What happened to the wonderful adventures

In 12th grade, my high school had a “senior retreat” during the fall semester for the senior class to go away into the woods for 3 days and practice team-building experiences and talk about tools that will prepare us for the next chapter in our lives. Part of the experience is that on the last night, we’re all rounded into a large room and given a packet of letters written to us by important people in our lives. My packet was filled with a dozen or so assorted letters from friends, teachers, dance instructors, coaches, family, and of course, my mother. Among anecdotes dotes my childhood and telling me how proud she was of the person I was becoming, she had painstakingly written out all of the lyrics to Abba’s “Slipping Through My Fingers” on this little note pad. I think I’ve talked about this before. I have no idea why she chose a note pad instead of regular paper… But by the time I got to hers I was already quite emotional reading through all of these beautiful notes that the people who had shaped my life the most in the past 10 years had written to me. And when I opened hers the tears were already flowing. By the time I got through it, I was absolutely sobbing. I think it was probably the first time since a child that I had truly cried in front of my peers.

The feeling that I’m losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I’m glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl
Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what’s in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she’s gone, there’s that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can’t deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
Well, some of that we did but most we didn’t
And why, I just don’t know


I often think about how cruel it is that the words she originally wrote about my leaving for college had ended up ringing so true and final, just 8 years later. Lately, I’ve been seeing signs of her everywhere I go and wishing oh so badly I could talk to her and share with her what’s going on down here.

For maybe the first time since she’s been gone, I feel like I’ve actually grown. I feel like I’m getting to a place where I can carry all of this. I’m more patient with myself and not frustrated with the rate at which I’m “running my race.” I suppose I’m at peace with things right now. I’ve learned that I can’t successfully carry both mine and my family’s hurt and problems. I’ve learned that it’s okay things aren’t turning out how I wanted or expected them to, rather, they’re happening how they’re supposed to.

There have been many times over the past year and a half that I’ve felt so much older than my twenty-something years. But I finally feel twenty-seven. I feel like the trauma no longer has to define me unless I wish it to, and I’m learning how to balance that grief that still comes in waves. I’m learning how to listen to my body when things get to be too much, and how to set boundaries while surrounding myself with people who respect those boundaries. I’m learning how to take chances and live in the moment… and not beat myself up if it ends up being a mistake. And I would love to tell her all of that.

When I travel I feel the weight of her absence. I so wish we had gone to all of those places that we had planned on; done everything we had said we were going to do. It is bittersweet. I know she would be happy that I am in the places I am, and would rather me be there than sitting at home, but I miss those adventures that never were more than you could possibly imagine.



2 thoughts on “What happened to the wonderful adventures

  1. I can see her watching you “walking your why”. Sending a big hug and always always travelling mojo.


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