I feel relief…didn’t know that I was going to feel such relief, but I do. My youngest daughter graduated from high school last week, and I am just back from her college orientation today. She is very excited about going away to school. Both of my kids will be away at college next year.

I remember a time when it seemed so unlikely that I would live long enough for my kids to leave me as independent adults. They were in grade school when I was diagnosed and not expected to live. But I’ve been able to see them grow to become great adults with good values. They are excited about becoming independent and living on their own, about living away from home and family. They want to spread their wings. While I’ll be sad to have them both gone next year, for me that sadness is tempered by celebration.

Eight years ago my greatest wish was to not abandon my kids, but to live long enough for them to leave me. When I was diagnosed, I was the major force and presence in their lives, but their lives now have expanded beyond family to include new friends, new adult role models, new hopes, dreams and aspirations. While we will always love each other and be close, they don’t need me in the same way they did as young children, they don’t depend on me as much. That’s a good thing.

I will be off-line for awhile, we are going on a family vacation. I really want to enjoy our family vacations while we can as I don’t know how many more there will be, I don’t know where their lives will take them in the upcoming years.

I’m so glad we made it to this day!