making room

A few weeks ago I phoned my son Jack in Asheville. “How would you feel about me taking over your bedroom at home and turning it into a writing space?” I asked.

I’d hesitated for weeks before raising this idea. But Jack didn’t hesitate in his response. “Oh, that’s fine,” he said, “you can do whatever you want with my room.”

Although we have a tiny office on the first floor of our house, I’ve never written a word in it. The desktop computer is my husband’s and his in-box sits beside it, overflowing with not-urgent papers and clippings and instruction manuals. The window above the desk looks out to the driveway and whatever vehicles happen to be parked there. The counter is a repository for checkbooks and bills to be paid, stamps and envelopes. And the chair, just the right height for Steve, is not very inviting to me. The office is a perfectly good place to write a check or Google driving directions, but it’s not a space my muse has ever chosen to visit.

Most of the words I’ve produced over the last ten years in this house have come from a stool at the kitchen table, where I look out to a view of fields and mountains and sky. I’ve spent countless hours perched there, staring out the windows above the sink while trying to pull my thoughts together. As a mother, as a wife, as a cook and homemaker, and also as a writer, I’ve always been drawn to this room, my own home base, whether I’m chopping something, stirring something, washing something, or writing something. Soups and emails, jars of jam and blog posts, thank you notes and books, all have come from my kitchen. More often than not, several of these things are coming together at once, which means that the written work can easily be shifted to the bottom of my priorities list. No one actually cares if I write or not, but dinner does have to appear on that table every night.

And yet, as summer turned to fall this year, I found myself longing for some other kind of place, a place not in the middle of the action but away from it. A place in which some new work might begin to take shape, privately and quietly. A place where there is nothing that needs to be chopped or watered or cleaned or stirred, where books of memoir and poetry would be easily at hand, and where my laptop and notes and papers don’t have to be put away at the end of the day so that placemats and napkins and silverware can be laid out in their place.

I wasn’t sure, after Magical Journey was published five years ago, whether I would ever write another book. I’m still not sure. But I do know this: turning fifty-nine last week has given me pause. In a year, I’ll be sixty, and there are some things in my life that need to shift, some thinking and writing I very much want to do.

My sixtieth year has begun with an urgent longing for quiet time and open-ended hours and, too, for a space that is devoted not to many things but to one thing: the work of the imagination, the murmurings of the soul, the possibility of articulating and embodying some just-forming ideas about how to live in the world as an older person.

Hence, my call to Jack.

“What about all the things in your desk?” I asked him. “I don’t need any of it,” he said.

That night, I reported our conversation to Steve, and the next morning he summoned me into Jack’s room. “Tell me what you’re envisioning here,” he said, as we looked around at the olive green walls, the bookshelves packed with Stephen King mysteries and old textbooks, the coin jar on the desk, the squash and basketball trophies dimmed by dust.

My birthday gift from my husband was carte blanche to create the space I wanted here. And, in truth, my gift from Jack was exactly the same thing. We called a painter.

And then, on the day I began emptying desk drawers and throwing high school notebooks into a trash bag, I snapped a photo of Jack’s collection of Crazybones (a prized first-grade possession) and called him again. “Is there anything here you want me to save or send down to you?” I asked, fighting back sudden, unexpected tears. He asked me to keep his books, to pack them all into boxes till the day when he has a larger place of his own and room for them. The rest could go.

“I’m not attached,” he said simply. “That’s not really my room anymore.”

What I realized in that moment was that he wasn’t attached, but I was. Taking my son’s bedroom apart and turning it into something else meant I’d no longer peek in on my way past the door and see “him.” Never again would I catch a fleeting sense of his presence there, or see his tiny hippo figurines marching silently across a shelf, or the row of Shel Silverstein books we’d spent so many long-ago hours reading aloud together.

But there’s something else, too. My emotions about dismantling Jack’s bedroom are more complicated than physically acknowledging the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. The truth is, this room was also the setting for some deeply painful struggles, secrets and lies, dashed hopes and heartbreaking realities.

The happy adolescence we hoped our son would enjoy here never happened. More often than not when he was home, the door to this room was closed. What went on behind that door was the beginning of a downward spiral that, at the time, left us all feeling helpless and angry and frightened. After Jack abruptly left home at sixteen for a stint in wilderness therapy and boarding school, it was all I could do to walk past his empty, silent room. It felt like a rebuke. When we sent our son away for treatment, I wasn’t at all sure whether we’d failed him as parents or helped to save him.

The other day, I pulled an old, nearly empty Smart Water bottle out of the back of a desk drawer, tossed it into the trash bag, and then, without even thinking, pulled it out again, unscrewed the cap, and tasted the clear liquid. Vodka. Time collapsed and suddenly I was once again the mother of a silent, distant teenager, finding my way in the darkness with nothing to go on but my own maternal intuition. Yes, this excavation is hard. For a lot of reasons.

Jack has been sober for nearly two years. A month shy of twenty-five, he works in a residential treatment center for troubled adolescents, a job he loves and is good at. He shares a comfortable, homey house with two friends and is a devoted “parent” to his beloved dog Carol. His own rocky path into adulthood has given him deep compassion for the kids he works with, and his own commitment to sobriety has taught him a lot about staying with uncomfortable feelings, accepting them, trusting that they, too, will pass.

And so, I shared with Jack that I was having a harder time cleaning out his old room than I’d expected. He got it.

“I just finished writing a new song,” he told me a few minutes later, after I’d composed myself. “It’s about addiction, and denial, and getting sober. I’m pretty excited about it.” I said I’d love to read the lyrics and he promised to send them. Then, after a pause, he said, “Or, I could just rap it for you right now.” And he did.

These words are the first to come from my new office on the second floor. The walls are painted a soft shade of blue. There are flowers in a vase, a friend’s drawing on the wall, my own books on the shelves. There’s also a painting Jack did in 8th grade, when he was assigned to copy a work by a master, and some figures he made in grade school that, to me, speak eloquently of the creative, funny, sensitive child he always was and still is at heart. As it turns out, it feels just right to make space here for what has been, for what still is, and for what yet might be.

In the kitchen below, I can hear the dishwasher completing its cycle. But I’m not tempted to stop what I’m doing in order to put dishes away, or to wipe crumbs off the counter, or to water the fern. There is nothing to pull me away from where I am. When I look up from this screen, I gaze out the window at the stonewall and trees that Jack would have seen as a teenager, had he lifted the shade in his bedroom. One by one, the leaves drift down.

(My gratitude to Jack — for giving me his old room and, even more, for allowing me to publish this essay.  One thing we’ve both learned is that every time we tell of our own struggles, we clear a space for someone else to share theirs, too.)



for my reflections & inspiration

your comments

  1. Carolyn Russett says:

    ah. 59. a magical year if done right. Its the fifties finale — in a good sense, not bad. a new decade getting ready to start, which creates a lot of different feelings. But instead of thinking about what it is going to be like to be 60 — a scary age sometimes — I made it a celebration of what was a wonderful decade for me. I made sure I did something “special” every month. It might have been the spa day I always encouraged others to do, but rarely did myself. It might have been something little, yet special that I bought for myself. It might have been dinner at a favorite restaurant with the hubby. Make it a SPECTACULAR year!!!

  2. Mary Ellen Leslie says:

    Enjoy this magical 59th year…every birthday has blessings! I am 62, and when I actually see it it black and white , a little disturbing! But gratitude to be alive, and enjoying a New England Fall, watching my own Sons ( ages 36, and 38) live their lives- one being traditional, another free spirited far from home.. Life is balance , letting go, being grateful.. you know this- be happy❤️

  3. This is such a beautiful poignant essay. Thank you both for sharing it with us.

  4. I applaud you. It feels like a big step to turn 60, and it is a big step to redo your child’s bedroom that they grew up in. I am sixty-four now, and proud and grateful to be here. I have weathered two hip replacements and two knee replacements, and possibly a shoulder replacement in the making. I asked my son a year ago if I could take over his room. He had one request, just keep my bed, Mom, so I have a place to sleep when Icome home. Now his room is a craft room, my secret hideaway, and a place my husband goes to when he snores too loud. I am reminded through your writing, how much I love that space. I think of David every time I walk through that door. Thank you.

  5. Ahhh. Sounds like an opening.

  6. Joan Buckley says:

    Beautiful. I too have a thousand memories when entering my son’s old room. When he comes home for a visit, he still sleeps there. The whole house just feels so right on those nights. I am sixty four now, I wonder if I will ever be ready to change that room. Probably, but not just yet.

  7. I LOVE READING YOUR THOIGHTS!!! Keep writing……you write what I am thinking and feeling. Thank you

  8. Wendy Wyatt says:

    The magical journey continues… your path and your words convey such raw beauty and hope. As if shedding a skin to find clarity in vision once dimmed. And as a reader, the connection to love is so pure and clear. I adore your writing and your keen, observant and feeling heart. While Jack may have had a turbulent early chapter in his life, that rippled through yours, I’d venture to say, he’s sailing along with confidence and tools to carry him through (and your abiding love), as well as a variation of telling stories, but now in song~

  9. kamin lambertson says:

    Thanks Katrina, my wife Debbie and I read this together. Our son in 30 now and sober for a few years. He’s a musician so his accomplishment means a lot to all of us. We did the same thing with his childhood collections. Still hoping for a grandson to give them to? But he lives his own life and comes to see us now and then. All we can ask for? I will stay tuned with great interest.

  10. Patricia Battaglia says:

    I’ve reached my 60th year and beyond. In that time, I’ve raised five children and, on several occasions, have cleaned out bedrooms that were being passed from an older sibling to a younger one. That was my introduction into the hard emotional work of letting go of what was and welcoming what will be — although, at the time, the letting go was all I could see or feel. And now, within the space of one year, I’m faced with two bedrooms whose occupants have moved on. There are no younger siblings this time. I’ve been reluctant to remove the memorabilia of childhood, the evidence of turbulent, troubled youth, and the forgotten belongings of young men who have found their wings and flown. And yet, through the years of raising my family, I dreamed of a space of my own where I could write, read, draw, create, and retreat. Your words have given me the push and drive and inspiration to make the dream a reality; to take a deep breath and sort through remnants of the past. My heart is heavy but your photo lifts my spirits – what a gorgeous, peaceful space! I’m encouraged to begin the soul work – and the hard physical work – of cleaning up and creating space for something new and lovely. Thank you.

  11. Thank you for this and please never stop writing, Katrina. I am loving Moments of Seeing right now. Your words speak to my heart. I can relate about cleaning Jack’s room. This summer I went through my own son’s room with many similar feelings. At the end of May, I drove him to live with his sister in a city on the East coast – far from his Midwest roots. He had just graduated from college and completed a treatment program for drug addiction. He needed a fresh start in a new place. He packed only a few clothes and books to take with him and said he didn’t care about the rest of his stuff. It was much harder for me to go through those childhood toys, awards and memories and let things go. My son is doing well in his new city. With his degree in Biology, he was able to get a good job at a university; he has made new healthy friendships, attends NA, and in his words, “I’m better than I’ve been in a long time.” Thank you to you and Jack for telling about your struggles and clearing a space for me to do the same. Peace and happy writing in your beautiful new space.

  12. Sandra Oliverio (Sandi) says:

    This post touches my heart in many ways. We both share October birthdays, and we both are hanging onto the last year of a segment of our lives. I turned ’69’ last week and now looking at what will my life be like in my seventies? The time in many ways often seems to go too quickly, and then as we reflect on past days that at times were painful and hard to understand, they seem so long ago.
    I remember walking into my older daughters empty room, as she had married and left for England. My throat hurt, my heart hurt and yet I was happy she had found a great young man to start a new life with. There were tears of sadness, tears of joy and even some tears of relief that we had come to this point…all mixed up into one mom’s body! My daughter, like your son had emotional issues that she had kept hidden for most of her growing up years. And, being ‘Moms’ somehow we believe we should be able to make all the ‘owies’ go away. I couldn’t, and she has had many years of struggling to make sense of her world.
    Your taking over Jack’s room comes at a time that I am now taking over my daughter’s old room. She had left and came back to ‘get back on her feet’ which became eight years. The room is a light, grayed down, blue with one window that overlooks our front yard and enormous Maple tree! I hope to not only complete my Memoir in this newly acquired space, but I am also an artist. Now, i don’t have to worry about leaving my ‘stuff’ out…just pull the door.
    So sharing your journey continues to unfold how much we are all connected in this great net called ‘Life’. God bless you as Jack’s warmth envelopes you in your new space and can’t wait to read the next insightful post.
    Thank you.

  13. Mary Ann Dunant says:

    Happy writing in the room of your own. It is lovely and so conducive to soul caring.

    This was a beautiful post, and really touched my heart. Thank you, and thanks to Jack for sharing your stories.

  14. Elizabeth Stubbs says:

    Thank you Katrina. Last year I finally asked my son the same question: would you mind if I took over your room? And his answer was as generous as Jack’s. So easy for them to let go of those dusty remains. Every woman must go through this relinquishing of their children’s childhood, with its multitude of facets. And every woman, I strongly believe, needs to make for herself this Room of her Own. My question is this: why must we wait so long? Love to you.

  15. Carolyn Edwards says:

    Such a touching and honest post. Thank you.

  16. Thank you for this! I am in the midst of seeking help for a troubled and addicted teenage son. Your words give me comfort and hope. I am happy you have a beautiful space. Please keep writing!

  17. Wishing you many satisfying days (years) of writing, thinking, and remembering in your new space. My sons have not left home for good yet, but your beautiful words had me I tearing up just imagining it.

  18. Who would know the changing of a room could bring so many memories, realizations and emotions. At 56 I asked my daughter if I could change her room as my husband works at a desk in the hallway. It was so interesting to see what she left in that room. Each item was a piece of her life, small reminders to us that she mattered (as if .we needed the reminding!). Thank you for sharing your story of change and for everyone sharing their turning 60 experiences

  19. Kim in Michigan says:

    Having walked this journey of closing doors on my oldest child’s youth, and the painful task of hearing him say ” it’s just stuff, mom, you can toss it”, I’m again crying while reading your words. All true. All real. All life. I would be fibbing if I said there were days when I thought he would never grow up. We all have them. Now that he has, of course, I would happily go back to age 10 and walk the journey with him again. In a heartbeat.
    You now enjoy the space he grew up in. It’s a new day, but it doesn’t erase the yesterdays.
    Thank you, as always, for saying what so many of us feel.
    My tears today are a sweet reminder of all of the childhood yesterdays.
    I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

  20. And from a soon to be 59 year old:
    Your words have touched my heart over the years like no other writer. I know I am not alone and you articulate so beautifully what is happening so often in my soul and scattered thoughts, but for which I don’t have words or the discipline to record–yet.
    Thank you for sharing your many gifts.
    Deb in Minnesota (and a St. Olaf grad!)

  21. There’s a lump in my throat. You put words to something I couldn’t express – that sense of not seeing him anymore. When my son went off to college and then the military, I struggled with his room. Like you, I had a much stronger attachment to it than my son does – he’s not the sentimental type but I am. And like you, his room contains many deep memories of days when he struggled with suicidal thoughts and I wondered if he’d ever live to become a man. He has. Today he uses those experiences in his work as a psychologist. Today my son turned 30 and I rejoice.

  22. This is beautiful and also brings tears. I’m living through the very tough adolescence with my son, and this essay touchs a very bruised spot. I hope to look back with some peace and gratitude at this time of life, and be able to look at a happy, successful, peace filled son. Thank you for this.

  23. Katrina, My own birthday was 10-10. I turned 61 this year and so I am now officially “in my 60’s”. It is an exciting and frightening time for me. I retired last January and am still adjusting to the change in my own perception of myself. I no longer have a job title to recite when people ask me what I do. I am learning to be honest about just what it is I really do. I read, I cook, I garden, I am studying herbalism. I am a wife and an aunt and a friend. I ride my bicycle and I walk and I plan vacations and travel. I am blessed. Reading about your allowing yourself to take over your son’s room reminds me of my own pressing need to establish a personal place and some personal time in my life. I love my husband with all my heart but I cannot be with him 24 hours a day. I need to allow myself to have some free time and some free space. Thank you for writing so honestly. As always what you write provides me with inspiration and helps me to become a bit more me.

  24. You have, once again, beautifully captured the essence of dark parenting moments, aging, writing, transitions….all in one lovely piece. I’ve been there with you…adolescent struggles, water bottles with mysterious clear liquids, and CrazyBones (!) All of it. I feel better about sharing this journey with you as our narrator. Thank you.

  25. Lily Jacobi says:

    How lovely Katrina… I would still like to meet you to get a copy of your book.

  26. Julie Lambert says:

    oh, Katrina, this resonates with me so much, although my children have not yet begun to leave home, we are working on an addition so that involves a clearing out of things from their childhoods. Also, part of the addition, includes an attic space just for me, my studio. When we were thinking about this addition, it didn’t include an attic, it didn’t include a writing space for me. Not until the architect mentioned we had the room and could do it. I’m still overwhelmed by the thought. And do grateful to think about this space that will soon be what I dreamed of, but didn’t think was a possibility. So thrilled that you have your space and that you share your journey with us. Much love!

  27. Katrina, thank you so much to you and to your son for sharing these words. Letting go, and new beginnings, I’m right there with you. I recently did the same with my son’s room which my family now refers to as the “she-cave”. Dismantling my son’s room felt like I was dismantling my time as a mom. Although just as they move on and find their place, it is joyful for them to see us embrace new beginnings too. Thank you!

  28. What a gift from Jack and your husband: a room of your own. May the echoes of all that this room means to you feed you and your writing in the years to come.

  29. Happy Birthday Katrina🎈🎈. You and your writing mean so much to me. Your words go right to my heart. So comforting to know others walk a similar path and can still find beauty and peace. 🍂🍁🍂🍁

  30. This is beautiful, poignant, honest. Thank you for it, Katrina. Enjoy your transitioning space as you transition into a new decade. I have loved the new decades, until the most recent. It took me until 65 to decide it is the best one yet.

  31. marlene alves says:

    I just shared this beautiful/moving/valuable essay, Katrina, on my FB page. Each one of your posts is an extraordinary glimpse into, not only your life, but many of ours. I don’t have your exquisite sensitivity; but so appreciate your ability to express what I have often felt & experienced.
    The title of this one, Making Room, is especially poignant as here in beautiful Sonoma County’s Wine Country, thousands have lost their homes, reduced to indistinguishable rubble in moments. An interview that brought a huge lump to my throat was with a fireman-father standing over the ashes of his home holding a little soot-stained pink elephant toy; speaking of the loss of his saved 2 year old daughter’s paintings. While he battled to save other homes; his was lost.
    Making room will continue for years to come for many of the brave & courageous people who call this area home.
    Thank you for being who you are and for allowing us to share in your beautiful writing. Are you also an artist? The watercolor is simply lovely..!
    Note: did you save the CrazyBones for eventual grandchildren/hope so..((: )

  32. Priscilla Valvo says:

    Always enjoy reading your post. Enjoy your new space and happy writing.

  33. Nancy Flood says:

    Such a beautiful essay! I am spending my first fall in 32 years not returning to my teaching job. I decided to retire this past school year at age 57 and spent the summer thinking about what I might want to do “next”. That combined with my husband leaving his job of 28 years to work from home, has put a new spin on everything! Our sons are grown and living their lives…they have said, “aren’t you going to sell the house and move now?” Yikes! The thought makes my head spin! I had the same feelings shared here about cleaning out bedrooms, closets, etc. over the summer months. I’m trying to keep everything in perspective, not rush in to how I choose to spend my time..everyone it seems has just been “waiting” for you to retire! :)…and explore parts of myself that I haven’t thought about in many years. I find all of your posts so timely for me and they touch me deeply. Thank you!

  34. The tree you see out of the window from your “new” writing space has been a steadying presence throughout these years of the many transitions within your family. Daily now, I can almost see my grand niece and nephew morphing into new stages of their lives. I find comfort in nature, particularly the venerable trees, whose roots remain firmly embedded in the ground year after year…..the stories they could tell about the human condition……I love your writing. Keep doing what you do so well. (I turned 70 this year, and my words of wisdom are to enjoy every moment of the new decade almost upon you, it will fly.)

  35. Thank you, as always, Katrina, for being so beautifully honest and sharing from the heart. Love the last line about sharing our struggles and clearing space for someone else to share and heal as well! Happy belated birthday! 60 is a great age!

  36. It makes my heart warm to know there are so many other women out there who have the same experiences. But more importantly, that you, Katrina, can put your feelings down on paper for us to read and grow from. My 65th birthday is at the end of this month, and the closer I get to it the more I feel the need to simplify my life. So going through the photos and other memorabilia from raising my three sons is bringing up many buried feelings. Good and bad. I’m going to glorify the good and nullify the bad. Keep writing. We need you!

  37. All the collections I can’t let go of – baseball cards, rocks, trophies. The collection of paraphernalia I was shocked to find – water bottles converted to bongs, lighters, other items I had no clue about. Thank you for your honesty and sharing hope.

  38. Beautiful, Katrina. Reflecting back on times past, both warm memories and painful ones. I love reading your first words in your new writing space and love that Jack is doing so well. We cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel in the heat of the moment, but you are there, my friend. You are there. <3

  39. Beautiful essay, beautiful thoughts. I love to read your posts as they resonate with me, my experiences, and my own writing. Thank you for your courage in sharing life so eloquently.

  40. Dearest Readers and, of course, Katrina. I totally get the age thing and the letting go but for very different reasons. On 11-11 I will end year 73 and move into my 74th. Needless to say, I have had a lot of experience letting go, moving on and holding dear to memories – some with sadness and others with joy. My son, Glenn, died shy of his 40th and while that will be 8 years in Jan, this letting go and allowing Divine Spirit HIS will was extremely painful. He died of an incurable disease present at birth. Now in an apartment, I no longer have ‘his room’. What I do have are pictures in my office corners reminding me of a fabulous guy, how much being in his space at home gave me peace of mind and how ‘letting go’ can still bring smiles and happy memories. Crazy as it sounds, I still have his cell number programmed into my phone. Just hitting the “G” list now and then feels good. So, dear supporters of Katrina and others, welcome with an abundant heart the changes we all face, hold tightly onto what matters and, when all is said and done, create every day to be a blessing. Wishing you the best always and in all ways.

  41. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for this beautiful piece of thoughtful writing. I connected with your journey.I’m sure you have just made space for something great!💕

  42. This is so lovely and so deep and so raw. Thank you for your words. I still have some Crazy Bones left behind as well. You show such beautiful courage in letting go and looking forward. A lesson for all of us that the things are not the memories. I have such a hard time letting go of “the things”………..

  43. Thank you for sharing – enjoyed reading this~

  44. How lovely you’ve created a space for yourself. I’m familiar with the feelings you’ve shared, of repurposing a room. I had the opportunity to do so, but not so fully. And then my youngest returned. He’s here, still, and so I’ve got that to enjoy as well as a space of my own in the room next to his. I’ve just redone that so the space is more welcoming, more conducive to creativity. I’ve struggled to connect with that lately. I will say however, that since I turned 61 last month, that all is well ahead. I wish you the best as you move forward.

  45. Thank you for these words from your newly minted writing space. I will turn 59 in January and have a couple of child bedrooms “in progress” and one belonging to a 17 year old still needing to be launched. I have made the process overly long and your succinct transformation of Jack’s room has been inspiring. You always manage to say what I have almost figured out on my own; thoughts of mine that have been percolating but not quite ready to pour and savor. I appreciate the opportunity to enjoy a coffee break with your heartfelt thoughts.

  46. A beautiful space and what may be a gift to you may also be a gift to your son and family as a room of angst becomes a peaceful contemplative spot instead. Hoping to read the next book that comes from this spot and your heart. Curious if you kept those crazy bones…I have such difficulty parting with things my kids loved. I wish I had Jacks ability to simply let go.

  47. What you’ve shared is a beautiful reminder of how we can create something beautiful out of our empty nest – both the physical one and the emotional one. Thank you.

  48. Moving on, moving along, moving… Every change brings new experiences and new challenges. Each is a treasure of its own kind. Courage, Kate and peace to you and your son.

  49. Julia Throm says:

    Enjoy your new space. Our daughter moved into our son’s room when he moved out and her room became such a space for me. Then when she moved out her room became a space for my granddaughter. Now she seems to be outgrowing a need for it and we are rethinking it as a space for my aging mother. ..And about another book? Please do. I have enjoyed raising a family along with you would love to travel the empty nest years with you too.

  50. I always look forward to reading your thoughtful, beautiful words.
    But this time I’m also taken with the words of your readers. I believe you’ve brought out a beauty and thoughtfulness in each of us who’ve read your words. Thank you for adding compassion and truth to our troubled world.
    Please know the value of your words and don’t stop writing. This is exactly what our world needs more of. Lauren

  51. Gloria Howard says:

    Thank you again for your beautiful words Katrina and for sharing them with all of us.
    I love the transformation of Jack’s room and can’t wait to read about what you create there. And somehow it makes me feel happy to know that we’re the same age.
    I think I’m going to take your reader Carolyn Russett’s response to heart and celebrate the rest of my 59th year as she suggests. Thanks.

  52. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for sharing this lovely essay. Just one thing, there are many people who care very much if you write (and share) something. Thank you.

  53. I love this so…I’m struggling with the same process as my daughter has moved out, and my son will at the end of this school year. It’s hard, these transitions, and I’ve found the same unexpected emotions bubbling up at the most unusual times. Thanks so much for letting me know I’m not alone.

  54. Christine says:

    Virginia Woolf is waving in agreement: you have a room of your own. Great things to come now!!

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