I realized with a terrible awareness that I could no longer use the parental voice of authority that bade my child respond with unquestioned obedience. I had entered into a new stage with my daughter, married now and with new loyalties, and I had no voice with which to command. I was thrust into a new place without benefit of a transition, and it took a storm named Katrina to lay open the horror that I would have to stand as a stunned witness to the choices my daughter must make for herself and her new family, choices she felt were best, choices I had no control over: to stay or to leave?
Is there a bridge for that gap? How do you fairly separate the fact that although she is grown up and independent and belongs with her chosen partner, she still remains part of a bigger family unit? Does she owe me that in her decision-making process? Should that count for anything? Without her, there would be a hole in my life and in my heart just her size.