"To be the mother of a grown-up child means that you don't have a child anymore, and that is sad. When the grown-up child leaves home, that is sadder. I wanted Margaret to go to college, but when she actually went away it broke my heart. Maybe if you had enough children you could get used to those departures, but, having only three, I never did. I felt them like amputations. Something I needed was missing. Sometimes, even now, when I come into this house...empty, before I think I will wonder, "Where are they?" "
Like amputations, painful, crippling. I guess even the wound of an amputation heals eventually, but one is forever altered. A major part of Motherhood is waning and I must be careful to let God take it without becoming bitter and ending it badly. I need strength and grace from outside myself to succeed, bitterness is swirling about my ankles seeping into my pores unbidden. You cannot choose for your grown-up children to dwell nearby or to remain intimately close as friends, though you want it, you are powerless to accomplish it. Powerless to help them make wise choices any longer. You must watch them from a distance choose their own way, sometimes a way that you foresee holds heartache.
Prayer and God's providence takes the edge off somewhat, but I fear I shall 'limp' from this severance and will not feel whole inside again till heaven. This is my real life, but a fictional story has brought it into crystal clarity.