“Well, you only need the light when it’s burning low,
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow,
Only know you love her when you let her go.And you let her go.”–Passenger, Let Her Go Lyrics
Written on December 15th, 2013 Letting Go of Lilly
Sometimes in life we have to let go of things or people – especially when we don’t want to. Especially when that something has been a part of your day since you can remember. Even when every fiber of your genetic makeup is telling you it’s not time. Even when we want to keep fighting for what we believe is best. Even when your heart aches at the mere thought. We have to let go to – in order to go on.
This week we are having to let go. Even though it is not what we want. And our hearts will surely ache.
Just as our daughter Lilly turns 13 next week she will be moving to Indiana to live with her Father, step-Mother, and little Brother. After careful consideration, unprecedented communication with her Father, counsel from family, and some soul searching of my own, we made a family decision to allow her to move. The decision was made months ago but I kept secretly hoping that Lilly would change her mind, or plans would fall through. Selfishly – I just want her here with me. I want my baby bird under my wing where I can protect and groom her. She’s not supposed to leave the nest yet. My brain is hardwired to be with her. But I have come to terms with the reality. The truth is she’s not leaving the nest, but rather going to experience a new nest where she WILL be loved and cared for as she continues to become a young woman. And she knows she can always come back to us. She knows our unconditional love.
For the first time in 13 years I won’t be waking up to her face. I won’t be calling her name 10 times every morning trying to get her up. I won’t be taking her to the first day at her new school. This is my first time to miss a “first day” of anything in her life. I won’t be there for every school event or performance. And I will no longer be the one drying heartbroken tears or packing her favorite things for lunch. It will no longer be me. And this makes me very sad. I will be homesick for her – our whole family here will miss her.
I also feel very proud and am confident in Lilly. Because for the first time in 13 years Lilly is confident enough in herself to be able to handle such a big change. Because she is brave and strong. She is ready. She knows she can pull through any hard times. She strongly feels that more educational opportunities are available in Indiana than here in Belize. And possibly most important -I know she wants and needs to connect with her father. I have to feel good knowing Lilly has grown to not fear the world and its possibilities. I take comfort in her attributes as we are learning to let go of Lilly.
I have always taught my daughters these things, but I want all 3 to now be able to read it and know these things are true no matter how old you get, or how smart you think you are. I want, you, Lilly to know my thoughts and advice, even from many miles away since I won’t be there myself to remind you.
So, girls, if you can’t remember here are a few basics you can always count on:
- Do not be afraid, be cautious instead – making choices out of fear usually results in a mess.
- When you don’t know what else to do in a moment of stress – take a few deep breaths. Or twenty.
- It is better to say nothing at all than to speak hurtful words. You can never take the words back.
- When you are hurting and angry, remember that your feelings are valid and REAL. But don’t hurt others because you are upset.
- Kindness never goes out of style. Just Be Kind. It’s not really all that difficult to do. Smile at an old person, feed the homeless, thank a soldier or just call your mother.
- You can be a kind woman and not be a pushover.
- It is always okay to say NO and expect to be respected. In your future career, with someone who says they love you, to your best friend. Do not compromise your standards for anyone!
- LOVE is the greatest thing in the world. To love and be loved is at the core of the choices we make every day. It is the core of our being.
- You can always count on your Family for LOVE. No matter who – what – when – where or why, we are here to share our love with you. You never have to go looking for it at the bottom of a glass (unless *maybe* its wine). Kidding. You don’t need to search for love from a stranger. Or a drug. Or recognition in a job that makes you miserable. Come home anytime, you will be loved without question.
|Be-still my heart – L to R: Emma, Sabrina, Lillian.|