When I packed up my car and moved across the country eight years ago, the hardest goodbye was with my mom. I remember standing in the dark street, hugging and crying. I knew she’d miss me, but she never, not once, told me not to go. This is what I wanted and she supported me.

I’ve only recently come to appreciate that she and my dad make a pretty excellent team. My dad is the constant cheerleader–effusive with his praise and love. (He’s been known to send a sentimental email and hit REPLY ALL so that each and every one of my friends know how proud he is of me). My mom is strong and quieter, but no less loving. She holds her breath and lets us live our lives, while still guiding us along, even as we enter our 30s. (She’s been known to take on all of our stress, carrying our burdens in an effort to save us from pain and disappointment).

We’re different people in many ways, but I think that’s only a testament to her wisdom and ability to teach. All three of her daughters are so very different from each other but we know what we want and rarely have a hard time working to get it. I could not imagine a better Babcia for my daughter. I know she’ll help us to raise a bright, confident young woman, just as she’s already done three times.

When I think about that June night in 2007, I imagine what it will feel like to say goodbye to my baby as she makes her way in the world. My heart feels like it’s being pulled apart in all directions and a lump develops in my throat. The urge to reach out, pull her in, and say, “Don’t leave me” is overwhelming.

So thank you, mom. Thank you for your strength, your unwavering support, and your unconditional love. YOU are the glue that has held us all together for the last three decades.

We love you.

Lena and her Babcia
Lena and her Babcia



2 thoughts on “Babcia”

  1. Thank you Heather for all the kind words. You are an artist at saying them when they need to be heard. I think a good part of us is what we learn from our parents and I had that same tearful goodbye with my folks too…..and they near once said “don’t go”! I love you very much.

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