I found out on Monday in a text message from my mother that my parents will be moving to Atlanta, Georgia. Yes, in a text message. They may move as early as the first of August.
I knew this was coming. My stepdad has been interviewing for a job in Atlanta for a few months and my mother was recently offered an opportunity to open and run a new division with her company. However, the thought of them moving more than two hours from any driving distance from me did not fully impact my comprehension of the situation until Monday night. I cried.
When I saw the text message while sitting in my property class, I was stunned. I knew when she called me earlier in the day something was up because her voice was missing her classic playful undertones. Deep down, I knew that the received text would unlock the secret and the key would be Atlanta. But I was numb from the notion my mom, my best friend, would be leaving me and moving hundreds of miles away. That text shook me to the core.
I wanted to cry on the phone while she discussed their plans, the search already begun for a new home, the plans for the house here, and the dogs. But I steadied my voice and just rolled with the conversation, still feeling removed from the whole situation. She shocked me by hinting she wanted me to resume custody of her oldest dog, Bailey, the Cocker Spaniel, when she said she “didn’t think she’d make it to Atlanta.” The plans and the purposes kept evolving.
In a way, the event is still a surprise. Or better, a shock to my complacency in life. My mother has always been around for my sister, brother, and me. She has always been ready with advise, albeit a lot of bad advice, but always willing to help salvage the pieces of the messes. I am happy to see her advance in her career and finally capture the goals in her life, but I am sad to see a piece of my own life come to a close. You really start to feel like an adult when your parents are no longer in reach. Our holidays will be in different climate zones – and an unaffordable plane ticket away for me. There will be no more birthday dinners with everyone gathered in the restaurant of choice. No more backyard barbecues with all nine of use piles on the deck. It is the passage of this event that makes the realization of the future so hard, I think. I can no longer run to my mom and have her kiss away the bumps and the bruises. They are mine alone now.