One chapter closes, another opens up

The last supper occurred in an Italian restaurant and there were, coincidentally, about a dozen of us present. The grown-ups sat at one end of the long table and looked, for the most part, rather glum. The younger generation, all now in their mid-20s, seemed to be enjoying themselves; it was they that provided the lively conversation and peels of laughter.

After the meal, back home, there remained some final packing and organising to be done. We were able to snatch a few hours sleep but the household woke up at around 3 a.m. in preparation for the taxi which was due to arrive at 4 a.m. The cases were finally stowed; hugs and goodbyes took place in the dark street outside, with tears hovering in the background but no longer in full flood. We watched the red lights of the taxi disappear, as it turned out of our street. And she was gone, off on her grand adventure.

I got a little more sleep but woke up fairly early. I felt driven by a compulsion. I had to tidy the house and remove the traces of her existence that lingered in our sitting room and kitchen. I threw out her cereal box and her apple juice. I put the things she had not been able to pack back into her room. Then I tidied up our sitting room which had been used as a storage depot for all her belongings while she was sorting things out. There remained four large cardboard boxes which housed stuff that might need to be shipped separately once she has a place to live. I pushed them into a line and found a large table cloth to drape over them. Later, I placed a fruit bowl in the centre. I feel that the packing cases have now become, if not an objet d’art, at least an interesting piece of furniture that can live comfortably with the rest of the room for however long it takes.

Hiding the packing cases

Fruit bowl on packing case podium

In the end, the waiting, the tiredness, the planning, the endless list of things to do, combine to ware one down. I find myself entering the Que Sera, Sera mode of being. Maybe she will permanently live abroad. Maybe she will come home again by Christmas. Maybe she will be somebody who lives in two countries, moving back and forth between them over the years. One thing is for sure: the previous chapter has now closed. It is not possible to say what will happen in the next chapter. I think that she will now develop her life on a more independent basis and that will be the case even if she does return to England. I have not yet worked out how this new chapter in my own life story will develop or will be affected by the change that has been visited upon me. I do not feel pessimistic. I always knew that the past couple of weeks would be very difficult, and I expect it will take a while for me to adjust emotionally to the new situation. Hopefully, I shall be able to share with you some of the things that I do.

I could have written up my thoughts about my daughter leaving home in a private diary. However, I feel sure that at least some parents may have to experience something similar to what I have just gone through. Obviously, for many, their offspring may get married and live happily ever after in a nearby neighbourhood or city, producing lots of grandchildren and therebye providing them with an extended family. That idyllic situation is by no means universal. I suppose I have been primarily addressing those for whom such a warm cosy image remains elusive. By doing so, I would like to think that I have perhaps been able to offer a modicum of hope for those in need of it. Farewell, for now, my dear blogophiles. I think I shall be back onto a more even keel from now on.

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