The birth of my first daughter should have been an indication of what was ahead.
She did not want to come into this world and, although I think it had a lot to do with the doctor and my lack of knowledge at the time, did it in her own way.
From a young age we sort of butted heads.
Sort of like her dad has done with some of his kids who are so much like him.
I'm sure I didn't realize it then.
Then came the teen years.
There were some serious trials that grew some very non brown hairs on my head.
She knows this.
I'm not spouting anything here that we haven't discussed on the patio.
At one point, I seriously wanted to pack her stuff and shove it out on the front step.
Maybe not even pack it.
Just throw it.
Her dad and I prayed, we cried, we sought advice.
And we lived through the experience.
So did she.
Then we left the place we were living and moved to, what seemed like, a million miles away.
She was left behind, having already reached adulthood and doing her own thing.
Her own thing that was so very different from our own.
Maybe in the space and time of that separation, we both changed.
Perhaps that allowed us time to appreciate each other for who we now were.
Because time and life does change us.
It changes our perspectives.
It changes the way we view others.
It changes the way we react to situations.
And then she moved to where we had moved.
Her dad helped her drive the long road trip and along the way, in a car where there were no other options, they found their place with each other.
One of the greatest blessings.
To find and appreciate each other as adults.
The past four years have been such a treasure to me.
We enjoy each other's company.
We see each other often.
Oh, we don't spend our time out lunching and shopping.
That isn't needed in our relationship, although it might be nice once in a while.
We spend some not so quiet moments filled with the noise of little people.
We spend moments sitting on the patio visiting about the difficult things in life.
We are able to share and cherish successes.
We are able to share heartaches and hurdles.
In my heart, we have become friends.
She spent two weeks out of town recently and I felt lost without her.
I kept waiting for her to come over.
And now she, and her family, have moved away.
Oh, I would be the last person to say "don't go" or "you can't leave us".
For I believe that when doors of opportunity are opened for us, it is for us to go through them and discover what waits on the other side.
A door has opened for them and they will go explore it.
Last weekend, the father/husband/grandfather took off driving
and the rest of the family left the middle of this past week.
They spent the last leg of this Arizona journey with us.
Oh, I will miss the little man with whom we are blessed to have a beautiful relationship.
I dare not even discuss not having him around on a weekly basis.
I am going to learn to love Skype or some equivalent.
(Even though it grates me to sit in one spot for too long.)
I am going to miss my daughter so very much.
I am going to miss my friend.
And then when I have a weeks vacation that allows me to hop in the car ... I am going to go explore the beautiful state of Missouri.
For opportunities are everywhere ... for all of us.