After driving all night Brian and his friend Evan arrived early Friday morning. On Saturday we would load up Austyn and they would head back to Colorado. Brian and Austyn had known each other for a year and a half but had not spent much more than a weekend together. They needed to be in the same city before they walked down the aisle and say “this is forever.” Her future in-laws had been looking for apartments with short term leases and a week before the planned move had found a two bedroom condo with a lease through July. It fit perfectly into their plans.
She was packed; boxes were everywhere. One stack was what she would take now. One stack would be kept by us until she and Brian were back in the states. Another stack was all her photography equipment; two computers, cameras, lenses, paper, printer and a collection of work.
It hadn’t been an easy week for either Austyn or I. Jeff had been gone the entire week and would be back Friday night. Austyn and I had spent the past evenings talking, hugging and crying, knowing how much we would miss each other. I never knew how deep a mother – daughter relationship could grow. We are buddies, encouragers, dreamers, positive thinkers and each other’s accountability. That daily connection was about to change. We would be left with phone calls and email.
Saturday morning came and we began to load the truck. At one point I was left in the apartment alone. I stopped and looked around. My world was changing. My oldest had already relocated to Wisconsin, Austyn’s things were in the apartment for the last time. It would not be too much longer and this would be an empty space waiting for it’s new owners. This is so much more than one is able to process. I stood in the dinning room, leaning against the windowsill with tears streaming down my face.
It did not take long to pack the truck with the things from the condo. We made our way to the storage unit for the final boxes. Austyn and I left the guys behind and ran some errands. When we returned the truck was packed and it was time to say good-bye. There were lots of hugs. “Take care of her” was all I could get out as I hugged Brain good-bye. Jeff and I got in the car and headed back to our very empty and quiet condo. Again Austyn was gone, she had left so many times before and fortunately she would be back again soon. College graduation was just a few weeks away.