Years ago, I wrote a blog called Hellos and Goodbyes. It was a bittersweet look at our family life back when Zach was the first to leave the nest, and I realized that life was forever altered. We were no longer the five of us, constantly under one roof. He was off, beginning to adult. He came home when he could and left when he had to. Now all three are off on their own, and life is a revolving door.
Last weekend I was invited back into a series of Hellos and Goodbyes when Claire asked me to visit her. She’s working as a co-op for Thermo Fisher in Greenville, North Carolina, and said she’d like me to help her move apartments.
I knew she didn’t need my help, but I jumped at the chance to go.
I spent the week before leaving in a state of perpetual excitement. I was going to have Claire to myself for a whole weekend! I was like a little kid before Christmas, anticipating the huge hug I would get from her. I couldn’t wait.
I did a little research on the area and found one place I wanted to visit. Washington, North Carolina, is on the banks of the Pamlico river. Not only was Claire up for a bit of an adventure, she told me it was one of the places she wanted to explore but hadn’t found the time.
I rolled in on Friday afternoon, getting that colossal hug I anticipated all week. It was like sunshine to my soul. We got to work and knocked out what was left to move and clean. We ordered pizza, watched The Devil Wears Prada, and I went to bed one happy mama.
Saturday, we checked off all of the things on her list. A little shopping at Target, a tour through Greenville to show me where she works, and a trip to my new favorite little city. Washington. Where we ate, strolled, had a beer, bought some artwork, and made friends. We drove back to Greenville, picked up dinner, rewatched two of our favorite Marvel movies, and it was bliss.
Sunday. It was the day to say goodbye. I left Claire to her reality, and I went home to mine.
Life is truly a series of Hellos and Goodbyes now, and they are much more poignant because of the everything in between. I’m so very thankful to have those Hellos. They make the Goodbyes a little easier.
Oh, for the love of my children…