After quite a whirlwind week of joy and activity!
As most of you know, I have two grown kids. Erin . . . who is married to Keith and lives in California (Bay Area). And Brian . . . who is married to Lauren and, after several years out in Boulder, now lives closer by here in Michigan. We all took the pandemic Very Seriously. Erin and Keith have been hunkered down in California, and we haven't seen them since Christmas 2019. Brian and Lauren? Well, we've seen them. But not much. And until very recently, only masked and outside.
As is the case for so many of you, it's been hard.
Really, really hard.
I mean . . . Zoom calls and FaceTime are great, sure. But . . . they only go so far.
So it was a wonderful surprise when Erin called to tell us she was coming for a weeklong visit . . . having successfully completed her vaccine regimen.
And we had a GREAT time together last week. It kind of makes my head spin to think of all the STUFF we crammed into her visit! Lake time up north. Forest bathing. Birthday celebrations. Actual browsing in actual stores. A bit of gardening. Family time. Watching the entire season of Ted Lasso (yes; again). Tie dying in the back yard (more on that another day). A trip to Lake Michigan. Ice Cream. (So much ice cream.)
We had a great time.
And now she's back home in California with Keith and their cat, looking forward to getting back to work and feeling more . . . connected . . . again. (Sometimes you just need to hug your mom, y'know?)
And I'm . . . feeling The Emptiness.
I know most of you know this feeling all too well.
That lingering, kinda lonely feeling that shows up when your grown kid leaves after a visit (or you leave them). There's just . . . an emptiness for a few days.
And it's . . . there.
And it's kind of . . . icky.
And it happens (for me, at least) even when I know it's time for them to go home again . . . to their life. And it's time for me to get back to my own.
Still. There it is!
When I was suffering from The Emptiness yesterday, Tom made a great suggestion (he's pretty wise most of the time). He suggested I try to fill The Emptiness . . . with Gratitude.
So I did.
I'm grateful that Erin could arrange to come home for a visit.
I'm grateful that she WANTED to come out for a visit; that she wants to spend time with us!
I'm grateful that we had such a fun time together.
I'm grateful for real, in-person, no-mask. . . conversation and sharing and time together.
I'm grateful for an entire week with my wonderful daughter.
I'm grateful for every. single. moment.
I'm grateful that she had a safe journey; that's she's back at home with Keith and her kitty, ready to get back to work at a job she loves.
I'm grateful that she's happy and settled in her own life.
Really. Could a mom want any more than that?
The Emptiness . . . is Real.
But Tom was right. You can fill that emptiness with gratitude!