Feelings of Loss

One of the great things about the holidays is the opportunity for families to come together and share in the festivities. I remember coming home from college for Christmas and how special it was to see my family again after being away for several months. After college I got married and we ended up settling down in Arizona where I began raising my own family. Now the kids are starting to be old enough that they too are leaving to go away to school. It’s been an odd transition for me. On the inside I feel the same age as I did when I went away to college yet I have obviously aged and my children are now that age.

This year my oldest daughter Ashley and her husband Eli returned home for Christmas. This is the first time they have spent Christmas in Arizona with us. My second daughter Mallorie who is now a junior in college is also home for Christmas. The house has seemed complete again with everyone home. It reminded me of all the experiences we had as the kids were younger. But like everything else, all good things must at some point come to an end. Today marked the time when both Ashley and Mallorie would leave to return to their own lives. It was sad to say good-bye not knowing exactly when we may see each other again.

But the good-byes were not the hardest part for me. What tore at my heart was the thoughts of what we will be missing by not being together. Soon Spring Training will be upon us and I’ll be making my annual trip down to watch the Diamondbacks open the spring. There will be the spring break tradition of taking the kids to Maryvale to watch a Brewers game or watching an Angels game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on my birthday. Spring Training will quickly begin and end making way for the 2008 regular season. There will be Opening Day in Cincinnati and the home opener a week later against the Los Angeles Dodgers. For 81 home games I’ll be down at Chase Field watching baseball with Trina or one of the kids in tow; all the children that is except Ashley and Mallorie. They are now beginning their own lives at a distance that precludes them from running home to see a game. We’ll stay connected via phone or email and we’ll share a picture or two to let everyone know what is happening but they’ll miss out on the day-to-day activities that we used to share together. As time marches along I’m left with feelings of loss as my children move forward with their lives and as a result will miss out on some of the wondrous things they experienced when they were home.

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