a gardening conference coming up soon that is near her house?
Thank you for letting me share my mother's heart with you today.
**For those of you with older kids, do they live nearby or far away? How often do you get to see them?