the end of us

March 14th, 2014

The eighth-grade girls cried after last night’s spring musical. They are onto something.

I wrote the following on a notecard, on a plane, about eight years ago, flying east to my father’s deathbed. I’ve carried it with me ever since, suspecting I would one day put it somewhere. And so I’ll put it here, yesterday’s bouquet.

“This is the end of us,” Georgia says, pointing to the airport out the window. She means this is the end of our ride to the airport or this is the end of our time together before I get on the plane. Or what does she mean? It could be anything. It could be everything. It is so completely true. It is always the end of us.

“You be sure to go to the toy store and buy Georgia a Barbie today — a wedding Barbie!” I wag my finger in mock lecture to my husband. A wedding Barbie is proof of heaven to this six-year-old. Georgia brightens in the midst of the abyss. I need her to. She is onto something that I dare not face.

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4 Comments »

  1. So many letting go’s in parenthood.

    Comment by Rachel — March 14, 2014 @ 7:22 am

  2. An end to begin anew…how wonderfully exciting for your daughter, and us as we share in her milestone. And yours. Her courage let’s you dare so you can.

    Comment by MJ — March 14, 2014 @ 4:30 pm

  3. In the US there is a much more absolute sense of children “leaving home” and them being irretrievably gone. Here children often go home in the weekends (if they leave for college). Also they usually don’t tend to live more than 1 to 2 hours travel (by car or train) away. Usually they go home once or twice a month.
    So the end of us is more murky here. That could be good or bad, it depends. But the heartbreak is more gradual. Us is always in transition, but does it ever truly end?

    Comment by Simone — March 16, 2014 @ 7:44 am

  4. I found this to be a beautiful, moving piece. Something so much larger than the story of mother and daughter.

    Comment by Elliot — April 2, 2014 @ 3:32 pm

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