Jul 16 2015

Farewell, Farewell

Published by at 5:26 pm under Family,The Great Outdoors,Travel,Video

Molly moved in with me about two-and-a-half years ago, when I was sick. It has been (mostly) a joy having her here. (Having to take turns for the shower is a pain.) My heart is breaking because she moved out yesterday. I couldn’t be happier for her — exciting new job in Silicon Valley, wonderful new house with her BF and two other friends — but I feel quite sorry for myself, rattling around alone in this empty house. Two nights before she moved, the three of us (Molly, Ali and I) did in one sitting a 500-piece nature puzzle. You’d match an a animal with a fact about it, e.g.: “Flies higher than any other bird” (answer: sperm whale).


While she and Ali were still packing up their big old truck, I tearfully (but trying not to be) hugged Molly goodbye for the longest time, and then drove over to Anna’s for the night. Though I had fun there, and we ate well, and Anna, Frank and I played lots of games (I lost them all), a sinking sorrow underlay my mood. After being able to get a glimpse of Molly on almost a daily basis, now I’ll seldom get to see her. I was so lucky to have had the chance to live with an adult daughter, not just once (with Molly) but twice (with Eleni, during Ember’s first year). Very hard to let that go gracefully. People talk blithely about “empty nests,” but I find it far deeper a sadness than the cliché would indicate. All my life, I wanted to have kids. It’s painful to have that phase of my life so definitively behind me: when my life revolved around those of my offspring. There’s a big emptiness there, that even beloved grandchildren don’t fill. But they help. Like, the other day, as I gave Ember a bath, I told her that I was going to see my mother soon. Aghast, she replied, “Wait! You for real have a mother?”


Taking my cue from a book of activities for preschoolers, I made a game for Emmy. On the top of a page I wrote a single letter, and on the bottom I inscribed a whole bunch of letters, a few of which repeated the one at the top. Emmy’s job is to identify matching letters. Though she can’t read (she’s only four, after all), she is very good at identifying shapes, and plays the game with facility. Molly remarked that it was taking me a long time to make each of these pages, as I hand-generated the 30 letters for each game. After she made that observation, I went to brush my teeth. By the time I came back, Molly had written code that automated the process. It looked like this:

import string
import random
letters = list(string.ascii_uppercase)
res = ''
for i in range(1,31):
 res += random.choice(letters) + ' '
 if i % 6 == 0:
 res += '\n'
print res

And that translated to this:
Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 4.43.21 PM

What else is new? My mother suggested I come visit her so I’m going to take the red-eye back there in a week. I’m looking forward to it.

TJ and I went camping at Wild Plum Campground (site 31, which isn’t too close to other camping spots) near Sierra City (Highway 49) at the foot of the Sierra Buttes. We played about a thousand games of Yahtzee, took some nice little hikes, and played in Haypress Creek off the North Yuba River, where TJ panned for gold.


Molly made a little video after she’d finished moving her stuff out of the basement.

One response so far

One Response to “Farewell, Farewell”

  1. Molly says:

    I miss you, sweet gal, and I am endlessly grateful & delighted that we were able to have this extra close-proximity time together.

    I know it’s a big change, but I also know that we will continue to tawk & hang out aplenty, both in person and virtually. Of this I am very glad.


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