You’re never quite prepared for their growing up. And not at all prepared for their leaving.
Her 19 years in New York made a vacancy in our family — one we’ve been reminded of several times each day when walking past the open door of her empty room.
Ours is by no means an uncommon experience. It’s shared in one way or other by every family.
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And it doesn’t take relocation halfway across the continent to start the hurting. A move just a few blocks away can bring it on.
But she’s back now, and the healing has been immediate.
She’s taken an apartment not 10 minutes from the home, our home, in which she spent all but two of her first 18 years before college. Until the movers arrive with her furnishings for the new place, she is lodging in what was her girlhood room.
Meantime, her felines — rescues all, from the dangerous streets of Brooklyn — are quartered temporarily in the room of her sister, who lives now in a house of her own.
One of the returnee’s first comments was about the beauty of the city, seen now in all its early summer finery. Another was about the welcome sense of space — no jostling or crowding.
During this time of settling in, she’ll no doubt be eager to touch bases with old school friends. And high on her plans for re-entry, she’s said, will be a family trip to the farm and cabin, and a day of fishing on the lake.
A particular joy of having her back is to see how wonderfully she’s grown in confidence and skill, with no change in her warmth, humor and compassion — qualities that matter even more.
She went to New York to join a company that made TV movies and documentaries. The work was for a time challenging and satisfying. But when the economy crashed in 2008, the company’s documentary arm went with it.
And at the worst possible time, she was suddenly without income.
What followed was a three-year struggle. But by courage and resourcefulness, she not only survived but also grew her abilities.
With freelance filming and editing, she made it through.
I’m by no means certain that, alone and in a strange city, I could have handled a crisis like that so successfully, and with such grace. So our feeling for her is enriched by another dimension.
And that, quite frankly, is admiration.
For more of C.W. Gusewelle, go to gusewelle.kansascity.com.