April 2011My oldest daughter Caitlin moved north to Presque Isle last fall. As in almost 5 hours north; as in, I can drive to the Connecticut/New York border which is 4 states away in only a few minutes more than it takes to get to her; as in, you might as well be in Canada, 'cause it's just across the backyard (not hers, but not too far away). There were multiple reasons for her move, but the single most important was that she was taking a job at the hospital. Caiti graduated from the SMCC/MMC surgical tech program and PI needed a surg tech. They courted her, she spent time thinking about it and then she took the job.
Caiti's graduationInitially her plan was to move north for two or three years, then come back this way maybe to Bangor or Augusta. Both were acceptable to me - I could drive to a future grandchild's soccer game/hockey game/dance recital.....and have it not be a 3 day trek. You don't do Presque Isle in one day. I did it once and I'll never do it again. I had to pick Gabrielle up from soccer camp and I decided I'd drive up, get her and return all in one day. 10 hours of driving. Never. Again.
My tribe minus one (TJ) - Gabrielle, Matty and CaitiAnyhoo, I adore my girl. She's not unlike me - which occasionally causes friction, because two passionate, strong-willed, opinionated women in a small space is one passionate, strong-willed, opinionated woman too many on occasion. Caiti has a huge heart, a curious mind, an incredible work ethic, and an incredibly strong sense of what is right and wrong, fair and unfair. She is a care-taker. She is full of joy. I miss her terribly. Don't get me wrong, we talk on the phone every day; we Skype. It's not the same. However, I don't get to wrap my arms around her every day. I feel blessed that I was able to do that for 25 years. I know they grow up, get their own lives, and leave the nest. I didn't think the nest would be quite so far away. Yes, I know, it's only 4.5 - 5 hours. Yes, she has been home to visit a number of times since last fall. Yes, we've met in Bangor for lunch a number of times. It's not the same.
Caitlin in silhouette - July 1993Cait loves her new life in her new hometown. There's a contentedness, a happiness, a spark that I can hear in her voice and see in her face. It had been missing for far too long. I am thrilled that she is happy with her new life and that makes me happy. All I've ever wanted for my kids is for them to be happy, healthy and whole. She is all three. She likes the pace of her life, the friends she's made, the independence she's gained, and the love that she has found. She's never coming home again, and I'm making peace with that. I will find a way to be an involved grandma to my future grandchildren if it kills me.
We're making the trip up to visit her this weekend, we're overdue. We haven't been up since last fall. I can't wait to meet all of the people who are part of her new tribe and to thank them in person for loving her, caring for her and welcoming her into their lives.
May 26, 2912Well, this wasn't the post intended to write when I sat down at my laptop. What does all of this have to do with a vacation with my girl? That's a story for another post (in a couple of days) - made all the sweeter if you understand what came first..........