Sunday, August 16, 2015

I Came Home With Four....

From my beautiful Addison's Instagram post a few weeks ago:

High school isn't easy. At the start of my senior year, I was going through a rough patch- so rough that I honestly didn't know if I would make it to the end. I finally found the strength to ask for help and my life started to turn around. After suffering from depression for multiple years, the most valuable thing I learned is that it's okay to not be okay, and it's more than okay to ask for help. So, if you are suffering, don't be afraid to ask for help and always remember that every storm ends in sunshine. If I can make it through, so can you. Special thanks to everyone who has stuck by my side through all of the hard times and loved me through all of the pain. I couldn't be more proud of myself for standing here, getting happier each day. I have come such a long way and I can't wait to see how far I will go in college and in life. If anyone ever needs someone to talk to, I'll be here and always remember to keep your head up, it's going to be okay.

 Her closet will never stay this tidy.

Isn't her dorm cute?

Trash from the gazillion freshmen that moved in today.
The first event of Welcome Week!

 So today was the day.....the day full of excitement, wonder, hope, trepidation, anxiety....the day full of change.  We moved our eldest into her dorm as a freshman.  I will not pretend this hasn't been difficult for me, because LORD HAVE has.  I have cried a lot....even waking myself up because I was dreaming about this day.  I have sobbed myself to sleep, sobbed myself awake, sobbed while driving in the car, sitting in my bedroom, grocery shopping...pretty much anytime I thought about it....I cried.  Yes I know....she's only 30 minutes away, and she will come home next weekend....okay I must confess, I will actually see her Tuesday and Wednesday at Parent Orientation; but still this is hard.  To all you parents whose children moved far far away, I applaud you or hug you or pray for you or think you're crazy; but seriously I cannot even imagine how hard it has been for you and probably for your child.  I'm praying for you.  To be honest, if it weren't for my best friends and my main man, Jesus, telling me to be encouraging and strong; I probably would have begged and bribed her to stay and refused to buy her cute dorm bedding to keep her at home. But....I did listen to them, and I encouraged and remained strong, at least in front of her.  Now my other children.....they have witnessed my swollen eyes several times.  They have totally fallen for it when I said, "It's just allergies"....NOT....they know me too well.   And Neil Payne....he doesn't even bother asking me if I'm okay....he just lets me sulk....this too shall pass.  This child of mine....she is truly one of the biggest brightest lights of my life.  She's the one who made me a mother, the one who started this wonderful journey of parenthood.  She is kind and gentle and funny, and she knows how much I need a hug from her and gives them to me ALL THE TIME.  She's been really looking forward to this new season, but I won't lie when I say....she's had a tough road these last few years; and the thought of sending her away has made me uneasy because of it. She has experienced times of the deepest sadness and pain, and I have been as heart broken as I've ever been for her.  I am sooooo thankful that she has found joy....even in the darkest times.  We were talking about this newest adventure a few weeks ago, and I told her that I would text her every day and would need a reply for my own sanity.    I explained that my concerns are because....well....I'm her mother, and I would just like to know she's safe.  She gave me the quiet nod with a tad bit of annoyance.  And then I told her I just want to make sure she's okay and not in the depths of sadness that can so quickly sneak in, and she knew what I meant. It takes so much courage to ask for help when you're in the pit, and I'm so thankful she did.  Last night, she had some friends over to play games and eat pizza.  It was the best time, but as the night went on; I could tell she wasn't feeling well (which has been happening a lot lately....darn nerves).  And then she sent the text.... "having anxiety" and then the tears came; and I held her in my arms and let her cry.  I reassured her and told her this was going to be a good thing, and she was going to do great....and y'all, by the grace of God alone, I did not cry.  I felt the tears coming, but I told myself....NO MA'AM....this isn't about you, it's about being strong for her.  God gave me the strength I needed to be the encouraging and supportive mother I needed to be in that minute.  I will confess that I did tell her she could come home anytime she wanted, but Helloooo....she's my baby; and I am not doing that "stay away and get adjusted" business.....mama don't play that game.  Then today came, and I had to leave her and be "strong" again.  When I left her at school a few hours ago, I felt the sun was hot, and I felt the tears welling up and that ever so familiar lump in my throat and tightening in my chest when I can't catch my breath.  Then I looked up and remembered the words my very insightful daughter quoted herself....every storm ends in sunshine.  I took a breath, and I came home with four....leaving one behind.

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