Yesterday morning the cats moved out.
As most of our animal departures occur via death, this one was, relatively speaking, good. I had not held out much hope of finding them a new home. I mean cats seem pretty ubiquitous and people have these conflicted relationships with the ones they own. So when the first person Maggie mentioned it to, actually wanted them?
Well, it was a God thing.
The family who took them seemed genuinely thrilled to have them. Who would have thought?
So ... that's good, really good.
Except for this one thing.
It would not be happening if Maggie was not also moving out.
Everyone who knows me knows I will find it hard. Some people laugh when they find out that her moving out is not even leaving the town we are in. Some people say they understand. Others remind me that it is the appropriate next step. They tell me that she will be home often. They tell me how miles don't change your relationship. They scold me into thinking of how the alternative - her never leaving - could be a really sad thing.
I know all of that!
It is good!
Her leaving, her ability to leave, and to be excited about it, is indicative of a great deal of healing in our family. For that I am so, so thankful.
These past four years with all of their drama, also contained great gifts one of which was this amazingly precious relationship with her. When she showed up, no matter what the state of things, she made it better. When people would say "dumb" things to us about our situation, we would smile at one another knowing they meant well. With one look across a room we could communicate a whole paragraph of response. She is the only one who breathed the same air that I did and thus the only one who fully understood the depth, the scope, the far flung consequences of certain things. There were trials in her life going on too, ones in which a mother is a very good thing to have.
So it is nice for her not to need me so much anymore.
Well, sort of.