I could feel the weight of her leaving creeping up on me over the past few weeks. I would think this is the last time we will … while eating out, or going to the store, or just running an errand.

The ride there was difficult in ways I had not anticipated. Watching her with the boys, hearing her talk to her sister, listening to music she selected – everything she did seemed to leave a dent in the world around me. One that I could not erase from my mind.

I cannot describe how it feels to drive across the country with your child and then leave them there, coming home without them. I cannot even think about it without feeling a lump rise in my throat. I know she is ready. I know she is safe. Yet, it is still so hard to let go.