My Daughter is Leaving


My daughter is leaving for China tomorrow night- a whole year she will be in the Chengdu providence teaching English. She’ll be with her boyfriend, Eben, so she won’t be alone. That makes a mother feel a little better.

I was moping a bunch this summer. I missed her already as she was on a two month road trip around the country. Not used to my kids not being close by, close enough to get to if I need a kid fix. But China is far. About a 2 day’s flight.

And I was feeling a bit mopey because I finally got my first hot flash- many years late. All you home girls who said I was full of shit when I said I did not start menopause yet and you all said I was nutz, I was right. Only 2% of the population wait this long- so I guess I am special. But I don’t like it anymore, even if it is very late.

Getting hot at inopportune times sucks, such as backpacking across Isle Royale when it is already hot- a hot flash makes you feel as if you are going to drop over and faint.  Whatever. I don’t like the inconvenience. But stuff like your kid moving away to China and first getting flashes makes you think of the passing of time and this finite world.

My friend, Jane Alena, my tax preparer for many years just died. She had been battling cancer for a few years and every early spring, when I went in to get my taxes done, I never knew if that would be the last time I would see her again. Now it’s over. I won’t be seeing her anymore.

With Sierra leaving in less than 24 hours, we’ve been doing some of her favorite at-home activities- building a campfire, walking up to North Lookout, paddling Landingville Dam and the Schuylkill. This evening, the lake was so still, if I looked at the tip of my canoe, it looked like it was sailing right through the reflected clouds. It looked like we were paddling in the sky. And my mind immediately jumped to Jane, thinking of her and wondering if she could see us. And what she wouldn’t do right now if she could be with her daughter, and vice versa.

I never think about dying. And perhaps I should. I don’t think that I may never see my daughter again, but when we say good bye, even for the  day, we should throw our arms around our loved ones, pull them close, kiss them and tell them that we love them, ‘cause who knows.

I’m feeling like I will surely see my daughter again. And I’m feeling real good that it is only four months now instead of 12 since I purchased three tickets to Beijing for the three of us. My birthday, Christmas, Bryce’s birthday and New Years- all in China with the sweetest daughter. What a celebration.  We all need something to look forward to. Perhaps it will make the blasted hot flashes more tolerable. My cousin said that had my religious father been here, his comment would be, “Offer it up for your sins or the souls in Purgatory.”  I think I’ll offer it up for Jane who can’t paddle the skies with her daughter. She would surely cover the world in a plane to see her if she could.

10 thoughts on “My Daughter is Leaving Leave a comment

  1. What a sweet, intraspective post that was, Cindy, about your feelings on Siera going to China. It is so awesome that you have that close bond with your kids. No matter where your children are, you will be close to them.

  2. You are an incredible mom, wife, friend and certainly writer. Thank you for sharing your experiences and Jane’s story. I am sure she is smiling from wherever she is… Best of luck to Sierra and Bryce, I know they equally make you so proud. Welcome to the world of hot flashes – it’s about time!

  3. Cindy, nice note. My niece, Kate Hummel, has done the same thing in Shenzen, China and has really enjoyed the perspective and adventure of it all.

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