Once upon a time, there was a young girl, reflecting on a home and a husband and a family. I planned on having a home with a garden, a handsome husband and 5 wild sons. I placed my order. I got it all, except for the 5 wild boys. I met Hartman,(one of four wild boys!) and we were given two adorable little girls. We couldn’t be happier. This was a little over many years ago. Some time between then and now, they have blossomed into two beautiful, independent and strong willed young women.

Today, with some misty eyes that I suspect may have been tears, I waved goodbye to our Liandri-child, the youngest. This was my second experience in letting go and it was just as hard as saying these goodbyes to our eldest Marinell, four years ago. Although Liandri had done her own thing for more than a year now, she was still very much part of the breathing of our home; in-and-out with friends, parking tickets all over the house, shoes in every room, Godzilla-footfalls reassuring me of safe arrivals late nights, an angry door slamming somewhere, loud music resonating from her room, a freshly baked delicacy from her hands every now and then…

She has taken off today, passport and backpack. All on her own. Traveling, working, discovering. And she leaves behind a mother and father who are sad and happy, scared and confident, but most of all grateful and proud. I know she’ll come back and it will be different, better. But tonight the house is very quiet and empty and I have for company only the memories of twenty wonderful years. Tonight I am once again changing, adapting to the cycle of life, accepting facts with tender emotions. I know she’ll always find her true north. Her legs are strong. I know. We helped build them.


26 thoughts on “Facts and tender emotions

  1. What a beautiful post! I mean, yes, you’re sad and happy that Liandri is going out into the wider world…. but oh! What lovely memories are hinted at in your thoughts! Treasure them, add to them.
    I’m thinking of you… and sending hugs.

  2. Beautifully stated Ronell – we’ve talked about these feelings before and you know I share them. I love both of these – they both capture Liandri while showing different sides of her – and of you. Aren’t you lucky to be able to channel these feelings into your art?
    And, don’t forget, London isn’t far – only a quick plane ride from Tours….

  3. Beautiful painting and drawing. Letting go is so hard, but wonderful adult children who know who they are, and value their family, are even more special.

  4. Cara — Oh, hon, how I know the painful partings, the heart-filled with pride, hope and yet tears for the empty spaces they leave behind. I am so with you, Ronnell .. so knowing both the joy and the fear; the pride and the wistfulness as times change ….. a huge hug from across the sea …. Beautiful writing and painting, cara … simply heart fillingly beautiful!

  5. Ronell, these are two beautiful and sensitive portraits. Thank you also for your beautifully written post. I’ll never experience those feelings, being childless, but it helps me to appreciate what my parents probably went through when I left home. Thank you for this insight!

  6. Beautiful memories and a look to the future. I have also been there and relate all too well. You expressed it perfectly and think of all the wonderful things the future now holds for you and DH.

  7. Lovely. I have tears. It brings back memories. The heart break of the empty house … it’s never been so quiet. No one tells you about that, possibly it can’t really be true- that even though they have gone out the door many times, this time it’s quiet……….. Lovely post.

  8. A beautifully written post, Ronell, which expresses what many parents feel when their child/children leave the nest. I have four wild boys and one daughter and I had to do the ‘letting go’ thing with my daughter nearly two years ago. My son has plans to move out in the new year and I will go through all those emotions again. I’m sad to see them leave but I’m also happy that they are happy, confident and looking forward to making their own way in this world. By the way, your drawings are beautiful too ~ 🙂

  9. A beautifully illustrated and written reflection of a daughter spreading her wings!
    This is my first visit to your lovely blog. I will be back!

  10. Ronell, I have many years until my little birds fly the nest, yet reading your post I could feel the emotions that come along with that milestone. And seeing your beautiful portraits has made me feel the urge to capture my sweet girls in paint or pencil before they get that big. I know the years will pass quickly. I had better get busy!

    (Have I told you how much I like visiting your blogs? Your words and art are always a bright spot in the day.)

  11. I know who else will have tears when she reads this. But don’t worry, she’ll be back. This is a generation of homing pigeons 😉
    Beautiful painting, Ronell and love the drawing of Liandri (great name!) such a generous sharing of emotion. Now I want my daughter too. 😦

  12. I feel your joy and anguish at your daughters leaving the nest.
    I read this with dampness in my eyes, and a thud in my heart.
    Beautiful renditions of you daughter, and a wonderful way to keep her close.

  13. How bittersweet – I feel your pain/joy – simply wonderful entry , both in word and watercolor – I suspect she is a chip off her mother’s “block” 🙂 and will have a wonderful, adventerous life!!

  14. Two beautiful portraits of your daughter and both are very moving too, as is your post. This is something I have yet to experience.
    I hope your daughter is happy and finds her way; she seems to have received good guidance on the first part of her journey.

  15. Such an exquisite beauty she is. How proud you must be of her strength and independence to head off into the world on her own (and how scared and sad, too). I love having my grown sons living nearby but not underfoot, seeing their successes but not worrying about their missteps (unless they want to share them with me). I envy you that your marriage has survived all those years too.

  16. having just been through this myself I have a bit of an idea of what you are feeling, even though I know it is very personal too, so I am sending you a big hug and a thank you for sharing your feelings and your pictures. this is a beautiful post that captures the complexity and duality of the issue perfectly. bravo.

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