Worn thin like that favorite pair of shoes that you can’t bear to give away, so thin that you can feel every painful rock through the paper-like soles and every pebble jabs like a knife – those are my emotions now. Teary and tenuous. Careful not to speak. Holding it together. A family home waiting, a chunk of my heart left behind.
7am and I’m leaving for the airport.
Twelve hours since good-bye. Twelve hours and I still feel raw.
Pride and excitement for her journey, yes. But fear for her too… and pure selfish sadness for me. I’ve allowed myself to wallow a bit. I allowed myself noisy sobs and crocodile tears all the way home in the car last night. I’ve been careful today – tears are messy and I’m in public.
I stopped for a coffee and breakfast before going through security. Sat down with my Stumptown latte and gave her a call. She was awake. We talked until it was time for me to go. The phone is a patch – a quick fix to get me through, the voice a comfort when I can’t have her here in person. I know she’ll get busy. I’ll be busy. We’ll both enjoy this now.
Through security I have time. A pianist plays in the open space in front of large floor to ceiling windows. There’s a wine bar on the left and a Starbucks on the right – comfortable seating all around. In front, the windows display just airplanes and gray. Pavement and the ombre gray undulations of Portland’s autumn sky that reflects my mood and allows me a moment of melancholy. The ambiance invites me to stay, to sit, to bask in the things I love about this city I once called my own. Now my girl is “home” here, yet far away from me. Another reason for me to return… but my life is elsewhere now and she needs to find hers on her own.
I may need her, but she needs to fly on without me. It’s time and she’s ready.
The flight went quickly though I had the only windowless window seat – yes, they exist. It was the icing atop my self-pity cake of missing my girl too much.
Yet it was nice to be home… her dog, my girls, and my husband waiting with a smile and a shoulder to cry on.
We’ll get through this.