Empty Nest Birthday – 200th Post

Last Saturday was our Daughter, Bethany’s, 24th birthday. She had plans with her DH, so we celebrated it without her. Yes, we had a party the next day, but if you’re a mom, you know it’s not the same. We raised her to be independent and she is. We did our job – I just wasn’t expecting it to be so difficult. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this. This grieving. I just didn’t understand the depth of an empty nest.

Bethany moved out 6 years ago. That was rough. When my elderly MIL moved in with us, it helped some. But when our son also moved out, it felt like only ‘old people’ lived in our home and the liveliness was missing. With mom’s dependence on us, we don’t have the freedom I though an empty nest would bring. What a range of emotion. It’s been a difficult year, letting go of the kids, watching my MIL lose a little bit of herself each day and finding new directions in writing and ministry. I don’t do change well.

So Saturday, my DH asked me a loaded question, “What do you want to do for lunch?”



“I want to eat on the patio by a lake somewhere.”

“OK, let’s go.” Oh, my night in shining armor!
He still has the ability to take my breath away!

He took me to Ya Ya’s. It was a beautiful day; we watched the giant quoi and ducks in the man-made lake without a soundtrack of screaming kids. We talked about the day Bethany was born, about being grandparents and how awesome it is that our kids married well and are successfully traversing through life.

Suddenly a giant gust of wind whipped through the patio, knocking all the umbrellas over. Greg, knight in shining armor that he is, was so concerned about protecting me that another umbrella hit him square on the head (which he says is the hardest part of his body). We didn’t stay long after that.

In spite of the umbrella incident, it was a fitting celebration for a day that will always be one of the best days of my life.


14 thoughts on “Empty Nest Birthday – 200th Post

  1. As difficult as it was, it sounds like you had the perfect day with your husband. God was gracious, putting you two together.

  2. I am enjoying your blog for the first time today. I have four grown children and about 12 grandchildren. I have never experienced the empty nest syndrome. I love being with my children but are also glad when they go home. They feel the same about me. LOL. Doylene

  3. Congratulations, Jan, on your “empty nest” and your 200th post! Way to go…you girls keep speeding up and I keep slowing down. I emptied my plate of so many activites, and I still can’t keep up! Is it my age or what?!?!? I do have an assistant now, who travels with me (except my hubby is going with me to the Weekend of Hope in Stowe, VT this Thursday). He “plays” while I “work.” Umm…what’s up with that?!?HUGS!

  4. Empty Nest Syndrome stinks! It is really a mystery the way it waxes and wanes and you never know when you’ll be hit. You can be in the depths of despair one day and then next day feel strong and empowered! I am sorry you have been hit with it Jan. GOd has you in his hands and will hold you up. I don’t know you are just going through the lonliness or actually also feeling the part about “I have no purpuse, my main reason for being here is over”. That is the part I don’t like. Just remember you have that little grandbaby coming and that child needs a wonderful grammie to teach it wonderful things about life! You have a great hubby! YOu are so blessed! Sounds like you had a great lunch except for the wind!Hugs, Sharon

  5. I am with you on the empty nest syndrome, but aren’t you glad that God gave us such wonderful husbands? He knew ezactly what we were going to need in these years after the children and gave them to us to be their fathers. Congrats on the 200th post. L

  6. 3 years TODAY that we moved to the Singing Woods and the empty nestanniversary is July, my baby.moved out ..I’ve had kids @ home since 1972Oh My~~Grandkids help fill the boid.Deena

  7. We’re so blessed that our men are still our knights in shining armor! Happy 200th post, and hang in there. You’ll make it. (We’re making similar adjustments as empty-nesters. eg. today, I’m utterly exhausted with wedding plans.)Hugs, e-Mom :~D

  8. Oh, I know the empty-nest days are going to be here before I know it, and that really makes me sad. Sounds like you and your dh had a nice day though.By the way, I have your pay-it-forward present ready. Just email me your address and I will get that to you in the mail. 🙂

  9. as you found out…there are good perks to the empty nest as well as the the sad and lonely times…enjoy the fun times…and live through the lonely ones…rely on the wonderful telephone to fill in the gaps…

  10. Hi Jan, that was a great story, sounds like something my husband and I should do. Maybe not the thingy with the umbrella though. LOL I’m so glad that he didn’t end up in the hospital and that it will be just a playful memory. I know how it can be with kids moving out, my two sons are out they’re 28 years old, but I still have Kandace my 17 year old here. I cared for my Dad for about 4 months last year his wife was having health issues so he came home with me. He doesn’t get around though so that was a lot of extra care. He’s home now and happy, he didn’t like being away from home so he constantly made it hard for me thinking that I would put him out I guess but, I wouldn’t dare. I know I’ve said a lot so I’ll let you go now, but have a great day Jan, and I’ll visit again soon. Deb

  11. Dear Jan, Empty nest has not hit me yet, but oh, I know it’s coming. I’ve heard from Sharon. Just thinking about it does give me shivers.I’m so sorry you were hit hard with it the other day. What a wonderful loving sweet hubby you have. I am glad you got to go to a romantic place with him. Ouch, sorry he got hit on the head.God bless you sweet Jan, and I am praying right now that God will give you His peace at this moment. Hugs, Kathi

  12. Oh how wonderful! It’s so good to see a couple in love after all those years 🙂 I’m glad you were able to spend the afternoon together and oh your knight, how gallant of him!My oldest will be leaving for college in 2 years. Although we still have a little one entering first grade next year that keeps us quite busy. Every stage of life is an adjustment for sure. My friend Connie (I see her here!) has told me all about the grieving that she experienced when her boys were grown and moved out. But like anything, I’m sure it will hit me hard when it happens 🙂 Happy 200th post 🙂 You write beautifully! (And thanks for your encouraging words on my blog! It was good to “visit” again.)

The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. - Psalm 34:19

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