Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Empty Nest #???

In Terri’s recent post concerning the moving of her son away from the nest again, and the sadness it brought to her caused me to think back and forward to the times my nest has been emptied. 
My daughter has always lived in our immediate area, so her leaving has, fortunately never been a concern, but who knows what the future may bring. 

My son, on the other hand left home to move to Lake Tahoe with a buddy 23 years ago and never returned, moving even further away to southern California a few years later.  After Lane left for Lake Tahoe I literally cried for two weeks.  This was my buddy, I mean what other son would happily go to the mall with their mother just to spend time together.  And this was the son that said he would never leave Chicago, now it’s the opposite….he will never move back.  I guess if given a choice, California weather ranks way way above the weather in Chicago, especially during the months of November thru April.  And the fact that he married a California girl pretty much sums up that “not ever moving back” assumption. So big time empty nest….#1.

Empty nest #2, my Mom.  When my Mom, still living alone after my father had passed away in 2001, was almost 90 she was hospitalized with pneumonia. Spending 2 weeks in ICU followed by 30 days in rehab, there was no way I would permit her to return to her home by herself  being miles away from me in Texas. On the pretense that it would be a temporary stay while she fully recovered I brought her home with me, with full intent to move her in with us permanently.  Fortunately my Mother realized her needs and did not protest. She lived with us for almost 3 years before her death. The best 3 years of being with my Mom as an adult.  We enjoyed an entirely different relationship than the mother-child scenario of years ago and the brief one week visits in between.  It’s really difficult losing a Mom, no matter how old you are, I lost her 5 years ago to a stroke, sadly she left my nest. 

Empty nest #3, my sweetie.  Most of you know that my husband suffers from and has for many years, the terrible memory robbing, personality changing disease, Alzheimer’s.  He began showing signs in his late 50’s and he will turn 77 in August, so you do the math.  I cared for him at home for many of those years, however 5 years ago it became too much of a burden and I placed him in a care facility where he remains today.  And another loved one leaves the nest.

Empty nest #4, my granddaughter.  After a bad breakup with her longtime boyfriend of 5 years, and with nowhere else to go, I welcomed Bailey to move in with me late last August. She was in a bad state of mind, overweight and overwrought.  Since that time, Bailey has regained her confidence and has lost over 50 lbs and still losing,  She has brought me comfort and joy easing the pains of living alone.  We cook together, watch TV together, read together, go shopping together, a happy break after being alone for so long.  But like all the rest I am afraid that soon she will be leaving the nest too.   A promotion is in sight which means moving out of town, nothing definite, but a move away is a pretty sure thing.  And then another leaves the nest.  

Letting your children and grandchildren fly from the nest is difficult, but you know that in doing so you are allowing them to grow and make their own way in the world.   Losing your parent or your spouse is a whole different empty nest loss.  It’s a deep loss that is sometimes difficult to recover from. I have been blessed with my family, my friends and my faith in reestablishing my life to continue. I concentrate on the happiness that comes daily, sometimes it comes in really really small bits, and the blessings (I have a guardian angel that I have completely worn out) I continually receive.  When I do that I can rise above the grief and loss that comes with an empty nest.

"Do not be afraid of your difficulties. Do not wish you could be in other circumstances than you are. For when you have made the best of an adversity, it becomes the stepping stone to a splendid opportunity." 

-- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky 


Carol said...

Oh Deanna -this is a very meaningful post, and beautifully written from your heart and soul! To know you is to see how full your life always is wheteher you are living by yourself or with others. You seem to make the most out of every day. I am on the verge of many of these things and I will try to keep your lessons in mind. They reflect a philosophy that I truly believe in . But you are living it.
And may I say -what a beautiful family!

Dotti said...

Yes. What Carol said. Ditto. You have always inspired me and this post fills me again with admiration for your resilience and strength. Oh, yes! You have your warts but when it comes to loving people enough to let them fly, you are a shining example for the rest of us. I know it's not been easy for you but you always do what you must.

I can tell having Bailey with you has been good for you both and I'm just so pleased to hear of her progress. But when she flies, you know we'll all be here for you even as we are for Terri and for one another, no matter what life brings. In the meantime, soak up that lovely granddaughter of yours and make beautiful memories.

kelly said...

you have a beautiful family Deanna. and what a gift you have given to all of them by letting them nest and then fly off to the big, bold journeys that await them. hugs to you friend. xo

terriporter said...

So good for me to read your post this morning! Echoing what Carol and Dotti said about how inspired I've always been by your positive attitude no matter what life hands you. What a wonderful example you are! Life hands you lemons and you, well you know, you make lemonade. And I'm not surprised at all that Bailey is flourishing with your loving care. Thank you for sharing this, Deanna.

Anonymous said...

With all the empty nesters, its easy to see that everyone will find their nest empty at one time or another! Remembering that death, nor distance will ever separate the love you have for one another will give you the strength to make it through. You have a lovely family, Deanna! Thanks for sharing, and stay strong!

Cathy H. said...

You have a beautiful family, Deanna! Although I don't know them, I can tell that their beauty and strength is from deep within. That is in part because you are such a positive, loving person and such a wonderful example for them. I admire you very much!

Lisa Gordon said...

What a beautiful post, Deanna, and how fortunate Bailey is to have you.
And I am sure you feel very fortunate to have her also.
Again, such a wonderful post.
Sometimes, I think you just have to be a Mom, to hurt so much when they leave. xo.

Liz said...

I can totally relate, Deanna!

Lisa Comperry said...

I can totally relate as well...

Jeanne said...

Beautiful post Deanna! Such a blessing for your your granddaughter to have this healing time with you, time neither of you will ever forget

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