Aubrey left yesterday to live in Capitola, California, up near Santa Cruz. And near Santa Clara, where Scott is going to school. It was time for her to move, and this was the deadline she had set for herself before we even knew we would be moving. She is ready to start her professional career and adult life, and she can’t do it here with us. And Scott is thrilled to have her on the same coast again, within dinner-visit distance.

So, we boxed up her belongings once again and sent them via UPS to Capitola. And yesterday, we put her on a plane.

Good God. I knew it would be hard, but not this hard. Suddenly, I was engulfed by loneliness for my kids. I am first and foremost a mom. I say it proudly. I love being a mom. I am also a wife. And I love being a wife. Wife and mom: that’s me.

And now the mom part is changing. As it did before, but now changing for good where Aubrey is concerned. That’s it for her living with us. It won’t likely happen again. We’ll still get Scott on the holidays, but I’m not sure for how long. He’ll have his life to live, too. (Of course, if we’re still in Brazil for the World Cup, I’m sure he’ll happily live with us!) They’ve grown to adulthood. How did that happen?!

Now it is Tom and me. Facing a move to Sao Paulo: leaving behind Aubrey and Scott, and my parents and his mom, and our families. Ah, but I can’t “go there.” It’s way too painful and frightening. Right now, it’s just one day at a time. Let the pain and panic ease, and then face the future.

Poor Tom had to deal with me last night. It couldn’t have been easy. But he was patient and loving, and he got me through the despair and panic. It’s a darn good thing that we’re so strong together. He’ll need to hold me up a bit for a few days, but that’s okay. We hold up one another, sort of tag-team, as the need arises.

But today, I sit in the apartment with the pups, working and then looking into Aubrey’s empty room and wishing she were still here. The pups walk in periodically and look for her, too. That doesn’t help my heart.

One day at a time. One hour at a time. One minute at a time. One breath at a time. I can do this.