Saturday, August 28, 2004

Just the cat

is left for me to fuss over. And this particular cat plays the part well. It won't even drink water from a bowl, it only drinks from a running faucet. This cat has me trained to wake up when it scratches on the door or the window from outside. And it needs fresh food, not food from hours ago, it its bowl. I draw the line on letting it sleep in our room because it will nuzzle up against you and then act offended if you roll over.

Well, D. left minutes ago. If I had a digital camera I would post a picture of him driving off in the rain. I did take a photo, but it is the old-fashioned film kind.

For the next few days I will clean and pack and sort and repack as empty nest therapy. I'll probably make two empty bedrooms over into guest rooms. The third empty bedroom we'll keep for R., for at least one more year. Sometimes it is nice to have guest rooms, but there is also the possiblilty of turning one end of our house into an apartment to rent to students, and then we could get some income from it. It has been several years since we did that, so it would take some effort to move my stuff out and return it to rentable condition. But maybe it would be a way to help pay for R.'s last year at college. We'll have to give that some thought.

Friday, August 27, 2004

A week of tears

This has been a hard week for me. A week ago tonight I cried at a wedding, and not just for the reasons that women cry at weddings. Then I cried during the stress of packing up one child and then I cried from the sadness of her leaving. Then I cried during the stress of packing the other kid up and then I cried from the sadness of him leaving. And don't forget crying from the sadness of having the other kid thousands of miles away. (And then there's the crying from feeling stupid and selfish for crying.)

Yes, all the kids leaving makes me sad. But other things make me sad too. In fact, I feel like I have a long list lof things making me sad right now. One of the is the feeling that I am invisible, like no one* really cares about the sadness I feel.

And really, why should they? I'm the steady person who helps others, not the person whom others help. I'm the person who serves others, not the person whom others serve.

I really shouldn't post this. It is truely stupid to wallow in self-pity, but that is indeed how I feel at the moment. I feel sad and invisible.

*I am lucky, I realize, to have a husband who tolerates all this crying and self pity of mine. He doesn't exactly empathize, but neither does he criticize. He listenes to me complain and doesn't, for the most part, get upset. He'll never get an award for World's Best Family Counselor, but at least he doesn't reject me and he takes my grievences seriously, while pointing out the other person's side of the story. I am blessed to have his steady agape love.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

A perfect mother

would know the perfect balance between being involved and leaving alone--according to the need of each child (for indeed this illusive perfect balance is different for each child). And a perfect mother would have the will power to put that knowledge into practice.

I am not a perfect mother.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

R.'s last year of college

is about to begin. D. and I will drive her to OKC tomorrow, leaving at 6am. I am feeling kind of sad. Not just about her leaving, but also because in another 2-3 days D. will also be leaving. But then, this is the Empty Nest blog.

R. has had a good summer for the most part. She is feeling pretty good about facing her last year of college. It will be a challenge with student teaching in the spring and one more standardized test to get her teaching certificate. It is probably too early to worry about it yet, but finishing college means getting a job, and if she were to actually get a teaching job for next year, those applications would need to be made during the spring too. She has to think through where she wants to locate, if she wants to move back to Texas and try to get a Texas certificate after having an Oklahoma one. We have to decide whether we would want her to live with us after she graduates. Turning the end of our house into a separate apartment again is a possibility. We don't need to think too hard about these matters at the moment, but they are in the back of our minds.

And for her, she has to emotionally be ready to take another step of independence. She has fears of living alone but where she lives will have a lot to do with where she gets a job.

Lord, these are concerns on my heart. Take care of R. Help her in the immediate days to transition into a new living situation without a roommate, with new classes. Help her to find a job that suits her. Help her to find the friends that she needs, even though many of her classmates have already graduated or changed schools. Help her to trust you about having or not having a boyfriend. I know she is at the age and place in life that she wants to get married and have a home of her own. Many of her friends will be getting engaged or married. Help her to trust you with this aspect of her life. Bring the right man to her at the right time--may he think of her as a precious gift from you and love her without hesitation.

Lord, help me too. I'm feeling sad. I'm happy that my kids are all doing so well, that they all love you. But I'm sad because I miss them and I have to let them go. Help me to trust you for their well-being.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Victory in Jesus

I hate that song. I refuse to sing it. They sang it in church this morning, so I just stood there and remembered all the bad things associated in my mind with that song. How I trusted him, how I listened to him, how I did what he said because he was my pastor. How he would play that song on his accordion.

He failed me. He failed his wife. He failed God most of all. That's why I hate that song.