Jordan and Arielle when they eloped.
Whisperings in the Trees

When Beginnings Are Endings and Endings are Beginnings

Maybe it’s my age.

I remember the thump in my heart the day I learned my daughter eloped. She was the happiest I’ve ever known her to be.

She and her new husband drove up our long driveway in his truck for a surprise visit. I was out by the barn and glancing up at them saw my daughter yelling something. She was so excited. It’s a blur after that.

They had eloped.

It happened a few days before under a veil of secrecy. Even from me.

First thump felt.

They told their story. The why and where. How. When we got the pictures that were taken later of them saying their vows on a cold winter day outside by a lake in the Pennsylvania mountains, it was obvious they were madly love.

As a mom, that’s what I want for her. But their beginning comes with an ending for me.

She left for her new life with his family, in his town, in his house, away from her friends, family and places she loved. It’s one of those adjustments some people say I’m expected to not feel.

Don’t be selfish they say. It’s not about you they say.

I’ve thought about this a lot.

I never considered how my mother felt when I left home. I was 19 years old with a free spirit guiding system that left me in a shambles. I had no idea my mother was worried until one day I called her from a payphone years later. She had been grieving and worrying about me for five years.

I started my life over after that phone call. More importantly, I was surprised I was worthy of her love, even after I took off to bang against life until the bruising became too much to bear.

Today is my daughter’s wedding – elopement anniversary. They have a daughter. Visits are a long drive.

My mother is in a facility fading away with Alzheimer’s. She senses my sister and I but doesn’t remember our names anymore. Still, she looks up at us with an open heart and blue eyes that twinkle with love.

I think it’s what mothers do. No matter what. No matter how many thumps they experience. Happy thumps and sad thumps. Makes no difference to a mother.

The way I figure it, a mother comes with all the power from Mother Earth and God, who come along for the ride to cradle them with unconditional love, because they will need to do the same.