20 Aug Saying Goodbye and New Beginnings: When I’m the One Who Has Emptied the Nest
Sometimes a sign is more than just a sign. I had to laugh out loud when I saw the logo on the side of the moving truck as it backed into my driveway, a loud reverse beep beep warning of imminent danger.
“Make the BETTER move” it said. Someone must be talking to me (better yet- screaming at me). That truck logo glared through my front hall window as I watched my stuff being hauled aboard.
The last box was loaded at 11:30 pm. Sweaty and exhausted I found some paper cups and sat on the front porch with the four best movers you would ever meet, taking a “younger self” swig of Southern Comfort (from the bottle found in a Hunter Rain boot in the garage, no doubt hidden and long forgotten by “a friend” of one of my children in fear of parental discovery).
The house is completely empty. We cheered and toasted to the job well done and the journey ahead. We toasted to the unknown and the unfamiliar.
I’m packed…purged…ready. Saying “goodbye” is harder than I imagined. This has been my home for decades. This is my anchor. This is my city.
I can’t believe how much we have both grown up, Cincinnati and I! The Cincinnati Riverfront is beautiful…an amazing new park sits between two enormous stadiums. Both of those stadiums were built in my lifetime here. Cincinnati has grown from a ‘town’ of 500,000 to over 2M before my eyes. And now it will be 1,999,999.
In a fitting farewell to Cincinnati—I spent one of my last days at the new Smale Park looking at moms with double strollers, hearing screeches of laughter as toddlers ran through sprinklers, their little sticky fingers reminding me my last child has left for college and adulthood.
“Being a mother is the best,” I think and sigh.
But so is being an adult woman so full of life, so energized, and so unencumbered as she soars to the future. “Don’t eat cereal for dinner” I yelled after my son as he left or college, suddenly realizing my own freedom. “Hey! I can eat cereal for dinner…in my pajamas…at 10 pm. Yep. I think growing up sounds pretty damn good.
But somehow last night as I loaded my own “stuff of life” onto that truck I was not feeling like my younger 52 year old self…the one running through fountains and merry go rounds on Sunday. I am feeling much more the grown up today. I will miss this city. I will cherish the memories it holds for me, even as I move on to make new adventures.
Cincinnati I will always love you. But the time has come to Journey on…