Friday, May 30, 2014

The Lovely Long Ago

As pretty as it is, this illustration instantly brought stinging tears to my eyes.  My daughter used to meet me at the door every night, our cat Buddy in her arms.  And surely you know by now that my daughter, my girl, my now grown-up compatriot, is to be married and will be leaving home.  It also seems quite possible that she will be moving to another time zone.  We are both trying to get use to that idea.

When she was six, I heard a country song on the radio one day.  I only recall one line of lyrics and that's plenty because the song is about a daughter leaving home.  "She'll take the picture in the hall", I think.  When my daughter was six, removing pictures from walls seemed far, far away.  Now, it is nigh upon us.

This week, a thousand echoes filled this house - memories in bits and pieces.  I even thought I smelled baby powder one morning and it nearly took my breath away.  A dear friend suggested I lean into my pain and so I did.  I cried.  And cried some more.

People are always telling me how wonderful my daughter is, how lovely and sweet she is, what a gifted teacher she is.  I don't feel I can take too much credit - I had excellent raw material.  She was born good.  And except for a brief period when she was four and I thought she might be possessed, she never gave me any trouble.

I'm done contemplating the lovely long ago, at least for now.  But I know I will be compelled to visit there again.  When I'm ready, I need only follow the whispering come-hither of baby powder.

My Girl


  1. I too have a daughter and she left home to live with her fellow which I applaud but sadly I miss her every day..daughters are such a gift. Hang in there.

  2. And look what color she's wearing! Did you dress her that day or did she select her own pretty-in-pink ensemble. You'll miss her every day, Donna, and if you can avoid looking back at the lovely long-ago, you're a better man than I am. Our pasts are a gift that we can truly cherish, like a beloved book on the shelf. We just need to remember that we can't linger in only ONE volume...and we need to find the new chapter to keep us from drowning in the inevitable wistfulness that only a single parent can understand. Love, K.

  3. Only this afternoon my soon to be 21yo daughter and I were going through old photos. What a lovely long ago! I miss my little girls (I have 2) but I love my grown up women. Lucky they are still at home with me, but the time will come…..

  4. What a fool your husband was. A complete and utter fool. Sorry. It just had to be said.

  5. can follow in my footsteps! Karen, I love you! Gail, it is so you to say that...cannot wait to hear how you are doing. (giggling and thanking you silently!)

  6. Such a beautiful post Donna. Just beautiful.