Karla’s Korner: New Chapter

The New Chapter…

For the past ten months I have been writing my “korner” articles. I have shared much about my life and
that of my family. I have shared little bits of motivation and wisdom, although some might beg to differ
on the wisdom piece of it. But today, I am not so sure I have any motivation or wisdom. Today I woke
up at 6:30 a.m. with all of my family sleeping soundly in their beds. Less than 12 hours have passed
and my life…our lives…have changed dramatically. Today we moved our daughter to college. To say
that I am proud of her is an understatement. This week our local paper published an article about the
incoming first year class at her college. According to the article, the class of 2015 is the largest and most
academically qualified class in university history! So there you have it, she’s on her way to great things.

As I carefully assisted my girl in unpacking the few boxes she carried to her new world (she’s not a big
fan of over packing or a lot of stuff) I noticed excitement in her eyes. She said to me “mom, this is so
cool…this is where I belong…this is what I’ve been working so hard to do.” Of course, I want her with
me forever; I know that’s not possible. And as I tried not to complain about the ugly lime green rug
she chose to put in her room, or the fact that she threw everything from batteries, to door hooks, light
bulbs, and her flashlight into one drawer without any sort of organization I realized that she is where
she belongs at this stage in her life. My girl was accepted into an elite dorm or living community within
her university. She applied and was accepted as one of the top 25 female applicants for a private room
which for a first year student is a big deal. She has chosen to surround herself with a group of like
minded students who will reach beyond the limits and work to achieve wonderful things.

So why was it that when I left my girl standing at her doorway, wound my way down the steps and into
my husband’s car did I feel like I had left a piece of my heart behind? Because I did. And as my husband
dropped me off at my car to go home I found myself so overwhelmed with emotion I could barely drive.
Working hard not to fall apart, I made it home and as I passed her empty room, with her closet door
hanging wide open, and stuff still laying around, I lost myself in a moment of grief that was so big and
powerful I couldn’t breathe. Taking in the reality of what had transpired overwhelmed me and stayed
with me for a long while. And as I sat with my thoughts and my grief I began to think back over the
past 13 years of her life. My girl spent every ounce of energy she could working toward today…yes,
even in Kindergarten, she excelled. She took pride in everything she did and worked hard to achieve
the very best. And as a result of her hard work and dedication she landed herself at the top of her high
school class entering college in the highest most academically qualified first year class in her university’s
history.

As I tried to explain my emotions to my husband I could only find one word to get my point across.
Grief. My grief comes from knowing that my role as momma has changed. Understanding that the
transition from high school to college is a natural progression and is a wonderful thing, I can only sit
back and recall the many memories from a childhood that now seems so far away. As my husband held
me in his arms comforting me trying to find the words to ease my pain and make it go away I explained
to him that I have to grieve in order to let it go. And while her college is just 20 miles up the road, the
experience is still the same. Her room is empty, her car sits still in the driveway, and her guitar sits
quietly in the corner. Life is not always happy and full of smiles and giggles. Life is full of experiences,

good and bad, that help mold you into the person you are meant to be. Grab hold of those experiences
with everything you have and when the time comes to grieve, do it. It is okay to be sad and to grieve.
But when the grieving is over, grab hold of the new experiences that life has given you, pick up your life
book and do what I have had to do. Start a new chapter, embracing the new experiences that come
your way. For me, my new chapter started on Saturday August 20, 2011 as I became the mother of a
first year college student. Letting her go out into this big world alone was difficult, but knowing that I
put my heart and soul into that girl raising her to be a confident, self-reliant, intelligent, caring, faithful
young woman helps ease the sadness in my heart. And as the words “I love you too mom” echoed back
to me as I walked away from her I knew in my heart that we would both be okay.

~Karla Robey

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