"Mom, what are you giving up for Lent?"

Mother's Love: artist Claudia Tremblay
My dark-haired daughter asked me this yesterday. My immediate response, with no thought was, "my daughter."

You see, my curly-haired daughter and her husband are moving 1000 miles away. On Friday. So, I'm giving up my daughter for Lent.

I am so happy for them: he has a new job that really taps into his talents and the pay is excellent. His parents re-located there about a year or so ago, and I know it's been hard on them as both their families are here. My daughter and her husband have an excellent financial plan to get rid of their debt over the next three years. It really is good.

But: they will be 1000 miles away.

My heart is a little broken. I know they don't understand my tears (yes, I bawled last night as I held her tight), and they probably won't understand them for another 25 years, when their baby loads up a car and pulls away.

150 years ago, this move probably would have been final. How many times in history did a mother say good-bye to a child and then never see them again? Letters had to suffice. Today, with Skype and Facebook and phones and ease of travel, we will see each other quite frequently.

But she will be 1000 miles away.

That distance precludes an impromptu mani-pedi on a Saturday afternoon. She won't show up at my office with lunch. I can't invite them over for dinner tomorrow.

They are at such a beautiful time in their lives: still newlyweds, able to pick up and go. Adventure awaits. They have will mountains and beaches and oceans and little responsibility. So many new things to learn about themselves, each other, the world.

Yet, a mother's heart aches. It's a little broken ... again. What am I giving up this Lent? My daughter. But in my sorrow, I wish them joy and happiness and fun. It's just that I'm hurting. It's the price of love.

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