For about twenty-nine years now, I have been blessed to have children in my home.
The first arrived in the spring of 1980 and the fourth and final child arrived in the summer of 1985. The twenty years following the arrival of our first son were some of the happiest of my life.
I always wanted a small family. Just two kids. I don't know why - that's just the way I wanted it. Maybe it was because I was one of four children, always had to share a room with someone, and thought my life would somehow have been better had I had a room of my own. I don't know. But anyway, that's just the way I wanted it to be.
So we had our first two children about eighteen months apart. I was done!! Mission accomplished! Or so I thought.
Then I got depressed. Somehow, my family just didn't seem complete. I started listening to people who only had two kids and wished they had had at least one more. So we decided to have one more. My family was perfect! I was fulfilled.
Then, out of nowhere, lightening struck! We were going to have a fourth. I was not a happy camper. But my husband was estatic. You see, he always wanted four, so now he was getting his way.
By the time our second daughter arrived, I had resigned myself to life with four children. And she took the world by storm. Never a dull moment in our house! I can't even imagine having lived my life without her.
Then, twenty years after we started it all, our first daughter got married. I cried the night she left. About a year after that our oldest son moved into an apartment with his friend. I didn't cry this time - I was getting used to the letting go thing.
So we were down to only two and not liking it one little bit. I was thrilled when our son decided to move back home - only to get married about a year later.
Six months after that, our baby decided to get married and leave us. It was so quiet in the house.
I got depressed, but pulled through.
So we are down to just one. And that's the way it's been for the last three years.
But now, our youngest son has met the girl of his dreams and is planning to get married in six months. Not only that, he's planning to move to the other side of the world - to Vanuatu.
So after twenty-eight years, I'm facing an empty nest and I don't quite know how to handle it.
I guess I'll have to learn - it's the cycle of life. It happens to almost everyone.