the nest

the nest

Thursday, February 28, 2013


As life moves along, we begin to say "goodbye" more and more.  Our children engage more in the world without us, friends move away, others say goodbye in a more permanent way, or they don't.  They leave us to say goodbye.  We say goodbye to dreams and ideas, people and places.
Some goodbyes are good ~ goodbye to a hated job or class.  Goodbye to 10 lbs!  Others are harder.  Goodbye to the things you thought you would do by now.  Goodbye to the fantasy life, child, job, whatever.
Others are really hard.
Yesterday I got a phone call I was expecting, but hoped to never get.  My dear friend Ellen had passed away Tuesday night.  "Auntie Ellen", as my children called her, was a sweet presence in our lives.  She did not have children of her own, but LOVED and CHERISHED her own nieces and nephews and so many other children.  Too many to count.  I really saw how she loved my children.
When we were 24 and new to our church, Ellen welcomed us with the open arms of family and celebrated with us when we told her we were expecting our first child.  She stood with us when Andrew's baptism was remembered here in Connecticut and became his "Connecticut Godmother".  We both lived far from our families, both with two sisters and a brother, and we understood what it was like to be far away from that network of love and support.
Over the 20 years she was a part of our lives, we took her love for granted.  While she was always there for us, I don't know if we were always there for her.  Absorbed in the chaos of raising children, we didn't always reach out.  We included her in our lives when we NEEDED her and when we would think of it; sometimes last minute.  She however, was always there.  Sitting through concerts and recitals, taking our children to see Santa year after year as a special Christmas outing ~ celebrating Christmas with us, sometimes in late January!
Over the years her bond with my daughters became especially strong as they shared sleepovers and shopping trips.  Going to the Dollar Store with Auntie Ellen was much more fun than going with Mom!
I expected to have more time with her - I needed her to help me get my girls through adolescence.  Those significant adults that play a role in your child's life are SO IMPORTANT, and she was one that cannot be replaced.
A week before she died, she left Connecticut on short notice to join her family in Ohio to be cared for in Hospice.  This is where she needed to be and I'm grateful that she got there.  Jeff, Andrew and I were able to see her the weekend before she left.  When I called about bringing the girls to see her, she couldn't do it.  I understand.  Her grief and shock were so strong, she just couldn't bear to say goodbye to the people she loved.  I understand it, and know that my role now is to help my girls say goodbye.  Sadly this will be one of many goodbyes to come over the years.

As life moves along, we say goodbye more and more.


  1. I had no idea; this clearly came rather quickly. I am so sad for all of your loss. She was always such a shining light whenever I saw her at your house. The gift of love she shared is now something you can attempt to emulate with others as a way of keeping her spirit alive! She will always be with you as you remember her in this way - and in turn keep her love spreading through you. God bless you always, dear friend.

  2. It did come really quickly Kacee~ I appreciate your love and prayers and perspective! Would love to see you soon~