FRAZIER: Finding joy in the empty nest and growing pains

Published 4:00 am Saturday, September 30, 2023

My son has been living in Austin for a few years now, and my hubby and I have gone out several times to visit.

Austin is a bit of a drive from Vicksburg, and the traffic is ferocious when you get to the city, but for some reason, I have never felt like the Texas town has been too terribly far away. Maybe it’s because I have relatives living in Houston and in San Antonio, which are both within a two-hour drive.

Therefore, I have never experienced any kind of separation anxiety. But that has not been the case with my youngest daughter.

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Just a little over a month ago, baby girl got married and she and her new man moved to Champaign, Ill. I am sure ERDC employees are familiar with the area. There is a Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) located in the Northern town.

Did you catch that — a Northern town?

I knew this move was coming and for a while, my emotions had been building, knowing she was going to be living in this unfamiliar place. But the day after the wedding, to say I had a meltdown would be an understatement.

I imagine some of my tears came from the aftermath of what had turned out to be a picture-perfect wedding weekend along with a good bit of exhaustion. But I knew inside my sobs were much more than fatigue or the blues because all the excitement was over.

I knew it was because my youngest would now be living 650 miles away from me. And it wasn’t just the distance; it was that she would be in completely unfamiliar territory.

As I sobbed, hubby hugged and just held me, knowing that there was nothing he could do. And although he was strong for me that day, I knew, whether he admitted it or not, he was feeling sad, too.

Well, this past weekend the two of us made the 650-mile trek up north to take up a few things my daughter and her man needed. And while we were there, we also pitched in and helped them with a few chores that needed to be done around their new home.

It was in this doing and helping that something odd happened. A calm came over me and I began to not feel so anxious about this new place.

Perhaps it was because their Home Depot wasn’t any different than ours or that, after driving around a bit, I became more familiar with the area. Or maybe, it was because I could see how happy the newlyweds were in beginning their new life together.

Whichever it was, I felt OK when hubby and I pulled out of the driveway to head back home.

So, did I shed a tear? Yes.

But this time, I knew I was going to be just fine and so was my baby girl.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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