The Pain Comes First

I know some people wonder why I can’t just enjoy life’s shining moments and be happy.

I will be happy.

But the pain comes first.

It’s hard for me to say goodbye to my adult children who live 6 – 7 hours away by car. It’s been impossible, so far, to say goodbye to our little eight-month-old grandson with dry eyes.

Today was particularly difficult after a long planned for weekend here at home. Mark and I cleaned and grocery shopped and changed sheets and set out towels and bought toys and baked.

One by one our kids arrived with fanfare. Some came with a friend. One came with a wife and child. Such happiness to have them here again, all together, sleeping and waking in the morning under our roof.

We filled the few precious days with laughter in our home and love in our hearts.

Now they’ve gone. Silence has returned to our house. Little reminders of their presence linger in a game left here, an empty wine glass there, a baby bottle cap here . . .

With time, I’ll put the baby’s toys away.

With time, we’ll set things to right and erase the evidence of the days we spent surrounded by our favorite people in the whole world.

With time, I’ll upload the photos from my camera to the computer. I’ll burn a DVD of home movies. I’ll revisit the memories, day by day, hour by hour, moment by glorious moment. I’ll remember and laugh and feel a warm glow of happiness.

With time.

But the pain comes first.

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Author: CMSmith

I enjoy reading, writing, gardening, photography, genealogy and travel. I have opinions about many things, but am trying to age gracefully and not continually tick people off with them. Sometimes I can’t help myself.

27 thoughts on “The Pain Comes First”

  1. i had a wonderful time this weekend. i missed everyone dearly and feel so blessed to have had the chance to spend the time together that we spent.

  2. I know how you feel and my pain is very deep. I am in Miami and my 29 year old son is in Greensboro. He has remained there since he graduated from college in 2004 upon my strict insistence. If you like to smoke pot chances are you wind up with a pretty tough crowd in Miami and a good chance of being a victim in this city’s far too many gun shoot outs and drive-by shootings. He’s safer up there in a good southern environment. He’s been here for a week several times over the last 7 years but frequent travel is not in the budget. He is so cool and fun to be around and I love and miss him so much, I am angry and feel cheated. His life style choices dictate he not live here and the separation results from his life style choices. It grieves me deeply. I wonder if he feels cheated out of being with me. Perhaps not. I have had repeated heart attacks. How much time is left? Your post really hit home and hard for me today, but this is the way it must be. Some people may comment on your remarks today and offer that they understand. I really do and I don’t like it one bit. Deepest regards

    1. Thanks for sharing your story, Carl. I too, wish things could be different. I would love nothing better than to have all our children in town. I have dreams of occasional Sunday family dinners here like I experienced with my grandmother growing up. But alas, it’s not to be.

      Many things separate us from our children these days. If not for life-style, maybe it would be because of a job, or spouse, or any number of reasons.

      Sometimes I am painfully aware of how numbered our days really are. I don’t think everyone thinks like that. Rather morbid.

      My philosophy is to try to thoroughly be in the moment and enjoy every second when we are lucky enough to be together.

      On the other hand, we never know for certain what the future holds. . .

  3. This made me tear up. It was really a special time and I know we all felt that energy. Thank you so much for all the joy and love!

  4. I was the last to leave home, and moved 400 miles from my parents. Being a young family, we were busy. But when our nest emptied, I realized how hard it must have been on those we left behind. I now see both sides, and understand where you’re coming from, Christine.

    1. I know. I’ve been thinking about the same thing—how I probably could have visited my folks more. But we were all so busy. Thanks for bringing up this important perspective.

  5. What a blessing it was to get to have them all at home again for a few days. I don’t blame you for waiting a little while to remove the reminders. How wise to take photos. Blessings to you, Christine…

    1. Yes. It was the first time we’ve done this other than Christmas. And Christmas is always so hectic. I wanted to start a tradition where we have a vacation-type time together. It was nice.

  6. This post touched me, as I too have recently become a Gran.. and have a 7 month old granddaughter… Luckily for me they live close by.. But even if I miss a week.. not seeing her, I notice the difference of how she’s grown.. We are having a Family get together next Sunday as a combination of several Birthdays close by.. and to have both my Son and Daughter under the same roof for a few hours as a family together is a wonderful feeling..
    I can only imagine the Silence.. and the pain left in your heart as they leave to go home so far away..
    Thinking of you.. Dreamwalker x

    1. I find it’s easier for me if I try to separate myself from him. I’m a start and stop Grandma. I try not to think about him too much. It just makes me feel like I am missing out on something important.

      My philosophy is to try to fully enjoy the times together.

  7. Your post touched me. You did a beautiful job describing what it feels like to endure that separation. Those left behind items that get you crying. The ache in your heart when you sit alone on the couch after the front door closes. I have this terrible compulsion to run after the car or down the airplane ramp and cry, “Just one more hug.” Ouch! These last few years have been so painful for me with our children everywhere from Iraq to South Africa and Asia. Thank you for putting all of this into words.

    1. The parting for long distances that involve danger, like Iraq, must be extremely difficulty. I once watched a young army man board a plane, leaving what must have been his mother behind. He kept looking back as he walked. It made me cry. And I didn’t even know him.

      I should consider myself lucky. And I do, mostly.

      1. Funny thing, whether the parting is across the state or the world, it’s never easy for me. It’s the fact that our children are not there with us that creates the pain.

  8. I went last weekend to Atlanta to see my daughter and felt the same way as I came home. At least we live closer now – a ten hour drive is much better than being halfway across the country.

    Nancy
    http://www.dogear6.com

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