After a busy morning meeting two new clients, I took a break for lunch. Feeling particularly alone, I found myself visiting my daughter Julie’s bedroom, and I had to laugh at myself. This is the same behavior I exhibited with some regularity last year after Jeff left home for college. Julie has been gone just a month, and though my work schedule is quite full, the loneliness thickens with each passing day. It’s beginning to envelop me like a slow moving marine layer coming in off the ocean.

I find myself wondering how my baby girl will have changed the next time I see her. How long will it take before she doesn’t need me at all? It was subtle with her brother, Jeff. Upon his return for the holidays during his freshman year he seemed to have a new firmness of being. I clearly sensed the presence of the grown man he’s becoming, and with each return visit I sense it more and more. The world is shaping him now; I am no longer at the helm. So too will it be with Julie.

Sitting on the side of her bed, I play with the tassels dangling from the old silk lampshade we purchased together so long ago. It’s the same shade of rose as in the quilt she inherited from her great-grandmother Irene. The quilt that still covers her bed.

It’s time for lunch. I miss my girl.

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