On this Mother’s Day, I know I am far from the only mother who is missing her child. In my case, the wish that we could be together is just a tinge, because I know my only daughter is well and happy if a couple thousand miles from the Texas Hill Country where I am visiting my dad. I just talked to her as she relaxed in her back yard in
Emptynestmoms.com is a site I found after my daughter moved away when I did a search for “empty nest” and “mother,” over six years ago. I must admit that, while she had been in college for the previous five years, I had not really felt her absence too strongly because I always knew I would be seeing her soon, and could be there for her in a short time if we needed each other. But the move to
But making the adjustment was not easy. We drove out together with a U-Haul full of treasures and guitars, gaping out the window at places unfamiliar and exciting. When it came time for me to fly home, I had to face the fact that she was largely alone and very much on her own. The friends she was hooking up with were little more than acquaintances. Would they worry about her like I would if she did not come home at night? Unlikely. In fact, assuredly not. So I went home and worried all the time. This was the me who Googled for empty nest and mother on a lonely night and found a very supportive community of folks who understood exactly what I was feeling, the mothers of EmptyNestMoms.com. Tentatively I ventured forth with an introduction. Pretty soon I was a daily visitor and the group was an important part of my life. As time went by, I became more used to life far away from Emily and established a new routine that did not revolve around her. EmptyNestMoms helped me in this process
Then, about a year later, Emily announced her plans for a coast to coast tour, and my worries rose again. Just how safe was it for three girls in an old Ford Econoline, even if their fourth passenger was a protective Labrador retriever, to drive from
I have lost track of this wonderful friend, the trip is a distant memory to my daring daughter, and I have continued to improve in the department of letting my fledgling go. But I still like to remember the incredible kindness of this wonderful mom who did for my kid what she would want someone else to do for hers. People who say that the Internet isolates people and breaks down communication are wrong. That may happen for some who are inclined to withdraw anyway, but for me and many others, the Internet has led to wonderful and rewarding new friends.
Finally, a bit about this website: http://www.empynestmoms.com
I am no longer a regular there, but just paid a visit. I noticed the same familiar graphics and heading, but many new and inviting features. These include a regular magazine, opportunities for face to face gatherings, travel advice, publications by members, and many other offerings. There are separate forums for mother whose children are off to college, for those who are newlyweds, and for military moms. There are even forums for dads. If you are missing your almost grown/grown child, or know someone who is going through this unique transition, take a look at this special caring Internet community.
And I cannot conclude without plugging my talented daughter. Her two albums have had many great reviews, she recently completed a second coast to coast tour, on which I joined her for one portion of the trip, and she is busy with future plans. She has a song that has been in the Top Ten on Neil Young’s Living With War Today website for over seven months. Go to http://www.neilyoung.com/lwwtoday/lwwsongspage.html
Look for her song, “Has Country Gone to Hell,” by Emily Herring. There are over 1700 anti-war songs on this site, and competition for the top spots is keen. She can also be found at: http://www.emilyherring.net
And by the way, if you click on her song from the Neil Young site, it counts as a vote for her song. That is what keeps her in the top ten!
In conclusion I would like to thank and remember again all military mothers. My daughter and I join the rest of our immediate family in deploring this misguided war. But we all honor and respect the brave men and women who serve, and their families who pray for safe returns.