Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Seas of Change

I sat in the driver's seat, two hands on the steering wheel, one eye on the road, and one eye in the rear view mirror watching my 6-year old daughter  Melissa, whose non-stop tears fueled the overpowering ache in my broken heart.

As we drove onward down the road to change, the newly formed leaves on the trees served as a reminder that this right of passage had happened two months too soon.  Bidding a fond farewell to childhood classmates is a ritual that should take place in June....not April.

A bag full of sweets and home made cupcakes, remnants from the well-intentioned goodbye party, sat ignored on the seat next to Melissa, who clutched a small scrapbook filled with heart-felt notes and smiling faces of children I suspected she would never see again.

Onward we drove, towards our new home, my new job, her new school....our new life.

I reassured Melissa we'd come back, we'd make plans, we'd visit....longing for her to believe my lies.  For although the next chapter on our life journey was merely an hour to the south, new friendships would form and time would be scarce, making trips to our former home seem highly unlikely.

Sure enough, my husband Bob, Melissa and I settled in... and never looked back. Yet, nearly a decade later, the pain of hearing my baby's sobs as she reluctantly said goodbye to her friends still echos in my heart.

Melissa's tears were a solemn reminder that my daughter does not like change.

The truth is..........neither do I.

When things are comfortable, and safe, and familiar  - I long for the stability that will keep change at bay.

I approach change as if standing on the deck of a rickety old boat lost in a squall.  The rollicking waves prevent me from standing up straight on equal footing, and I'm not quite sure if the seas will ever transition to the peaceful calm that defined my life before the storm.

Of course, the seas did eventually relent, however the calm that greeted my family came not from the familiarity I had left behind, but the wonderful new life that beckoned from a different shore.

Today, my daughter sits at the dining room table, diligently working on a Shakespeare essay for her honors English class.  High school will soon come to a close, and summer, with its promise of no homework for two full months, is almost within reach. Then it's off to college, and more change for both Melissa and her mom.

I often wonder, had I chosen not to accept the new job that took us on that tear-stained drive so long ago, would Melissa, now 18, be privileged to this life filled with family, friendship and love?

Change can be full of wonder and delight, yet those concepts can be difficult to grasp while you are standing on deck, holding on for dear life.

But thanks to my decision to embrace the seas of change, Melissa is happy.

The truth am I.

My daughter Melissa (with flowers) is pictured with a group of friends.  Would she be so happy had I not embraced the seas of change over ten years ago?

If you like my stories please feel free to tell me in the comments section below!


  1. I know how you fell. Moving is not easy especially when we have teens. But we grow as we learn to adapt in life with every change that life brings us. Life is unpredictable. We are constantly renewing ourselves with all the changes life bring us. The key is keep positive thoughts, and believe it is always for the better. Love this blog, as always.

    1. And of course if we had not moved, we would not have reconnected Ang!

  2. Change is so difficult. We did the same (moved an hour away) three years ago. Difference for us was that our kids were gung-ho about it, which made it infinitely easier. No tears and little pining for things of the past. Both girls, however, have remained best friends with the hour-away best friends and we spend a lot of gas money to keep those relationships alive. As I type this, both girls are currently with those girls!

    1. Hi Cindy - it's so great that your girls stayed in touch with their friends. I think if Melissa had been older, she would have stayed in touch, but I knew because she was only 6, that she would meet new friends so soon! And she did - she made friends in first grade and those girls remain her best friends! Thanks for visiting!! Lisa

  3. Wonderful how resilient kids can be. So much more than ourselves sometimes. I'm glad all worked out and you and your family found the life you love!

  4. such a beautiful story... thank you so much for sharing it. I can relate; oh, how I resist change. I am grateful that life has shown me through experience that processing and walking through the fear of change --the unknown that great things can happen. I am so much more comfortable doing what I know, knowing what to expect... but I'll never know until I do.

  5. Thank you for the reminder that sometimes the hardest decisions are the best ones. I know watching your baby cry had to have been so difficult but I can't help but think that she wouldn't be the same person had the move not happened. I've always felt that the events in our lives, whether they be change or not, shape and form who God wants us to be. You have a beautiful daughter!

  6. what a wonderful look back--yes while right in the moment change doesn't look so good after we can see the good in the change.

  7. It's always hard leaving a place that you once loved. I have moved several times in my lifetime and it was never fun. I love looking back on changes that took place that I wasn't sure they were right at the time, and realize later that it was a blessing in disguise. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I remember feeling that way when we moved from Queens to Northport!! Thomas had so many friends and even thought he was only two and a half and everyone said he would get over it very quickly (he did not) I felt horrible. 12 years later I know it was the right choice, but I too wonder how our life would have been different had we stayed closer. Thanks for a lovely post!

  9. Good to hear that the change has been for the better for your daughter and for you.

  10. Reminds me of my favorite quote: "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin Change takes courage and strength, and you role modeled that for your daughter that day. Not easy, but definitely inspiring.

    Also wanted to let you know that I found a link that explains how to make sure your Blogger profile has your email address. Not sure if your settings stick if you switch to the Google+ profile. Hope this helps!