Mama Mia, my heart just left my body, headed off to Albuquerque in the person of Hannah, my beloved daughter. She’ll turn 19 in a couple more months. It was a lovely sendoff— a walk around the lake with the beefy pit bull, Captain, her dad and her, followed by scrumptious creole Lucille’s breakfast. Eggs Sardou. I feel her departure in a whole different way this time. I’m so pleased to have held the space open for unconditional love the entire seven weeks she was here. I wish her happy and well. Let her choose everything including the how of that. I adore her and she’s no longer a child. What happened?

For the 4th of July, I took a four-day weekend and didn’t write once. I was so exhausted from June’s work events+ that my digestion felt on the verge of some serious issues. Now, my belly feels right, though my heart heads on down the road. It’s all good. You don’t need to fear it Sherlock, it’s all good. But you do need to feel it.

My legs shake with the intensity. It’s never before felt this…final. It’s not that she’s leaving forever. But she’s an adult now in a way that lets me know her childhood with me is over. She seems unlikely to live with me for a long interrupted stretch again. I cannot tell the future, of course. But a door has shut.

My heart feels open wide, a bottomless well of grief and happiness and love. When they leave, we must love bigger than before. Our love must cross distances. My small bitter clings to the safety of all that I’ve known, to what was. A white butterfly visits the plants in the humid rising heat. I will always miss the people we’ve loved, the places we’ve lived, our little nuclear family. To spend time together feels grounding, helpful. And my heart sears for that loss too. My mom called me, Christopher hugged me, but I miss our little family before the divorce also. Not that I want it back… I don’t, but I miss it all terribly anyway.

Bless them, dearest sweet God. Bless these treasures of my heart as they leave me. Help me let them go and set us all free. I remain there for all three. In thee. Love me extra today then, God. I already miss them both so much, she and Captain. It’s not Steve I miss, per say, it’s the family. I could cry for that the rest of my life. I still mourn my nuclear family of my childhood, too. The sweet treasures keep changing. I don’t especially want to be almost 50 years old and have all that behind me. Baby Harmony in a stroller, then toddler Harmony playing in the playground, she and I painting on opposite sides of an easel, then switching sides—sweet, sweet times. I miss everything I’ve ever loved. And it’s fine. And it’s gorgeous. And I love her more than I love my life. And it’s been so sweet to finally be with her again, just as she is, having entirely let go of her being any particular way or of me doing anything other adoring of her. At last! And just as we arrive here together, me panting to catch my breath and catch the gorgeous panoramic view, she kisses me and flies away. Until next time, Mom.

Until then, sweetie. I put my hands into the cool river of life. Sustain me, fill me up, and keep me strong through this latest loving and letting go. Keep me laughing. Thank you for humor, for our happiness—timeless, priceless, fleeting, eternal. The thing that’s mattered most.