Several months ago, Clementine asked for a transfer…

In the fall, they told her maybe December.

December…no transfer.  Maybe March.

March…no transfer.  May for sure…

May…the position won’t be available for another month.  June looks ideal…

As she suffered fear and doubt, I remained calm.  Somehow, it just never seemed real.  I continued to pray, “Thy will be done…”

With each setback, I became convinced that maybe, just maybe, this move wasn’t to be.  Secretly, I rejoiced.  I love my girl.  I don’t want her to leave.  She seems so young, so vulnerable…the urge to protect her is still so very strong, even after nearly 20 years.  The thought of redefining my family, once again, is so painful.  As each child leaves, that empty space is never really filled.  No matter how busy she’s been, nor how often she’s been gone, we’ve always known that home is where we, her family, are.

This afternoon, a very nervous and somewhat shocked Clementine called home from Kentucky.  She’d been called into the Lexington UPS office for an interview and discussion about her upcoming transfer.

She won’t be going in June.

She leaves this Sunday, Mother’s Day, to start her new job on Monday.

She will have a new home, a new job, and a new college.

And I won’t have my girl…

Though my heart is breaking as I contemplate her moving, I’m so very thankful that of all the places in the world that she could go, she’s going back to Kentucky.

Kentucky…home to her sisters, nieces and nephew.  Home to the Grands, Grandma Beckie and Grandma Martha.  Home to her aunts, uncles and cousins.  Home to many friends and more I’m sure she’ll meet.  Home to her own dear one, Roger…practically a member of the family for the past six years.

But not my home.

It’s so hard to be left behind…I’m having to remind myself this isn’t about me, about my loss.  It’s about her future, not mine.  It’s about trust and letting go.  I’ve prayed so long, so hard.  I’ve asked God to end this process or speed it up…

Well…it couldn’t have happened much faster than this.

Tomorrow, she’ll pack up her room.  The last few remnants of her childhood and young adulthood neatly stored in boxes and bags, waiting to be unpacked elsewhere.  She’ll spend Saturday and Sunday saying goodbye to friends and family.

She’ll visit, of course, but the title “visitor” seems so distant when used to describe my darling daughter…

I’ll close with these words, written two years ago about my dear girl, and still true:

My dear daughter is an adult…it happened so quickly. Gone are the baseball caps and rollerblades. Now we talk about work schedules, insurance premiums and college text books.

I’ve been down this path more than once, but not with her. She is already far ahead of me, proceeding quickly and surely. She is so confident now, her future stretching before her like a lovely scroll, as yet unwritten.

If you have little ones…hold them close. The late night feedings, the “terrible twos”, the broken arms and broken hearts…they are fleeting. Over before you know it.

I’ve become (once again) the wonder-struck observer of this metamorphosis. It is a hard thing to let go, yet thrilling at the same time. I find myself ridiculously proud of her bank account and her ability to cast a vote…it’s rather like watching her take that first, faltering step.

So it was with the first to leave. And the second. All these hopes, dreams, fears.

They may leave your home, but never your heart. The space that each fills, is theirs alone.