Samantha came home last night. She had an appointment with her orthopedist this morning so he could see how her arm was healing. (It is healing beautifully, and she is now cast-less!) After the appointment, we grabbed some lunch and she mentioned that she might head back to school in the afternoon. Because Friday traffic south is such a nightmare, I told her that if she was going to leave today she should probably go as soon as possible. That, of course, I would love it if she wanted to stay another day, but I didn’t want her to sit in bumper to bumper traffic for hours. So for most of the day she waffled back and forth about whether to leave and all the while I was secretly hoping she would stay. I didn’t want to guilt her into staying – this needed to be her decision. When she was still here at 4:00, I thought maybe she had decided to spend another night at home. Parker and Grant came home from school and were excited that she was still there. They both had plans of things they wanted to do with their big sister. In the end though, the lure of college parties was too much to stand. Sam was afraid that she was going to miss out on some big fun so she left. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I think I reacted more strongly to her leaving today then I did when we dropped her off a month ago. I fought tears as she said goodbye and wiped away a flood of tears after she drove away. For several hours, I could not stop crying. Just when I got myself together, the tears would flow again.
I’ve been thinking about my over the top reaction. Certainly I miss her, but we have adjusted to not having her here daily. I miss having the extra teens in the house on the weekends, and I definitely miss our late night chats. Still none of this is in proportion to today’s tsunami of tears. I’ve decided that I’ve been sinking to this low point for a while now. Usually I take on the optimistic role no matter what is going on. Even with the latests news, I didn’t allow my mind to go to “there”. But all my emotions are still so close to the surface. Dave has been under incredible stress and anxiety this week. Those of you who know Dave also know that he can release his emotions in less than productive ways. So, I’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty tough criticism and commentary, and I’ve tried to let it bounce right off. But it is still there. Waiting for an outlet. I’ve decided that when I opened the door to sadness over Sam leaving today, the other emotions also found their escape hatch. I don’t think I have ever felt this low. I just want to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and wallow in self pity. Tonight I give myself permission to be sad, and tomorrow I will force myself to step out into the sunshine once again.