Who is waiting for you?

Sitting in her family room on her favorite chair, Lois cried softly while looking through old photo albums of pictures of her youngest child, Harmony.

Harmony started college in two weeks, and Lois struggled with that realization. Harmony was the last of her children to leave home. As she helped her daughter prepare for her new chapter in life, Lois realized that her and her husband’s entire life had revolved around their children.

Every weekend was a sports game or family activity; on the weekdays it was exercises, homework and quiet time – with the whole family. Lois and her husband rarely spent time with just the two of them. Her children had become her whole life and she felt that they were her greatest and only achievement.

While Lois continued to look at the photo albums, Harmony came running down the stairs.

“Ma, does this shirt go with these pants?” Harmony asked. “I want to look good today for orientation.”

She noticed her mother’s tears as she stood holding up the dresses side by side. “Hey, what’s up?”

“I’m just so happy for you,” Lois said. “I’ll miss you here.”

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Harmony smiled.

“I’m only going away for a few hours,” she said. She hugged her mother and ran upstairs to get ready.

Orientation went well and Lois knew it was only a few weeks before Harmony left the nest. The sadness was hard on her and she wasn’t dealing with it very well, so the following week Lois went to her therapy session. She had struggled with next steps after Harmony would start school.

“What are some hobbies?” asked her therapist. What do you like to do? Are there any community initiatives you can participate in? I wonder who’s out there waiting for you? Who’s waiting for you to show up? You gave so much to your family; Now is the time to possibly give differently. Who’s waiting for you, Lois?”

Lois sat and listened while her therapist continued to talk. The question ran through her mind. Inwardly she asked, “Who is wait for me?” She considered the questions.

“I’m honestly not sure,” Lois said. “I have given my life to my children for the past 27 years and I have no desire to spend time with my husband which scares me and I have no identity other than being a mother. who would be waiting for me ”

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Lois hung her head and a tear ran down her cheek.

Her therapist let Lois soak in the silence for a moment before answering.

“I think you’ll know in time. Sit still and listen. The answer will come to you and be revealed when you least expect it.”

The following week was the official move-in day. Harmony ran excitedly around the house packing last-minute items. Lois tried to appear happy but still struggled with the impending breakup.

“How will I fill the time? What am I going to do to myself? Who on earth would be waiting for me?” The question her therapist asked was still ringing in her head.

Lois and Harmony drove to the university campus and found their dormitory. As they began unloading, Harmony exchanged greetings with other freshmen. After entering her new room, Harmony started to make her bed when Lois called from the hallway.

“I’m going down to get some more things,” Lois said. “I will be back soon.”

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Lois grabbed Harmony’s mirror from the car.

As she re-entered the building and walked up the stairs, Lois tripped over her shoelace, which had come undone, and dropped the mirror. It broke into many pieces.

“Sure! Why not make this day even more difficult? Ugh!” exclaimed Lois as she started picking up the pieces.

As she bent down to pick up a large shard of glass, she was shocked by what she saw. Lois saw her reflection in the mirror and realized that this was the answer to her therapist’s question, “Who’s waiting for you?”

“The answer is me!” she cried tears of comfort and joy as she sat on the steps. “I’m waiting for me. I have given to everyone else and it is time to give to myself. I’m the one I’ve been waiting for all this time.”

Lois sighed with liberating relief.

The students continued to fill the hallways with laughter and chatter as they passed while Lois sat smiling into the broken glass that became a mirror.

Erin Patrice is the founder and host of The Breaking Bread Village. She can be reached via tbbv.org.

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