Many parents, grandparents and caregivers look forward to the day when their children or grandchildren are grown and on their own. I remember when my daughter went off to college and was away from home for the first time. I felt like I was walking around in an empty house filled with shadows, stillness, and silence. My house no longer felt like a home to me in her absence. I had been a single parent for a few years during this time of my life. And to be perfectly honest, I was fearful of being in the house by myself. I slept with a sharp knife under my pillow and a light on in the hallway. I never really slept through the night for some time. Also, I was fearful for my daughter. I worried about her well-being constantly and wanted to call her everyday. But, she was in college now and besides, who would I contact to check on her? What would her instructors or professors think if I called or emailed them? How will I know how she doing in class other than seeing her grades at the end of each semester or quarter? Or, was she safe in her off campus apartment?
I found myself listening for the telephone to ring to just to hear her voice. She had her own car and drove around Athens without a care in the world. Of course, I was over joyed when she called me at work unexpectedly for minor issues or concerns. Did I ever let her know about my fears, worries, and anxieties? No, I didn’t. I couldn’t. I had to learn how to handle and deal with what I was going through with out disclosing my concerns and fears to my daughter. After all, isn’t this what I was looking forward to? It came sooner than I expected and I was not ready or prepared for the new reality I faced. During the day work kept me from focusing on her absence. However, evenings and nights were unbearable! One day, I prayed and talked to God about what I was experiencing. I knew I couldn’t carry the burden of my fears on my own. I decided to let go and release her to God and trust His care and protection for both of us. Overtime my fears subsided and anxieties lessened. I gained a sense of peace and tranquility. I hope you too find peace and comfort when your Empty Nest becomes a reality and not a much anticipated goal. It comes sooner than you think. Will you really be ready?
I would love to hear how you handled your Empty Nest and what you did to adjust to the change or changes you experienced.