I haven’t cried since my Blondie left home. I’ve been too busy being excited for her. First I was busy making phone calls and helping her find places to go, apartments to see, people to talk to. Then I was busy packing her room. Then I was busy renting a U-haul. Then I was busy loading up the big ugly van complete with one three-legged dog.
Then I was busy driving her things to Nashville.
Then I was busy hanging her pictures on the wall.
Then I unpacked the dishes my grandmother gave me for a wedding gift, and put them away in her cabinets. Then I went around town and watched the glow on her face while she showed us all her favorite places.
Then I loaded a van full of kids and kissed her goodbye, and for a second, I thought I was going to cry and cry, but I choked back those tears and hit the road.
Then I was busy making sandwhiches in the passenger seat.
Then I was busy driving through the night.
When I got home I was busy with six kids who caught the flu.
Then I was busy repainting bedrooms and rearranging children.
Then I was busy getting everyone back to school. This morning, I was busy getting dressed and I looked down and realized I could only wear my sparkly flip-flops if I painted my toe nails. As I painted, I couldn’t stop the tears from pouring. It was the first time in nearly 17 years that I have painted my toes without her.
Something so seemingly small and insignificant, but it was our thing… nail polish. To this day she still calls it “paint nolish”… that was her word. I told her when she makes it big, she can have her own line of “NOLISH”. When she was little I sometimes painted her nails two and three times a day. When she got big, she usually made sure my toes were presentable… We even had a collection of colors so big we kept it in a bucket under her bed!
I’ve done pretty good letting go, but I’m not sure my toes will ever be the same…