The Truth About Saying Farewell to a Place

If life is a book, another chapter has ended. Last weekend, I spent time with my daughter in her town which has become one of my favorite places.  We had one last outing together, enjoying a Sunday brunch at a downtown restaurant.  She and her husband are pulling up stakes at the end of next month and embarking on another adventure.  I’ll be honest; it is a little difficult to say farewell to this remarkable city in Alabama my daughter has called home for the past several years.

Our relationship with the great state of Alabama began eleven years ago when we took our son to visit The University of Alabama during his Junior year of high school.  He decided to attend UA, so we made the trip back the following year.  You know how you have memories that are etched in your mind?  Snapshots frozen in your memory?  I can still picture an exchange with a gentleman working in the food court of the university.  I must have had a deer in the headlights look, typical of a first-time college freshman mom, because he said to me “Don’t you worry about a thing, we’re going to look after your boy”. 

He was right.  Alabama was good to my boy.  We have so many good memories of fun times spent in Tuscaloosa — visits with our son, football games, tailgates, getting to know his friends who are still his friends.  There are some sad memories as well.  The most frightening day in my life was the day a destructive tornado bore down on my son’s college town.  I have never felt more helpless.  You can read about that here.

Two years into my son’s tenure in Alabama, my daughter decided to attend Samford University in Birmingham.  So, both of my babes were in Alabama for a little over two years.  We made many trips between Tuscaloosa and Birmingham those years.  More good times.

When my son left UA to attend graduate school in Nashville, we had to say goodbye to Tuscaloosa.  I cried the day we packed everything up and drove out of town.  That chapter had ended.

My daughter stayed in Birmingham after her four years of college.  She fell in love with the city and made it her home.  She also fell in love with a young man who is now her husband. Her first jobs were there as well. 

We have enjoyed visiting her in Birmingham the past eight years.  We have our favorite shops and our favorite restaurants.  We visited most of the attractions like the Vulcan and Sloss Furnaces.  Of course, our best memory of Birmingham is the wedding and all it’s accompanying activities.

Now, it is time to say goodbye to Birmingham.  Our girl is headed to graduate school in a few months — traveling “across the pond” to attend The University of Edinburgh in Scotland.  We will be separated by an ocean for about a year.

Here is what is significant about these two places in this one state.  For the past eleven years, part of my heart has been there.  It has been there because it is where my children were.  Before 2006, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham meant nothing to me.  They were merely dots on a map.  But now, all these years later, they hold a piece of my heart because they hold so many of my memories.  They are a part of my story because they are a part of my children’s stories.  That is what makes it so hard to say farewell.

 I wonder, will I feel the same way about Edinburgh?

Edinburgh Panorama
Edinburgh, Scotland
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