It’s 3 am and I’m feeling melancholy… I’m thinking of my daughter Torie, missing her even though we just spent the evening together and she said goodnight to me only two minutes ago. My main emphasis lately has been to live ‘in the now’ and not worry about tomorrow, but when I think of her leaving next Tuesday – and the thought won’t stop hounding me – I wonder how well I’m going to do without her. There will be positives to having the house to myself again, while Scott is at work or out biking, but it’s hard to keep my grip on those when I think of how empty the house will be when she’s not in it.
Tonight, around 11:30, while Scott was watching The Patriot (ugh), even though we had washed our faces and gotten ready for bed, Torie and I impulsively decided to go over to my parents’ house and watch a movie with Jesse, who has the night shift with my mom. So we threw on some clothes and drove to Safeway for snacks. While we were there, there was a woman in line ahead of us who looked about my age, and when she eyed our snacks with a smile, I told her, “We were bored and decided we needed a food run.” She said, “My daughter and I do that ALL that time. I understand.” And my heart sank because I thought, “This is probably our last time…” and then my mind refused to finish the sentence.
When it’s nighttime and really dark outside, Torie stops and lets me take her arm because I can’t see in the dark, and she does it without me even asking. And she always does the driving when it’s just the two of us.
And when I look sad, or am quiet, she asks what’s wrong, and she asks again when she doesn’t believe my halting, “I’m okay….” In fact, I don’t even bother lying to her anymore. I tell her what’s wrong, and no matter what it is, she is perfect at giving me sympathy and understanding.
She’s the only one I’ve ever shown my art journal to and she said, “Wow, this is disturbing. Now I know where I get my insanity from.”
And we watch stupid reality show one-offs and get into them fully during the hour they’re on, and talk about them afterward, and then forget about them an hour later.
And we do the same things at the same time, like reach for the radio, and we think each other’s thoughts, like tonight on the way home I said, out of the blue, “I wonder what that woman does all day?” and she said, “You mean Jill? I know, I was wondering the same thing.” This was about the woman on Hoarders, which we’d watched earlier in the evening and hadn’t talked about since.
We have the same crush on Jensen Ackles.
She trims my hair and gives me haircolor and clothes advice. We laugh SO MUCH together. We listen to each other’s stories. She keeps me young, and I’m afraid… I’m just afraid… of what I’m going to lose when she moves away.
But. I know that it’s best for her to go. I know she needs to be with her friends – friends her age – for awhile, and establish a home with her husband since they’ve never lived by themselves together, and take care of her dog, and feel like a grownup. She wants that so much, and I want that for her, more than I want to hoard her for myself. I guess I’m asking, “What am I going to do all day?” when I don’t have Torie around, and honestly, I know I’ll be fine after the tears have abated. I always am after a loss, though considerably more rumpled and worn. But sob creases only make our faces more interesting, right? I think so. I think women my age and up are the most beautiful women in the world.
Except for Torie, who’s already so beautiful at twenty that by the time she’s my age she’s going to make the world’s eyes explode when it looks at her. It’s not easy loving people, and over the past few months especially, I’ve come to love my mom and Torie a million times a million times a million more than I ever imagined possible, so it hurts like crazy to see my mom in distress and my daughter boxing up her things. But I would far rather melt with love than pack ice around my heart so I can’t feel… This is what I signed up for when I chose the “better to have loved and lost” aphorism to live by. This. All of it. The whole heartwrenching, terrifying, exhilarating enchilada. It’s totally worth it. Love. xo