A Million Little Joys and Griefs

If I had not known the joy of raising children, I wouldn’t know the griefs that come my way now that they are no longer in my home. Yet, the friendship I have with my grown children continues to unfold and grow into something I didn’t know I could have, bringing news joys all over again. Life is funny that way, opposing feelings and experiences intertwined. Full of a million joys and then a million little griefs.



One helps us experience the other, though which way it goes I’m not sure. Motherhood has brought more joy than I could imagine. Grief sneaks in as well. At odd times. In unexpected moments. It catches me unaware.

Over the years it morphs and things that used to tug more now hurt less. Then new twists come my way and my heart is pierced again.

The bed that remains made every night.

The bedroom floor no longer scattered with clothes and homework and coffee cups and dishes and…

A sadness that washes over me in the afternoon. Unexplained. Confusing. Oh, that’s right. School is out for the day. Will my internal clock finally let go?

Waking up in the morning to remember that they are gone.

Walking through a grocery store, picking up all the special things they love - then walking back through the aisles to put them away.

Fixing waaaaaayyyyy too much food every night and filling up your freezer with leftovers. (Or feeding them to the dog until the vet puts him on a diet.)

Waiting up out of habit for them to come home after a date - only to remember they live somewhere else now.

That first holiday without them.

The second holiday without them.

The text that hangs with no answer for hours. Or days. Or weeks.

Texting them to let them know you got home safely only to find out they forgot you were even out of town.

Sending a gift and receiving silence in return. Oh, yeah, thanks mom.

Quiet evenings with Tom are a blessing, yet…

No more long drives to pick them up for the holidays.

On the other hand, my monthly food bill is smaller.

They are successful and figuring out this adulting thing.

They call from the grocery store. “I'm shopping, Mom. Got any ideas for dinner?”

They send pictures from the dressing room, “What do you think, Mom. Is this color good?”

Quiet evenings with Tom are nice.

Did I mention smaller food bills? And car insurance? And no more tuition?

Lori Ziegler