I see my young daughter in her dress, and I am filled with joy. She happily changes into several new dresses in front of my eyes and smiles. She turns and skips off to play, as a six-year-old often will do. I am thoroughly cherishing this tender age, as I know how quickly time will pass. She is our youngest child, and with her I want to savor every moment of the fleeting time of her childhood. A moment later I am awake to realize it was only a dream.
My daughter is, in fact, now 18, a recent high school graduate, and a soon to be college student. I am surprised by my sudden sense of loss as I begin to cry.
I wonder why this is coming up now. I am on vacation. I am supposed to be enjoying myself. I wonder why, instead of feeling joyous, I am feeling kind of blah. I fondly recall an earlier vacation to this same location with all three of my children in tow, the fun times that we had, the great memories we made. This time only one of my adult children is with me and, while I am enjoying the one-on-one time with him, there is still a vague sense of something missing that is lingering.
The changes in my household are mirroring other simultaneous changes occurring in my life: different roles in my marriage, as well as physical and hormonal changes in my body. The truth is that not all of these changes are welcome, but they have come into my life nonetheless.
My son is a musician, and the lyrics to one of his songs perfectly capture my feelings and play over and over in my head:
Looking over my shoulder
I see that nothing’s there
Like a door has closed and will never open again
Memories flash back at me like an old film screen
Looking back I wouldn’t want to change a single thing
The one regret I have is—I didn’t say, I didn’t say goodbye.
Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.—E. Y. Harburg
Ann Darwicki RN is a Certified Professional Life Coach who completed her training at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. She is the owner and founder of Whole Being Coaching, specializing in coaching others to live the life of their dreams. Prior to becoming a life coach, Ann obtained as Associates Degree in Nursing from Delaware Technical and Community College. She has 25 years of nursing experience caring for women and children, with a life long affinity for holistic medicine. She is a Reiki practitioner and Nurse Luminary. She is also a freelance writer. She can be reached at 302.750.0574 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.