Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Family love knows no distance January 15, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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File photo, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

File photo, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The son flies Southwest, not Delta.

TUESDAY, 6:39 a.m. and I’ve just arrived home from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after a slow drive there on treacherous, snow-packed roads with my husband and son. The 19-year-old is on his way to Boston, back to college.

Wednesday, 6:00 a.m. and he is in Medford, Massachusetts, now, settled into his dorm, about to start his second semester at Tuft’s University.

And I am a sad mama. I go through this every time my son or my daughter, who lives 300 miles away in northeastern Wisconsin, leaves. I cannot help it. I love having my “kids,” who are not at all “kids” anymore, home. Given the distance two of them live from Minnesota, I don’t see them as often as I would like.

The son, left, the eldest, the son-in-law and the second eldest daughter.

The son, left, the eldest and her husband, and the second eldest daughter after I snapped “posed” photos when we were last together. I actually prefer this image to the perfectly posed shots given the love and affection it reveals.

We—the husband, the eldest daughter and her husband (who live in the metro), the middle daughter and the son—were all together the Friday evening before Christmas to celebrate the holidays. For that I am grateful. I treasure these times we have as a family. Many families are spread far and wide across this country and world and see each other less often than we do each other.

But when my son left this time, it was different. He’s accepted a summer internship in Boston. I don’t know when he will return to Minnesota. Over spring break? Maybe. Maybe not. Depends on his plans and the cost of a flight.

That is the reality of mothering—this separation.

Yet, distance and separation do not limit love. And for that I am grateful.

HOW DO YOU COPE with long distance separation from family? And how do you stay connected?

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling