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Sandra A

How does 238.5 sound? That's the mid-point. I don't know where that puts you, but it sure sounds closer. Closer to your baby, because that's what Ross will always be to you. Take care.

Nicole Campbell

this is something I worry about all the time! My son is 15 and all this is rapidly approaching, and like you, he was my ownly child so I just always told him that I would follow him. but now I'm remarried and along came 2 more, and it's been a struggle with jealousy I'm seeing the future not looking the way I had always thought...and I fear too that he will move far away (he's talking Texas) and that he will marry someone I don't like, as he's already attracted to girls that are bossy and controlling.....and all my fears are setting in! Please tell me how you do it! How do you stay so sane? I totally admire you! You have tons of strength! I'm so sorry he moved so far away. Why? school?????


I feel your pain! We live in Iowa and have one wonderful son living in Mass. and another living in California!!! That one has a wife and two of my beloved grand children. Not only that, he is in the Coast Guard and at the end of this month, is moving to Alaska for three years! And even as bad as that is, he was deployed for a year to the middle east and I didn't sleep or even breathe deeply for that whole year! That was the worst... You will do what is best for him because thats what we do---what is best for those we love. (((hugs)))


This makes me so sad for you! I'm happy for Ross if that's what he wants to do, but it's hard. I don't have kids (yet), so I can only imagine! I always dreamt of moving away, seeing what it was like, but I never had the guts to do it. Maybe it won't be permanent? Maybe he won't like it? Or maybe, just maybe - he'll miss his mom as much as she misses him? Stay strong!

Jamie Smith

ok, I live about 14 miles from Ross. I will be your secret elf. I can put stuff on his door step and decorate his car and all kinds of things... really. (I flew down from WA to take your photo class in Grants Pass 2 years ago and you told us all the fun places to go and eat and shop... and we did... and loved them all. Ashland, the black sheep, the sweet potato fries at the restaurant across the street from the scrap store we took the photo class.....) really. no joke, I go to Marysville a couple times a week. Email me.


This is so sad. I know how hard it was for me when I married my husband, a Marine and I had to move to California from my Mom in Missouri. I know from my perspective it was a great adventure, but I really did miss my Mom and my family. My husband is still in the military and we are still moving all around. I know I always kept close with my mom with lots of phone calls. At least we have things like Skype now! The two of you will always find a way to stay close even as the miles separate you.

mandy friend

:(. i will not even think about that day coming. i'll say a prayer for you! don't you find it odd that cali is moving to WA too? i expected opposite directions-lol. {hugs}


aw Karen that's so sad. I can't imagine. And I'm not thinking about it right now because I have a few years to go before I have to worry about that, since my boys right now are almost 3 and 2 months. But I do dread those days... For I know that I will feel exactly the way you do.


Don't be sad...that is aways away but it is driveable. You will be able, with a little planning, to see each other for each major holiday. Then there's skype, and facebook etc.etc. My son lives a 6 hour drive from us and we manage to connect quite frequently. One positive thing I discovered was that the time we do spend together is quality time and we make it the best it can be. Also, remember that you were successful at raising your son to be independent of you, to not be afraid of being away from you and ready for new adventures, and to be a person in his own right. It's is so commendable (and scary!!) to have fulfilled what God meant you to do as Ross' mom: good at raising a child to grow and mature to adulthood and to have the courage and strength to leave you and go out into the world.


Seven years ago my parents moved 90 miles away from me. 90 miles isn't far but at the same time it's staggering. When I need a hug or my parent's internet dies or, or, or... It's a long drive. I live just south of Portland and my parents moved to Washington. I feel your pain, but from the other side.

My dad recently had a fairly severe motorcycle accident and spent a month in the hospital and recovery facility. It's been so difficult to drive back and forth every day. I'm sending you lots of love. Being apart is so hard.


I have two boys, a 7 year old & an 19 month old, and this thought keeps me up at night, even now. I watched my own brother distance himself from our mom, and while I absolutely ADORE my sister in law & her family... my brother most certainly spends more time with them, and that makes me sad, and a tad jealous.

I'm one of the few cousins' that stayed close to home. Stayed close to my parents & my extended family, and I wouldn't have it any other way.. and I understand why my cousins flew the coop, so to speak.. but it doesn't make it an easier.

I hope you find peace with it. I've got a few years before it's an actuality, and I don't if I'll have it figured out by then either.

Oh, and I totally have tried to brain my 7 year old to live with us forever, much to my husband's dismay :)


i live across the country from my oldest son, too! he is in texas, i'm in florida! its very hard, but knowing he's happy makes it bearable. i'm sorry you're hurting, but you have a community of 'aching heart moms' to surround you!


It's never easy and it always requires planning but you will be able to manage it. I once read that the moment your child is born you begin preparing them to be independent but the heart doesn't register that. We have one daughter who lives across the country from us and spent a year in Taiwan and two years in Poland. When I start complaining, our other children remind me that the only reason I get to go on big trips is because Mel lives far away! I keep reminding myself that God has this planned and He knows what is best for all of us.


Part of being a parent, is letting your children go. To be proud they are strong enough, without you. I see the fact that my son is at this moment over 4,400 miles from home for an interview in Dubai, as evidence I did my job well.


I understand all too well. I have 5 children. 4 are boys. So, you know what that means? Boys in general choose the "girls'" family. I have two that live in Atlanta (where I am from). I have one that is in the US ARMY. He has been gone since he was 18 1/2. It is hard. Special events are when we are all together. Not necessarily the holidays. But just the times when we are ALL TOGETHER. Christmas of 2010- we were ALL together for the first time since 2006. We will be together this coming July for the first time since that perfect Christmas. They are few and far between. SKYPE is the best. I treasure any "note" that is handwritten. I HUG ALL THE TIME when we are together. The heart hurts. In the end, they are who they are because "we" as "mothers" have done our best to know and see that they are making choices that influenced throughout their upbringing. Most importantly, GOD keeps his eye on "our" little Sparrows. Blessings to you. ***look at your photos when no one is around-it is easier to just let the tears flow without explanation***


May we ask why he is moving so far away?


My husband grew up near Marysville in a little town called Lakewood and last weekend he went to visit his childhood home one last time to help his mother move. I know it is far away, but Marysville WA is a great little town and let me know when you plan to go and visit him and I'll give you all kinds of tips: antique stores, tulip festival, and one BIG OLE outlet mall.

Cathy K

Letting go is the hardest thing a parent has to do. I have no words of wisdom, only prayers. For you. For me. For all the mom's out there who face this situation on a daily basis. For the mom's who do it with ease and especially for mom's like us whole feel like a part of their heart is walking out that door.


Wow, Ross is making some big changes in his life these days. Is he still in school? Hoping for the best for all of you! I know you'll miss him. He seems like such a good "kid!"

Kathryn Benfiet

I so understand your pain. Our daughter is a Marine and is currently stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, which is 2987 miles away. We just flew there (10.5 hours both ways) and spent a week with her. However, within the next two months she wil be deploying to Afganistan where we will have limited contact with her. Right now, 2987 is infinitely better than half way across the world. Treasure every phone call, text and FaceTime that you get with Ross. Saying goodbye to our daughter at the airport yesterday and then flying home was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Regardless of the miles it's so hard to let our kids go. I thought it would get easier when she was "grown-up" but it's not, it's just a different set of challenges and joys. You're in my prayers.


I think of it in terms of hours...if you drive 100 miles an hour, he's less than 5 hours away. Which is far, but if you are going to Washington, you might as well keep driving and visit B.C.


Did someone say ANTIQUE SHOPS in Marysville....? lol. Maybe it'll just turn out to be for a couple of years, Nellie. I never thought your sweet family circle would ever change. :(

Laura Clogston

Oh Karen! I'm so sorry. I have been there myself. It's so hard to let your children go and live their own lives. Just put it in God's hands, focus on your family here with you, and see Ross whenever possible! I feel for you girl! I'm sorry your heart is so heavy. Hang in there!


I feel for you. I really do. My 22 year old got married a couple of years ago and she is 2,503 miles away. I am in Sunny Florida and she is in Montana. It is still hard. I see her 3-4 times year. I hate it. I talk to her everyday. We have always been a very close family, like yours. She is coming home in 2 weeks for a visit...I cannot wait!! In August we will take our family vacation there and we will fly her home the end of the year for Thanksgiving. 3x is all I will see her this year. :(

So, I do understand and I am sad for you. It will be hard. I wish him the best! May God bless all you and help you through this!


Hugs....I feel your son lives in Eugene, Oregon and I live in N.H. That's a lot of miles...and I hate that he's that far away! I wish I could say it gets easier....but I'd be lying. Hugs! Oh....but Eugene is closer to you than to if you'd like to "adopt" my boy for hugs, dinners, let me know ...LOL! Hey maybe you'll be able to get some good photos of him....he never sends me any! LOL!

Melinda Anderson

Ohhh I can commiserate! Our daughter took a summer job in Montana after her freshman year at college (over 1000 miles away from the SF Bay Area where we live). She fell in love with the mountains and MOVED there! Whhhaaaa???? It was the LOWEST point EVER for me! We visited her, she visited us- and she eventually enrolled and graduated from the University of Montana. Today she lives at Yellowstone with her husband (from Seattle) and their two little boys (if this sounds familiar, I'm in your current class. . .). It's a two day drive for us- but we are VERY CLOSE in spirit, though not physically.

I've learned:
We don't own our children- and they follow their own paths- and hers has been a wonderful one- perfect for her (and I'm so proud of how independent she became at a young age!).
Visits and time spent together can be even more sweet when it isn't every day.
Technology- texting, Skype, e-mail etc. really help with keeping that connection alive.

Oh- and our son lives in San Diego- also not close.

I have no advice for you- except that I understand how you must feel- it's so hard to let go! Big change for both of you!
Now go hug your little ones- they'll be at home with you for a long, long time!


Hugs! My boy is moving downstairs (returning for the summer 1st year of college), but I fear what will be coming in the next years. I know how you feel and like you... life is more full of people than it was when I too was going to move to wherever he was.

Lynne D

You finally did it! I have read so many of your posts and ~almost~ felt like crying. But, this one did it. My oldest is 14, and I think about this EVERY day... :(

Chris R

hugs...I know how you feel. My baby girl and her family live 236 miles away and I don't get to see them very often. It is hard but it makes the time we have together all the more special. It is hard not being able to see my granddaughters anytime I want, but that is just the way life is. It is the natural progression of life weather we like it or not. :(


I can totally relate! I felt so sad the first time I drove home from North Carolina....alone....after taking my youngest daughter to college. She has since graduated and moved back here, but my oldest now lives in SC ---769 miles away! I know we're supposed to raise them to be independent, but gee, why is it so hard?!!?

Moriah Bettencourt

*sniff* this post made me all teary :( I hope it is just a temporary thing! So sorry!

Dana F.

That made me cry. :( Hugs for you, mama.


My daughter and SIL moved 486 miles away almost 2 years ago. Still adjusting...skyping is great! Good luck!


For the last 5 months I have had to live 592 kms from my son.. Not by my choice, but he decided to stay with his biodad while me and my husband and our two kids moved those 592kms. He has been here 4 times and we went back down an additional 3 times, saw him bur briefly. It was horribly painful, but it has taught everyone a lot. I had to rationalize it like he was going away to school to get through it. Now I'm a firm believer in 'everything happens for a reason'- sometimes it just takes a long time to figure out WHAT.. As things stand now I have a strong belief that he will decide to come live with us again starting this summer - based on what he has told me.. In addition his other family is relocating to ONLY 276 kms.. Basically halfed it.. I would have never thought I would think to put 'only' in front of that.. So I believe that things are only going to get better.. Perhaps just closer or maybe returning totally to us.. Either will be better than now.. Wow sorry for rambling lol


oh my goodness...I can definitely relate!! Last fall I moved my younger two kids and I back to my hometown 200 miles away from where I was living to be with someone I had a very serious long distance relationship with. I wasnt looking for him, but a friend thought we would be good together (we are lol!) and things happened. I had a very tough choice though - I was leaving behind my oldest who would graduate high school this year - 1) he wanted to live with his dad and 2) he wanted to graduate with his friends. It was the toughest thing ever!! Harder than handing him over countless times to the OR staff for surgeries. I struggled with the fact that mountain passes that close in the winter often and more would keep us apart. I would miss him, I couldnt see him when I wanted, I wouldnt be there to celebrate all the moments. I missed his birthday this year. I wont say it wasnt easy at times, cause we are moms and we miss them dearly. It honestly does get easier. We find different ways to show our love, happy mail is always good (kids no matter how old love getting stuff in the mail), we text and fb and talk lots.
I know its hard to let them go like that, but one day at a time and you never know where they might just end oldest will be moving here hopefully not long after the summer.
Sending you lots of big hugs and be proud knowing you have raised an awesome young man who is going out in the world with a mom who loves him more than he can ever imagine!

Cindy Welch

Oh Sigh, I would just be in pain as well. I need, I want to be close to mine.... I feel it, I understand it, I wish I could fix it.


Hang in there Karen...maybe he'll miss dancing in the kitchen so much that he'll want to be closer ( lets hope!!). We give them roots but it's so hard to give them wings. This is why us mothers get gray hair so early!!! I will pray for your strength..which I know you have :)

Jen Spain

I'm sorry - that's a lot of miles. I pass by Marysville regularly on my way to brunch with my in-laws in Seattle, so I'll think of you and Ross now when I go. My boys aren't near that age yet and I'm not looking forward to it, but if you figure out how to make it easier make sure to post it on your blog, okay?


Hi Karen...boy do I feel your pain. My only son (I have 2 daughters, too) is moving 2 days after his college graduation from CT to CA.The good news is he has a good job he is going out there for..the bad news..he will be almost 3,000 miles away! He is leaving 2 weeks from tomorrow. It never seemed so terrible the last 4 years in college, as he was 2.5 hrs away. I could meet him for lunch whenever we both were free. But now, he is a plane ride away..and boy do I hate to fly. But I am putting on my big girl pants and climbing on a plane whenever I have money for a ticket. But boy am I going to miss my sweet boy.


aw, my boy is 2 but I just gave him and extra big hug as I put him back to bed for the third time tonight. How could I be annoyed by his bedtime delay tactics after reading that. We are in Bothell, WA, just a little south of Marysville. I hope he is up here for a fun adventure and hope you guys make many wonderful memories as a result of having to adjust your visiting habits.

Ann Grounds

I'll check in on him for you! I only live 7 miles from Marysville and go to work there 3 days a week on Tues/Wed/Thurs! I'll even invite him over for a home cooked meal if he'd come over. Oh and Snohomish isn't that far from Marysville and has lots of Antique shopping! Hugs and let me know if you need me to take a photo or two of him!


My heart hurts for you, as I understand how difficult it is....first advice, email Jamie, and begin that "mom elf" would be fun and light hearted and make you smile. Other than that...the truth is just plan hard. We raise them to do this...and then when they is harder than we ever imagined. Sending hugs to you.


The only thing I can say is, we can rarely see the path that God has laid out for us. We know it's a good one. We just don't have the comfort of knowing it. The title of your blog says it all! And I know you live your faith. I am 55 blessed with a 9-y-o when I thought we would be childless. I live in a place I never thought was possible. God's plan was just a lot better than mine!
And with all that said, wow, my heart aches for you! I will pray for your peace!


I have no words of helpfulness. . .except SkypeTwitterFacebook. When mine moved 12 hrs away (pre-all this technology) I didn't look at it as possibly forever but a student teaching adventure in a state that I LOVED to visit. Had I known it was forever it would have been even more crushing. It's just hard and you have to do what you already know you have to do. . .plan for it and make a point of it as often as you can.


I'm reading this with such a heavy heart because it'll be my story some day and I feel your sadness.

And then I started thinking about how much more those 477 miles feel to Ross. You two have such a phenomenal relationship and I suspect that those 477 miles may seem like 4,000 miles to him. As a young man making his way through these early years, he likely has less of an ability to pick up and get on the road to visit home than you might have to pick up & visit him. Fortunately, as parents, we have a natural tendency and more of an ability to "give" generously (our time, our support, our travels and all those other things parents can give). As children, we were held back by other factors (school, crazy job hours, finances, etc) and leaned on our parents more for the giving. And as much as those 477 miles seem to you, they're miles that are teaching Ross about "giving". Everytime you visit, everytime you send a package, everytime you bring him his favorite cookies, everytime you send him some pictures... whatever it is... everytime you do those things while he's 477 miles away, you're helping to transform him into the future parent and "giver". The things you do while he's 477 miles away are just as impactful as when he was 22 miles away, 78 miles away or a few steps away. You're a great parent, Karen. And you've raised a great man.

Can you do me a favore and remind me of this distance thing being impactful in about 6 or 7 years? I'm going to need them! :)

Nicky from Canada

You'll do it - it broke my heart when my oldest daugther moved to Vancouver - 660 miles away from us to go to school. I thought the same, short term, school she will be back. The animation industry out there was extremely hot when she was done, she was offered 4 jobs from top end studios and alas is still out there 5 years later, married to am amazing man and loving life. We make our visits as often as we can, but with one more left at home we don't get there as often as we like. You will enjoy the visits, they just mean that much more. Ross will do amazing with your support!! It is the next step in their adventures!! It is fun to watch them grow and become who they were meant to be.God Bless

ellen patton

Go buy 100 stamps and start sending him letters. :)

Linda Atkins

I'm just a few miles north of Ross's new town, in Bellingham, so if you need someone to go spy on him for you...just let me know!

I thought I'd die when my son left for Nepal last year. Fortunately, he fell in love right before his planned trip, he cut it short after 4 months, moved back, got married, had a baby, and now lives in my basement.



xoxo - getting close to that over here/terrified....

Jona Panesa

awwww. don't worry. save a lot of money and fly to washington whenever you need to. the littles will surely miss Ross too. I have to enjoy my little one right now.


My heart hurts for you. My eldest is 14 and while I know the day will come he will move out, i cannot bear to think it would be 447 miles away. But it will be okay! God has a plan for Ross. And you are just getting stronger and stronger. Beautiful pics btw.

teresa b

Oh Karen my heart is with you...I'm all choked up and can't bring my thoughts to words cause you've hit so close to home for me...wishing you well

Dana McGlocklin

I'm friends with @jamie Smith above who offered to be your elf. You and I also have another comment friend (Glendy M.) and I'm sure we'd ALL be thrilled to pop in on him and warn him that mama knows everything that happens...just say the word! :)
I'm about 10 minutes away and grew up in Marysville. :)

hang in there mama. He loves you.


So maybe I should reconsider going away to college, because after reading this post and all your comments not sure I want to put my mum through all of this.

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