Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .



In a little while from now our youngest daughter, Hannah, will be heading off to college.
My wife and I will be staring at something of an empty nest;
a new frontier and previously distant horizon for the two of us.
While we’re incredibly excited for her to embark on this wonderful journey our hearts are a wee bit melancholy.
It’s almost like this time in our lives was so far off in the distance that we needn’t give it a second thought.
The days of the Murphy family all living under one roof has all too rapidly come to an end.
That we would always be together was an illusion I unconsciously chose to create.
It’s what father’s do, I guess.
Little girls turn into teenagers and teenagers turn into young women and the time comes when they ultimately fly away.
Thank God it’s not forever.
There will be one less bell to answer and much less laundry never mind the savings on the water and electric bill.
(each daughter took at least 3 showers a day, or so it seemed)
I should be happy.
Somehow, I am not.
I will now be cooking for me and Pamela (more savings?)
This house chef is seriously jonesing his favorite customers, the ones who always said the meal was great
(even if it moderately sucked).

Change is an inevitable fact of life and nothing can alter that,
not the weather,
not God,
not even American Idol with Steven Tyler.
When change does happen in a major way as it will this coming September,
I will still scratch my cueball noggin and wonder where the hell the last 25 years of my life went.
I do have much to show for it though in three exceptional, vibrant, creative and beautiful young women ready to change the face of the world for the better.
They are all destined for great things.
Lofty, but heartfelt.
Like the Wally Lamb book title says,  ‘I know this much is true’ (Not the Spandau Ballet song!)
They all managed to somehow find their wings
and my wife and I are so very thankful and ultimately blessed that they did.

To my little Hannah(shine)-

Dad’s going to miss having you around.
Who else would leave a friend’s house on a Saturday night @10PM
to get their father a head of garlic and a can of chick peas because he wanted to make hummus?
To see you begin this incredible journey in your life makes my heart swell with pride because you have worked so hard and are so deserving of it.
I will also tell you that with being away from my cooking for a time,
Thanksgiving Dinner will be the very best you have ever had in your life.
Truth. (yes, you can pick the bacon off of the turkey)
And although my heart will break a little when we get back to an ‘all too quiet’ house,
I know that you’re but a heartbeat away.
As will I be.
So shine, Hannah . . .
Close your eyes,
dream big,
don’t take any shit from anybody and shine
just shine . . .



  1. damn it, I have managed not to cry until tonite. I should have known you could do it. I took my only to College last week. He was so excited and ready it was great to see…except no one has told me where the off switch is for the MOM.
    You hit it right exactly on the head as usual- it was so far off in the distance it seemed it would never come.

    I know it is just a change in role, but I’m struggling internally. To the rest of the world I have not let down my guard, but you always speak straight to my heart.

    That this post ‘reached’ you is all I want for my readers.
    Thank so much for letting me know.
    Still looking for that ‘Off’ switch . . .

  2. Aww, good luck to all of you!

    Thank you, my dear Lolly!

  3. As you know, I wish Hannah nothing but good things as she spreads her wings in the same way the others did some years ago.
    I’m more than confident she will shine as she goes from your baby to more of an adult than she already is.
    Our children are on loan to us, and for only a short time.
    In that time we care for and nurture them until they reach the point Hannah is now at, and never do we stop loving them.
    Your daughters have been able to become who they now are because of the care,nurture and love you and Pam have provided, and will continue to provide, because make no mistake, it never ends while you have life in your body.
    It’s just what parents do is it not?
    The apple(s) haven’t fallen far from the tree my friend.
    With the examples they’ve had, what other way could it have been?
    {{{hugs}}} for you both and a mountain of love from down under for your girl as she leaves the nest

    *mountain of love*

    I really like that.
    Thank you so much for commenting on this.
    You understand the struggles Pamela and I are going through more than most so I really appreciate
    you taking the time to read this post.
    You knew it word by word before I wrote it, I think . . .
    Thanks, Maureen

  4. Ahhhh…yes…bittersweet…So supportive…Unconditional love That’s the way it should be. You and Pam have given selflessly of yourselves to raise your beautiful family. You lived each moment for each other. You have a sense of family as you were all willing to try. You celebrate each other. You hold each other up when times are hard. Celebrate this new beginning as that is what it is my friend. Your daughters will succeed. And together you wil celebrate this time called life. Watch your baby fly….you gave her the fuel she needs. And she is excited and anxious and maybe a little apprehensive. You are all a phone call away. Enjoy this time of change. Enjoy each other…the love story continues..Thank you for sharing your precious thoughts…sending good energy your way..Be strong…denise

    Thank you for your precious comment, D
    Most appreciated.

  5. I knew there would be a post going up on your blog regarding the whole college thing.I didn’t want to read it but knew that I would.
    I cried with the first two and I will cry this time as well.
    I am so proud of our daughters and it’s been a real joy to watch them mature,each in their own way.
    It will be weird and quiet too.We’ll get used to it I guess.
    As long as we can stay healthy and employed ,this wonderful world of college can happen.
    We have brought them to where they needed to be and now they are in God’s hands and He will continue to guide them and protect them.
    But I’m still going to cry.

    I have big shoulders, milady.
    I love that we love our children the way that we do.
    Some aren’t as blessed.
    Love you,

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