I’ll Let You Go

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Sometimes, it’s the simplest songs that get ya. I kept hearing this one, and finally looked at my car radio dial to learn I was listening to Jessica Allossery

Back to those very simple lyrics. My first thoughts went to my daughter Laura, who is expecting a baby girl near October 1.

But then they drifted back to me. To my own days of letting kids go. I did well with empty nest. My girls loved college, and after they were both gone, I went to Vermont College to get a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing (a low residency program). Those were happy days for all of us.

But now, as I get ready to leave this old house, I’m feeling a new sort of empty nest, the thoughts of an empty house. I can still hear the girls’ footsteps in the upstairs hall. The bounding down the stairs. The slamming of the kitchen screen door.

The girls are delighted we’re getting a new house, and I’m already thinking how I will decorate the grandchildren’s bedroom. So a good letting go, if I can only get brave enough to walk out of that old screen door for the last time.

“Will you do better if someone buys the house who really loves it?” Cliff asked me the other night.

That might be one of those “duh” questions, but I get what he means. Yes, then I can let the house go.And it might be nice to let someone else tackle the dilemma  of the porch floor.

Any advice for those new to empty nest?

What about you? Any advice on leaving a long-lived-in house?

Younger Girls

Photo: Daughter Kath, mother of my now four-year-old grandson Mazen, is on the left, and Laura, is on the right. We were on our way to a baby shower for Laura in July.  Note the floor. Paint refuses to stick.

Letting Go: I found this great article the other day on Tiny Buddha. One of the best I’ve read. Check it out here.

18 responses »

  1. Good luck with the new house and new grand-baby! And looks like you’re off on a great trip.
    Letting go– so hard with adult children. Moving might be a good way to let go. The link to Tiny Buddha is terrific– I can say I’m doing quite a few of things on it! Thanks for sharing.

  2. No question, it’s hard saying goodbye to memories. I wrote a letter to the house! But you’re also saying hello to something wonderful. That helps

  3. My sister and I sold our long time family summer cottage a few weeks ago. Before we left for the last time I walked through each room and thanked it for the love fellowship food rest chats- whatever was special for each room and I thanked it for a specific memory. All the best to you!

  4. So funny that I am reading your post on this topic right now. I am sitting here debating on whether I should keep my children’s baby plates or not. They were well used and loved but are very worn. So hard to say goodbye!

  5. Before my parents and my aunt sold my grandparents house I went through and videotaped the house and its contents. I just walked through silently filming room after room.
    I remember the house so well but it’s comforting to see if again anytime I pull out the CD. Plus my kids (and any future grandkids) can see their great (and gg) grandparents house if they might be interested in the future.
    Film your house now for Maze and baby girl Allen. It might be comforting to you also to know you can always see it again.
    You’re off to a new and exciting life and it’s hard to let go but fun to reinvent yourself.

  6. This is such an important topic – letting go, moving on.

    I did listen to the song on the post, but can’t quite
    identify. That is because, it felt too much like “leaving” a
    loved one. When our daughter left for college, we “let go” in
    segments (or sequentially?); not all at once. (Although, we
    did cry our eyes out at a college orientation event!).

    She never has to wonder if we are here for her. We maintain a
    relationship – she knows it! Even though she is her own
    person, with her own freedom, and own path forward, I and her
    Dad feel close to her, always. We don’t have to be with her
    everyday, to know that we are with her everyday, and she with
    us 🙂 We don’t have to assure her that we are here for her.

    I really understand how hard it must be to leave a beloved
    home/family house for so many years (with so many precious
    memories). But, in truth it all lies within the heart! Not
    in the physical place!

    Perhaps having moved, as our daughter grew up, from 2 homes in
    Massachusetts (average time each = 5-6 yrs), and one home in
    California (average time with our daughter 5 yrs – (10 yrs.
    for my husband and I after she was in college), well the
    memories are very dispersed!! So, we can say, remember when
    our daughter did this, did that?! But, it wasn’t confined to any solitary
    locale, rather, it was etched in our hearts (although we do remember the exact doorways, the parks, the schoolyards, etc.)

    As for the many suggestions on the Tiny Buddha site: All I
    can say, is that they are so very helpful; but that assistance
    may be needed in making them work. “Self-help” here doesn’t
    always do it. Perhaps some psychological or spiritual
    guidance is needed to embark on many of these suggestions for
    so many of us.

    But, I like Tiny Buddha”. I am very disillusioned with the
    so-called “grand” media gurus in our society today. It often
    seems their interface with the general public is quite nil.
    Unless, of course, you can afford a mega-buck retreat in the
    mountains/islands/desert oasis with one of them.

    Unfortunately, not many of us can, and perhaps we might only
    learn very little.

  7. We recently sold our home of many, many years where we raised our children, saw them go off to college, start their first jobs, marry, have children.

    We purchased a beautiful condo, so downsized from our large home. Best decision ever. We feel like we are on vacation every day.

    We love the change of space, our new neighbors and neighborhood, somewhat new routine.

    I’ve always enjoyed looking forward rather than dwelling on the past. Our children love our new place where they visit often and we are making new memories.

    Good luck on your move.

    • I LOVE hearing these stories. Thanks for your comment. I’m starting to get more and more pleased and excited as we gradually move into our new house. Love your vacation comment. I keep saying I want to feel like we’re living in a beach house. We’ll see!

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