Being away from family members is especially tough on the heartstrings. The void you feel is just overwhelming at times. Just as I went to camp as a child and off to college as a teen, my parents have endured countless goodbyes - only to anticipate their child's safe return. As an adult with a child of my own, I now have encountered my first official goodbye, and am anxiously awaiting Emma to return.
No, it's not as bad as it sounds. Emma has been visiting Jeremy's mom, i.e., her Grammy, for the past week and I am devastated. This is the longest I have been away from my baby. I'm not exactly sure how parents juggle this type of lifestyle.
And when I mean this type of lifestyle, I mean when two parents work in completely different towns. Jeremy works in Somerset through the week while I work in Lewistown at The Sentinel.
I had been having a little bit of a rough time not being able to see my daughter this past week, so I turned to the one person who I know I could trust, ask advice and basically vent to - my mother.
I said, "Mom, why is life so rough sometimes?"
She then proceeded to explain to me she and my father were in a similar situation when my sisters and I were much younger. We had just moved to Lewistown from Vorhees, N.J., and were living on Main Street. My Dad, on the other hand, was still living in New Jersey and looking for a job in Lewistown.
I remember my Dad visiting on the weekends and then leaving. He would kiss us goodbye every Sunday night and happily greet us the following Friday night. My parents continued this routine for several months.
Funny thing is I also remember my Dad being the only one with a vehicle, which meant that my sisters, my mom and I had to walk everywhere. Yes, it is true - I walked six miles to school in the pouring rain and in snow that went up to my thighs! I can't wait to tell Emma those stories.
But my Mom reiterated to me that "we had to do what we had to do."
Then I realized that I shouldn't be venting to my mother, I should be thankful - thankful I have everything that I do.
So my situation is not unlike many people out there. Everyone is trying to make it for the sake of their children and family.
The goodbyes that parents are faced with everyday are the essential baby steps toward a brighter day and a better tomorrow - and I can't wait to see Emma today.
Sentinel reporter Tara Maguire can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.