A Woman's Voice


MEMORY LANE ~ A Change Of Seasons ~ October 20, 2011 by Diane Dean White

 A Wo-Man’s Voice

I’ve been so involved in motherhood for most of my life that I hardly noticed when it ended. Oh, there was the year when our first bird left the nest, just an hour away to go to college. This was a new experience and so she stayed at the girls’ dorm. I recall passing her bedroom each day, and I’d look in at her stuffed animals scattered about her colorful bedspread, her band jacket hanging in the closet, and little pieces of memories on her dresser. By the time I got to the piano in the living room, the tears were really falling. Then I’d eagerly wait for her last class of the day to be over and call her!

We had two more at home and actively involved in their lives at school, church, and in community functions, so I hardly noticed when the second one left, as he lived in the area and came often for meals. We were so busy and the changes were slight at that point.

Two years later when our youngest left, I packed to go with him! His school was three hours away. When we could no longer stand it, my hubby and I would take a drive on a Sunday afternoon and go see him. We would spend a couple of hours visiting, always ending up with a nice dinner, where he would get a good balanced meal. Then I’d hug him good-bye and cry all the way home.

During the week, I’d drive by the ball field where we had spent so much time watching the boys play; my heart would ache for a rerun of those years. All the schools they attended were scattered throughout town, and I’d see kids going to the 8th-grade dance, as ours had once done, the parades, and sports activities. Who said “You Can Never Go Home Again?” I’d welcome them all back in a minute, but I knew that wasn’t how things were to be.

Another season passed, and our daughter was engaged and planning her wedding. There were things to do, places to go, and decisions to be made. It was a busy time. The nest was empty, but the activities were keeping me going—it was an exciting and happy time.

It hit me one afternoon when I went into my OB/GYN’s office for my yearly checkup. I looked around the room, where mothers-in-waiting were seated; their world was just beginning. Mine, I felt, was taking another turn. Hadn’t it just been me sitting in this office, awaiting, first, the birth of our daughter, now soon to be married, and soon after the boys? Where had the years gone? I headed for the bathroom and turned on the water in the sink and started to sob!

I knew this was a mere interruption in the pattern of things, but raising my children was the most important job I’d had in my life—why did it hurt so much? I knew friends who were starting new careers and many had jobs they were still at. But my job had been my husband and children. What would my life be now?

I splashed some water on my face and wiped my eyes, and then I went back to take my seat with the young mothers. Why couldn’t they have a separate room for us menopausal women? Don’t they know how hard it is to sit and look and be reminded of the days when our stomachs were huge!

When I got in to see my doctor, I made this suggestion openly to him. He prescribed hormone replacement, some brisk walking, and for me to “get a life.” I told him I’d had one and always would…my children! I got a lecture, a prescription for estrogen, and a sample of Prozac tablets.

That was several years ago. Today I’m doing the work I enjoyed before our children came along and that I placed on hold for those wonderful years. I also have three darling granddaughters, and what a blessing they are to me…as we watch our children grow into happy responsible adults.

Maybe the seasons change too quickly, but each one is a wonder of beauty. And God gives us the strength to make changes in our own lives when needed. After the brief separation and realization that my children were doing exactly what we had prepared them for, a new season began…changes and excitement for different goals with the man I married and dearly love. God gives us special gifts, and our children are priceless. But so are those memories we’ve made, and each one will last a lifetime, wherever we are. © Diane Dean White 2010

Thank you so much Diane for sharing such a heartwarming story!

Note from Diane: Thank you all for your kind comments, and although it was “tempting to get that prescription filled, I relied on the Lord’s help and got back to writing, and tossed the Prozac away!”

The above story was featured in Chicken Soup to Inspire a Woman’s Soul, and Chicken Soup for the Soul; Grand’s and Greats. Please visit Diane’s website for more inspirational and heartwarming stories. www.DianeDeanWhite.com

 

Diane is a former newspaper reporter and author of two books.  She contributes to various publications and shares heartwarming stories with readers.  She and her husband Stephen, reside in Florida.

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12 Responses to 'MEMORY LANE ~ A Change Of Seasons ~ October 20, 2011 by Diane Dean White'

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  1. Lorraine Gauthier said,

    That is a lovely story Diane!! I do not have children but I do have pets. Not having them in our lives after many years certainly does create a void. I remember when I left home and moved to Calgary at the age of 21. It was fun and exciting for me but very painful for my parents.When a door closes God always opens a window!!! Change is often painful but does bring a reward!! Thanks for sharing!!


  2. Like you, Diane, I threw my energy into child-rearing during our son and daughter’s growing up years, and they left home within months of each other. However, I had somehow felt prepared throughout our daughter’s senior year of high school, knowing that each activity was “the last time.”

    A few months after our children had settled into new lives at college, God led me back to writing, to a new world of friendships–both online and in person–to opportunities I’d never before considered. Still committed to whatever mothering was needed, I plunged into my new life, with my husband’s blessing. All our lives have been enriched by the changes in me, as I have more to bring to the family relationships.

  3. Kathy Eberly said,

    Thank you for sharing about the seasons of your life, Diane. I can definitely relate to your post. It is easy to see that we are given these seasons for a reason. I am thankful for the times I had when my children were young and now that they are on their own I am thankful to enjoy whatever lies ahead for me!

  4. Mary Haskett said,

    Thank you for sharing Diane. You have had a blessed life.

  5. Andrea said,

    I find it so interesting that when a woman is approaching or in the throws of a major life change that she is given Prozac. Society needs to allow women room to grieve the roles lost. Even becoming a mother has it’s own sense of loss that is not acknowledged. Every stage requires a period of adjustment and it is important to allow time during this period to go inward, in order to decide who and what they want to be in relations to the next stage. Thanks for the great article.


  6. I would not go back to a doctor who prescribed Prozac at the drop of a hat!
    Why do people think there’s a pill for everything? I don’t have any children, but I can still relate to the though to life passing by. The older you get the faster it goes. That’s why it’s important to not waste it by diluting your life with drugs.

  7. hope_rising said,

    Dianne,

    This is a really beautiful story. I’m am so happy that you have moved to a different place and I’m thrilled you have grandchildren. I can tell you as one who has to go through all that, never having the chance to be a parent and desperately wanting to be; the feeling of emptiness is indescribable and I have left the office myself if there is too many pregnant women or even one but I can’t handle it!

    I was lucky though to have a dr. that did not care to medicate that, though I’ve gotta admit that separate waiting room thing isn’t a bad idea.. or alternate days .. something! I’m with ya!

    I feel like I’m pushing through and finding the same kind of acceptance and appreciation for this new season in my life … I don’t think I have faced a greater challenge to be honest.

    You’re story is well written and very touching, I can see why it got to be a published piece.

    well done!


  8. I would like to thank all of you for visiting my site and for your wonderful, supportive comments. I appreciate it and I know Diane does too! 🙂

  9. clearbluewindow said,

    I had tears in my eyes as I read your post Diane. Through no choice of my own, I have only been blessed with one child and I have often wondered how I am going to cope when the time comes for her to leave home. For almost 15 years we have had the most amazing relationship and we have talked to each other about how we will remain connected as she grows older and starts a life away from home. Your writing has given me hope that I will survive the separation and enjoy my own life while she is living hers.

    I also read with interest your account of being prescribed Prozac and the other readers’ comments on an apparent eagerness on the part of doctors to do this. Prozac is not common in Australia, however, doctors here are happy to dish out the contraceptive pill as a panacea for almost every ailment a women has need to see a doctor about between the age of 15 and 45! I was once even told to take ‘the pill’ for chronic pain, that was later diagnosed as arthritis – ridiculous!


    • Hi Kelly,
      Articles like this one can touch a lot of people’s lives. You are already thinking ahead about your “empty nest” and how much you will miss your daughter. I know that it is not an easy time in life, but you will be very happy to have your writing to help ease the situation.

      On the other note, at times, doctors can go for the “fast fix” which seems to be prescribing pills these days. My personal experience with this “solution” caused me far more grief than anything else. In my opinion, it’s treating the symptoms not what’s causing them. Not a good way to practice medicine from my point of view.

  10. Shirley Sarafinchan said,

    Hi Diane, I sure can relate to your heart warming story and remember oh so well when my eighteen year old son, Jeff left home for the first time. He had met a girl in Winnipeg while we were on vacation and decided he wanted to go to school in Winnipeg so he could be closer to her! This had to be one of the most difficult times in my life and I can remember the tears flowing for at least a week prior to his leaving and then for another month off and on as I looked at pictures of him. I remember sitting on my glider and thinking my world had come to an end! About two months later I received a call from my sister and she asked me if I missed Jeff and I said “of course I miss him” then she informed me that he would be landing at the Edmonton Airport in an hour so quit crying and go pick him up!! Jeff was just as homesick for his family and friends and had decided to return home. Jeff is now forty-two and the father of two great sons Jordan (fifteen) and Braedan (ten) and I am certain when the day comes he will relive that time in his life. My tears dried up for the time being but I’ve shed many more since that time long ago!

    Thank-you for sharing such a heart warming life story!

    Shirley

  11. Rita Garcia said,

    Beautiful article, Diane! I love being wife, mom and grandma. I’m also loving this new season of life. The opportunities it brings is like opening a gift I’d tucked away in the attic for the past few years. Blessings and thank you for this life affirming story! Hugs, Rita


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