My older daughter left Kingston on Sunday to return to her home in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, a town located at the western tip of the Island of Montreal in southwestern Quebec. It is the second oldest community in Montreal's West Island, having been founded as a parish in 1703.
She had planned to leave around the end of August to return to school, but she didn’t find a job while she was here, which is something she’d hoped to do, and decided to leave earlier. And even though she stayed with us for about two and a half months, when she pulled out of our driveway with her car, it felt like she’d hardly been here at all. I was already missing her, and she hadn’t even left our street.
I guess that no matter how old our children are, every time they go away, be it on their first day of kindergarten or on their move away from home as young adults, we feel that pinch in our heart and get all choked up with emotion. We have so many things we want to say but hardly say anything at all. Because we can’t. We have trouble speaking. And we fear that if we open our mouths, we’ll burst into tears.
Along with missing my daughter, I’m also missing her feline companion, Dany (my daughter spells it Daeny), a 3 ½ year old female calico that my daughter adopted while she was staying with us. I got very attached to the little furball, like she did to me, and her absence is felt.
The two of them have only been gone for a few days, and I’m not quite used to it yet. I keep expecting to find Dany waiting for me outside my bedroom door in the morning. But she’s never there. And I imagine my daughter walking into the room I’m in to tell me something, but she never does.
So when my daughter called yesterday to ask how we all are and to share her news with me, it was bittersweet. On one end, I was very happy to hear from her, but on the other I was reminded again of how much I miss her and her sweet cat. I’ll get used to them being gone, of course, but it will take a little while. And they will return to visit, which is something to look forward to.
One of the best things we can teach our children is to have the courage to go out and live their lives, be independent, take chances, to grow. But we still feel that sense of loss when they leave, no matter how old they may be.