I’ve lost it. But here’s what I know:

LT is my thirteen year old, and he lives with his dad out of state. He asked to live with him so he could get to know him and his dad’s other kids better. He came home mid-June, and somehow our time together is over. *whoosh* The last few weeks with LT have been bittersweet, because although I love each and every minute with him I’ve known that the clock is ticking for him to leave again.

My nineteen year old has moved out, and is doing the college thing. He’s working hard, getting great grades and before my very eyes he is changing and defining himself as a man. While he comes home every week or two, the end result is that Chooch and I now have an empty nest. Yes, we have a dog. You know it’s not the same.

We just got back from a week in California with Chooch’s amazing family. We stayed with his sister and her husband as we always do, and spend every single possible moment with Chooch’s son J that we possibly can. The boys came with us this time, and we had a wonderful time. So wonderful in fact, that it was harder than ever to leave. The love and joy that surrounds us when we are there is addictive, but I realize that we’re on vacation and day-to-day life would bring difficulty.

Regardless, I miss J terribly. He has blossomed over the years into an even more fascinating person, and I hate that we live so far away. He’s happy in his life and is surrounded by love, and thanks to his age and technology we have more interaction with him then ever. But I sorely wish we could be there for him more physically.

Without my kids here and with the health problems I’m working around, I’ve been floundering a bit. Part of it is because of the financial upheaval that we’ve been dealing with and part of it may be because of finally dealing with the loss of being a “full-time” parent. It’s been almost a year now, but it still seems surreal.

We’re potentially facing some more big changes, as we contemplate moving. This house is too big for two people and a dog. We need something smaller and closer to Chooch’s employer. Cheaper would be a great, too, since we don’t know how long it will be until I can return to full time work.

Luckily, I’ve got some direction in helping a friend with some projects. It helps that I really and truly believe in him. That, and getting our home ready for a realtor appraisal is where I’m focusing my attention in the future, along with continuing my treatments to be healthier.

Other than that, I feel pretty confused and at a loss. I’ve spent the last 19 years being a mom in the daily sense, but as LT has left again I now feel I have to redefine myself to … myself.

It’s as if the needle in my internal compass is spinning wildly around the dial, leaving me clueless as to which direction to travel. I’m counting on the fact that regardless of where I end up – as long as our boys are healthy and I’ve got my husband at my side, it will be a great journey.

I wrote this in the sand while watching all my guys splash and play in the ocean. I didn't want to ever forget how I felt at that moment.