Last summer my younger daughter picked me up from the airport. On the way home we stopped at In-N-Out for burgers and fries. She was driving and it was a soft warm late summer evening. All of this together created one of those rare moments that are remembered for the beauty of their shear ordinariness. The dark night and city lights, the dashboard illuminating her face as she ordered, the music playing, and the smell of french fries are now frozen in time. I remember thinking at that moment that it would be the most ordinary of days that I would miss the most. At that time everything was ahead of us; her first day of college, my first Fashion Week Fashion Show, my solo art exhibition at The Wilder Gallery, Sorority Rush and so much more.
I’ve been waiting patiently for the next chapter to begin. I dutifully raised my kids, held them tight and navigated the rocky waters after my husband died famously working three jobs while moving my start up Ocean SF forward. I set goals and strategized using all of my project management and analysts skills from my career in tech. I created project plans, flow charts and employed every tactic I could think of to get us where we are today.
What I’ve realized recently is that there was never going to be a moment when the page turned to a new chapter. What happened was rather the closing of an entire book and the opening of the next.
My daughter is now attending my alma-mater Oregon State University. In the first chapter of Book Two she is walking the same streets I walked looking startlingly similar to the way I looked at her age. This feels both foreign and familiar. During parents weekend I stood in her dorm room and looked out the window past the bare branches to the campus where I came of age. It feels less abstract now having come full circle. Now, there will forever be two sets of memories. The before my daughter became a student here memories, and the new memories of her time here that we share together.
On Saturday, we walk the treelined streets to the sorority that I belonged to and she has recently joined as my legacy. We have brunch in the dining room where I once sat. I go upstairs alone and look into the rooms where I slept, studied and deepened many friendships. It feels strangely normal that she is here. I come down and she is laughing in the living room. We walk out the front door together, and she points out that the sorority house looks like our house at home. The Vanilla colored paint, black shutters and grey roof are all the same. She gets no argument from me on this observation as it is true.
When I get home, however, I spend two weeks searching for the perfect color for my front door. I need something to mark the beginning of this new phase of our lives. In the end, my designer and friend gives me a photo of a house similar to mine with a bright green door. It looks fresh and contemporary on the traditional house. Finding the right color green from a tiny photo was easier said then done. The color was a spring green, not too blue and not to yellow. Finally an oil lacquer paint is chosen in the color, “Green Light.” I spend a cool Sunday afternoon listening to classical music and brushing the jade colored paint on.
As I painted and covered the conservative black paint with the bright green I thought how thankful I am for the the many happy memories I have had here, and the thousands of times I’ve walked through this door or opened it for friends and family. But, today is where the new book begins and it is still unwritten.
Love and blessings to all.