She's leaving home

Mom is retiring next week and roles are reversing fast. I imagine that this is what it's like to send a child off to college - a close family member is about to disappear over the horizon and I won't know what's happening in her life except for quick reports to the folks back home.

We are the kind of close that allows for finishing each other's sentences. I moved far away after college, and, my independence secured by physical distance, we talked more than ever before. I moved back and our conversations became shorter and grumpier. Now it seems likely that she will be behind a cloister wall by autumn and we won't talk at all except maybe in letters. Huh? Aargh!

Her going-away party at work is this afternoon. Someone thought to theme it around her mid-eighties start date, which is keeping it light (but only a little). Every contact I've had with her coworkers has reminded me: they are in mourning. She has been a steady and pleasant part of their work lives for twenty years, and they don't welcome this change.

I'm writing here to help me cope - I'm losing my soundboard for ideas, for far-fetched connections, for sharing silliness. I need to think out loud, and a journal between two covers doesn't satisfy that need.

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